PFL: How MMA Fighters Get Paid and Compete for the $1 Million Belt [April 2021]


Read more to see how much MMA fighters get paid. Watch as the fight for the $1 million belt continues live on Thursday, April 29th at 9 pm ET on ESPN2!

Where can I watch?

On April 29th, a must-see fight between Welterweights Rory MacDonald and Curtis Millender will debut live on ESPN2. This is the second of six matches that will lead to the league championship for the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

The ultimate prize? Bragging rights. Oh, and a few ($1 million!) dollars. For the third season in a row, the PFL will award this large cash prize to the winning fighter in each weight division [link to blog 1]. While the road to glory is not easy, it certainly does pay.

How much do fighters get paid for a match?

Yes, and no. Fighters know what they’ll be paid upfront, and receive a set amount of money for showing up to the match. However, additional payouts still depend on if the fighter wins or loses, and their standing in the league. For example, Natan Schulte, who would go on to win Season 2, did not receive a win bonus of $25,000 even though he won his match because he was paid $50,000 to start. Other fighters would have to win their fight to receive the extra $25,000. And fighters can walk away with nothing if they don’t make weight [link to blog 1].

Who won last year?

The last Championship for the PFL took place on December 31, 2019 at Madison Square Garden, and saw victories for the following fighters:

–   Women’s Lightweight (155 lb): United States’ Kayla Harrison

–   Featherweight (145 lb): United States’ Lance Palmer

–   Lightweight (155 lb): Brazil’s Natan Schulte

–   Welterweight (170 lb): United States’ Ray Cooper III

–   Light Heavyweight (205 lb): Argentina’s Emiliano Sordi

–   Heavyweight (265 lb): Russia’s Ali Isayev

While the 2020 season was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, each of the potential participants received $1,000 a month for not fighting in the league. This was a decision made by leaders to attempt to ensure the health and safety of the fighters, and the continued success of the league

How can I watch this year’s Championship?

The championship date is not set yet, but will take place in New York later this year. Until then, all this season’s matches will be streaming live on ESPN+ at 5:30PM ET and ESPN2 at 9PM ET. Don’t miss Welterweights, Rory MacDonald and Curtis Millender on Thursday, April 29th, and Heavyweights Fabricio Werdum and Renan Ferreira on Thursday, May 6th!

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by Insider Envy Staff

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