International mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion PFL (Professional Fighters League) has announced the launch date for its latest regional offshoot competition, PFL MENA (Middle East & North Africa).

PFL MENA, PFL’s second international league after PFL Europe, will begin in April as a sub-division of PFL’s main brand with a million-dollar total prize purse and a sports season-style league ranking as opposed to traditional MMA formats.

A 32-fighter roster for the competition, alongside a full calendar of events, will be released later in 2024, however, PFL has confirmed that the competition will run a four-event inaugural season.

The league is backed by SRJ Sports Investments, the sports-focused investment vehicle launched in 2023 by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which put $100 million into PFL MENA as well as  PFL’s 'Super Fight' pay-per-view (PPV) division.

Peter Murray, PFL chief executive, stated of the partnership: “Driven by the strategic importance of mixed martial arts in burgeoning markets, SRJ's investment underscores the immense potential of the sport in the region. PFL MENA expands the PFL brand and MMA footprint in the Middle East bringing events to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the wider region."

The final announcement of the league, which has long been in development, is the latest step PFL has taken to enhance its position in the Middle East, with its PPV Super Fight division also hosting events in the region.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

SRJ Sports Investment chief executive Danny Townsend stated of the deal: “Saudi Arabia is quickly emerging as the international home of combat sports; bringing world-class talent here and to the wider MENA region remains at the core of SRJ’s investment mandate. With the launch of a new PFL MENA League, we're backing the development of the region's exceptional talent, helping provide new pathways to the top.”

The announcement follows PFL’s PFL Vs Bellator Champions event, hosted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on February 24. The fight card was the first MMA event to be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and presumably the first of many given the heavy presence of Saudi state-backing in PFL.

PFL purchased Bellator in 2023 to rival the industry-leading UFC, and in February 2024 announced the Bellator Champions Series of events which will be hosted globally, beginning in Northern Ireland on March 22.