Profession Fighters League Scores Investments From Kevin Hart, Ted Leonsis
Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 09:20AM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Kevin Hart, MMA, MMA, Pro FIghters League, Ted Leonsis, sports marketing

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August 8, 2018: The Professional Fighters League, founded by Donn Davis, Russ Ramsey, and Mark Leschly, and now in its first season, said it has closed $28 million Series B equity investment and added a bevy of high-profile investors to its roster.

The new money-backers include actor-comic Kevin Hart; motivational author and entrepreneur Tony Robbins; Brandon Beck, co-founder of Riot Games and co-creator of League of Legends; and Ted Leonsis, whose holdings include majority owner of the NHL 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals as well as the NBA Washington Wizards,.

Mark Burnett, chairman of MGM Worldwide Television Group, was previously named as an investor. Burnett is also developing and producing content and programming for PFL.

Specific financial details for each investor were not disclosed.

“PFL is re-imagining MMA with a regular season, playoffs, and championship,” said Leonsis in a statement. “The PFL sport format is going to bring a major new audience to MMA which is great for PFL media distribution partners and PFL brand sponsorship partners.”

According to Burnett, whose production credits include Survivor and more then 3,200 hours of reality-based programming in more than 70 countries,, “I invested because I am certain that the next evolution of MMA is this Professional Fighters League. The fighters must win to move ahead. It’s MMA meets March Madness.”

PFL’s rookie season — which began with a concept intended to differentiate itself from the more-established UFC — launched June 7 in New York’s Madison Square Garden Theater with 72 Elite MMA fighters in six weight-classes, with each fighting twice in June, July and August. The top eight fighters in each weight-class advance to the single-elimination PFL Playoffs in October.

The PFL Championship is scheduled for New Year’s Eve, with the final bouts in each of six weight classes competing for a $10 million prize pool.

PFL is broadcast live on NBC Sports Network as well as NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app; and streamed live worldwide on Facebook Watch.

According to Kevin Hart, “I once said ‘If you get kicked in the face you deserve it, since you saw the foot coming’ . . . that was before I became an investor in the Professional Fighters League!

“I love sports, and the PFL is my favorite new sport to watch. The PFL fights are the most exciting in MMA as every fight means something, with fighters working to win a spot in the playoffs and the opportunity at their share of the $10 million. I became an investor as I believe the PFL is the future of MMA.”

PFL said that additional investors in this PFL Series B round include Elysian Park Ventures; SWaN Ventures; Debra Cafaro (chairman/CEO, Ventas Inc. and minority owner of the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins); and Mark Leschly (managing partner, Iconica Ventures).

"The next evolution of MMA is this Professional Fighters League. The fighters must win to move ahead. It’s MMA meets March Madness.”

“We started the Professional Fighters League for the 300 million MMA fans worldwide who have an appetite for exciting new fights and innovative content,” co-founder and chairman Donn Davis said in a statement.

“The PFL is reimagining MMA with a regular season, playoffs, and earned championships, providing MMA fans the transparency, storytelling, and context that exist in all other major sports.”

According to Pete Murray, CEO for PFL, “Fans have enthusiastically responded to the PFL, with over 2.5 million people viewing PFL4. Our fights are as exciting and our broadcast is as good as other MMA companies that have been around for decades, and we’re just getting started.”

Pro Fighters League Unveils $10M, 126-Bout Schedule

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