The PFL has partnered with SRJ Sports Investments — a new branch founded under the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund — with new funding aimed at signing talent as well as taking the upcoming pay-per-view super fight series to Saudi Arabia starting in 2024.
SRJ Sports Investments will now own a minority stake in the mixed martial arts promotion and will also become an investor in a new regional league called PFL MENA, which aims to promote events and build talent in the Middle East and North Africa regions with plans to launch in 2024.
Perhaps the most notable part of this deal is that PFL officials announced that the upcoming super fight series, which will air on pay-per-view, will be hosted in Saudi Arabia.
“PFL’s mission is to become the global co-leader in MMA with our fighter-first mission and disruptive sport-season format,” PFL founder Donn Davis said in a press release. “This investment by SRJ continues the monumental growth that PFL has experienced throughout the world, and there is no better partner in global sports than SRJ.”
SRJ Sports Investment launched in early August with plans to target assets that could grow various sports in the MENA region. According to an initial release, SRJ Sports Investment will “focus on acquiring and creating new sports events intellectual property (IP), commercial rights of sports competitions and hosting major global events in Saudi Arabia.”
The PFL is the first investment made by the new fund.
“Today marks a new milestone for SRJ as we make our inaugural investment,” SRJ chairman Bander Bin Mogren said in the press release. “SRJ is shaping a new era of sports in Saudi Arabia and accelerating the growth of the domestic sports economy.
“This investment aims to nurture the local and regional talent pool in martial arts, promote gender equality in sport, and bring new opportunities directly to Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region.”
PFL touted the pay-per-view super fight series launching in 2024 alongside plans to host Francis Ngannou in his first bout since leaving the UFC as well as social influencer-turned-boxer Jake Paul, who is expected to make his MMA debut next year.
Now it appears all of those fights will happen in Saudi Arabia under the terms of this new deal.