Jon Fitch Questions PFL Financing, Ray Sefo Repsonds: All Champs Have Been Paid

Ray Sefo, Carlos Silva at PFL 9
Carlos Silva (left) and Ray Sefo following PFL 9 Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

While Jon Fitch doubted whether the winners of the PFL 2018 season would ever been paid, PFL President Ray Sefo has responded, saying they already have their money.

Over the weekend at Bellator 214 in Los Angeles, Cageside Press had a chance to ask Jon Fitch about whether any part of him regretted moving on from the Professional Fighters League, and missing out on a chance at one million dollars. In comments that have since circulated widely, Fitch questioned whether the PFL champions crowned on New Year’s Eve would ever get paid.

“I think those guys who won that tournament are going to be thinking about ‘what happened to my million?'” Fitch told Cageside’s Gabriel Gonzalez back stage at The Forum in Los Angeles. “I don’t have any faith that those guys are going to get paid the full amount. That’s one of the reasons why I left. All their money comes from investors. At a certain point in time, if you’re not turning a profit, those investors aren’t going to come around any more.”

“Those guys didn’t get paid a lump sum after the end of the fight. They’re getting paid as time goes on,” claimed Fitch. “So if the company goes out of business, there’s no more money.”

Asked a follow-up question as to what made him think that, Fitch answered “just they’re not making any money. Being a part of it, and seeing how they promote.”

“The shows they put on are amazing,” Fitch stated, “but no one ever knows that the fight’s going on. That’s a problem.”

To be fair, the league format did get plenty of coverage, though it didn’t translate to stellar ratings at times. “Something’s missing business wise,” said Fitch. “The fights are great, the fighters are great, there’s nothing wrong with them. But you’ve got to turn a profit. You’ve got to make money.”

Fitch, of course, was the World Series of Fighting welterweight champion. When the promotion rebranded as the PFL, he defended the title once, but departed before the league format kicked in.

When Fitch’s comments were brought up, however, PFL President Ray Sefo was quick to refute the claim that champs won’t get paid. In fact, they already have been paid out, in full. “All the ProFightLeague champions have been paid,” Sefo stated on Twitter.

The Professional Fighters Leauge recently saw League President Carlos Silva depart for a job in the tennis world. The promotion told Cageside Press earlier this month that it would begin building its roster for the 2019 season in the coming weeks.