The Professional Fighters League announced the dates and location of their first three PFL 2023 regular season events on Thursday, as well as a number of tantalizing match-ups.
It wasn’t long before a prominent MMA manager pumped the brakes on at least some of those fights, however.
Per a PFL press release, the league’s regular season will kick off on April 1 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each of its first three regular season shows will take place at the venue, with the additional dates being April 7 and 14.
Also announced on Thursday were the main and co-main events for each card, and there are some bangers.
At this year’s PFL 1, defending featherweight champ Brendan Loughnane has been announced as facing former WSOF champ and UFC title challenger Marlon Moraes, while the co-main event sees light heavyweight champ Robert Wilkinson take on ex-UFC title challenger Thiago Santos.
PFL 2 is topped by Ante Delija vs. Yorgan De Castro at heavyweight, while women’s lightweight champ Larissa Pacheco moves down to featherweight to face Julia Budd. PFL 3, meanwhile, sees Olivier Aubin-Mercier take on Shane Burgos, who is apparently set to move to lightweight. Sadibou Sy vs. Jarrah Al-Silawi serves as the co-main event of that card.
Things hit a snag, however, when First Round Management’s Malki Kawa claimed that at least some of the fights had not been agreed to. Among others, First Round Management represents Loughnane and Burgos.
It’s unclear how PFL fighters’ contracts are structured, given the league uses a tournament format.
Fans can hope, at least, that things get sorted out, as a number of the announced match-ups were met with great enthusiasm.
The PFL returns to action this Friday with week two of this year’s Challenger Series, with the spotlight on the women’s featherweight division. That card takes place in Orlando, Florida and airs on Fubo Sports Network.