The UFC has been promoting events since May, LFA has 4 events on their schedule, TITAN FC has been back, and has more on the schedule, Bellator is coming back at the end of the month, INVICTA did a show, ISLAND FIGHTS has a show in Pensacola on the 25th, and Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships returns July 24th. Then there is The Professional Fighters League (PFL) and they are on hiatus indefinitely due to the pandemic, and the mixed martial arts community, including the athletes on the roster, are wondering why?
Lance “The Party” Palmer, the two-time Featherweight Champion, with $2,000,000 already banked as the back-to-back champion, who may or may not need a payday took to Twitter and posed the question as to why his company isn’t scheduling events.
Palmer echoes the sentiment of the entire roster, they want to get back to work, and they want to start yesterday. Some of these fighters actually need to make a living, and this is their job, and they have no idea when they are going back to work!
This month the league will start paying the fighter stipends that go along with being on the roster. The payment is $1,000.00 monthly, definitely not a living wage in this world we live in. Many would take fights right now with other shows on one-fight deals till the PFL returns, however they can’t due to the fact that they are contractually obligated to only fight at PFL. Something I believe the promotion needs to address, and quickly.
BKFC President David Feldman made an appearance last week on The Cage Side with Christopher James Show, and said he wants to sign guys, but with limited availability of fights available he felt it would be a disservice to the athletes to sign them, and then not provide them with opportunities. Feldman gave his American Heavyweight Champion Chase “The Vanilla Gorilla” Sherman a release to take a fight with the UFC in MAy, simply because BKFC wasn’t hosting events, and he knew Sherman, a UFC veteran prior to signing with BKFC needed to take care of his family and fighting accomplishes that in a big way. A move that most promoters would never make was made by Feldman, simply because it was the right thing to do.
PFL has been very quiet, and as of this writing has not given any clue as to when they are returning. While their fighters sit in limbo, letting one opportunity after another pass them by, and that means no adding funds to their bank accounts.
When the PFL formerly World Series of Fighting (WSOF) started up one of the things that attracted athletes besides the opportunity to make a million dollars over the course of 6 months and 6 fights, was being compensated just for being on the roster, bur 1,000.00 a month isn’t going to cut it.
If the PFL isn’t coming back till 2021 as many believe, then they either have to increase the monthly stipend to a true liveable wage, or release fighters from their contracts. Maybe conditional releases based on only signing for one fight at a time with other shows so they can make a living and take care of their families, it just seems the only fair solution in my opinion.
Those in charge at PFL, including Ali Abdelaziz, seem to have forgotten that they hold the financial status of many fighters in their hands, and that doesn’t sit well with me, and others as well. However, in my opinion, allowing their athletes to work until they can provide work would endear them to the mixed martial arts fanbase in a way that no large promotion ever has.
They could be labeled as the promotion that truly cares about their fighters. However, until they do or say something the question remains, do they?
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.