Professional Fighters League continues with Welterweight and Light Heavyweight
The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league in the world, today announced its welterweight and light heavyweight rosters for the 2021 regular season, which begins April 23 on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ in primetime. Welterweights and light heavyweights will be featured on the April 29 broadcast.
Ray Cooper III’s 2019 redemption tour brought him to the pinnacle of the PFL’s welterweight division and the Hawaiian knockout artist will return for this year’s season in hopes of repeating as champion. Standing in his way will be MMA superstar Rory MacDonald – a former Bellator champion and UFC title challenger – as well as the man who ended Cooper’s 2018 run in the championship final, Magomed Magomedkerimov.
2019 runner-up David Michaud, Nikolai Aleksakhin, Joao Zeferino and Sadibou Sy will join the rest of the division in pursuit of Cooper and the 170-pound crown. Coming off the most dominant season in PFL history, light heavyweight champion Emiliano Sordi will face a young and hungry slate of 205-pounders looking to end his reign atop the division. Submission expert Jordan Young headlines the pack of talented light heavyweights which also features multi-sport veteran Chris Camozzi, fan-favorite Tom Lawlor, Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira and 2019 runner-up Jordan Johnson. Smealinho Rama, Dan Spohn and Marthin Hamlet will round out the division.
“We are excited to share the remaining rosters with the community as the PFL continues to prepare for the upcoming season,” said PFL CEO, Pete Murray. “The unique technology and innovation that the league brings is something that our fans and the MMA community will be able to experience first-hand and we can’t wait to showcase it all during the matchups.” “The welterweight division might be the deepest weight class in the PFL,” said PFL President of Fighter Operations, Ray Sefo. “With the addition of Rory to our two returning champions, there are no easy fights. The light heavyweights are stacked as well with Sordi and all the new top talent we’ve added. April 29 is going to be a fun night of fights.”
The 2021 Welterweight (170 lbs) roster includes:
- Nikolai Aleksakhin
- Ray Cooper III
- Rory MacDonald
- Magomed Magomedkerimov
- David Michaud
- Sadibou Sy
- Joao Zeferino
The 2021 Light Heavyweight (205 lbs) roster includes:
- Chris Camozzi
- Cezar Ferreira
- Marthin Hamlet
- Jordan Johnson
- Tom Lawlor
- Smealinho Rama
- Emiliano Sordi
- Dan Spohn
- Jordan Young
The 2021 PFL Season will begin April 23 on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ in primetime. The remaining Regular Season events will take place on April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25.
Professional Fighters League has quickly established itself as the No. 2 MMA company in the world. The league has experienced tremendous YoY growth across digital channels - 68% follower increase on Instagram, 30% total audience growth across digital and a 200% social engagement spike. Domestic linear viewing audience was up 43% in 2019, and the Championship on New Year’s Eve surpassed 500,000 viewers, a 65% YoY increase.