Saudi Arabia’s PIF acquires $100m stake in Professional Fighter League

The PFL will create a tournament in the region as a consequence of the $100 million investment by Saudi Arabia's PIF in order to enhance Saudi MMA.

The sporting investments fund of Saudi Arabia, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) has made a new venture into MMA, following the acquisition of a minority stake in the Professional Fighter League (PFL), the most progressive and quickly growing sports league.

The PFL will create a tournament in the region as a consequence of the $100 million investment in order to enhance Saudi MMA following the triumphs of Mostafa Rashed Nada and Abdullah Al-Qahtani at a PFL tournament this month.

After splurging on a variety of sports and making significant expenditures in football and boxing in recent years, MMA represents a fresh endeavour for the area.

It is a partnership that will most likely see Francis Ngannou make his PFL debut in the region, in addition to Jake Paul if he decides to branch out into MMA. Moreover, Ngannou will make his professional boxing debut in October, when he takes on the heavyweight king Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia.

The UAE was once regarded as the Middle East’s MMA capital, having developed a close relationship with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) when the two held events on ‘Fight Island’ during the pandemic.

As the sport expands, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the PFL will vie for prominence. The UFC will be heading back to the UAE only a week before Fury vs. Ngannou in Riyadh, for a two-week stint that will give insight into the Middle East’s thirst for combat sports.

What this implies for the widely rumored PFL takeover of Bellator stands to be seen, as the PFL tries to grow with six additional regional competitions.

SRJ’s Chairman, Bander Bin Mogren, said, “Today marks a new milestone for SRJ as we make our inaugural investment. 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.”

Chief Executive Officer, PFL, Peter Murray, said, “PFL and SRJ share the same vision for mixed martial arts – the biggest star fighters, mega global events, and global expansion to bring the sport to all regions – so we are thrilled and honoured to have SRJ as our investment partner.”

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