The PFL season opener on April 23 will be headlined by former UFC featherweights Shaymon Moraes and Brendan Loughnane.
This comes after the PFL teamed with blockchain-based fan engagement app Socios.com. The promotion asked $PFL fan token holders to vote in a poll to decide the main event for the season kick off.
The PFL poll makes history as the first fan vote in MMA to decide the headlining bout of a card.
Sheymon Moraes will be making his first appearance since 2019. The Brazilian was a highly touted featherweight in the UFC, but a defeat to Sodiq Yusuff and a first-round knockout loss to Andre Fili led to his release. With a record standing at 11-4, Moraes will be looking to find success in the PFL.
Brendan Loughnane, meanwhile, has always been a promising prospect. Now aged 31, the Englishman has accumulated a 19-3 record.
Having fought in the UFC at a young age, he was given another chance on DWCS in 2019. He defeated Bill Algeo, who faces Ricardo Ramos on this weekend's UFC Vegas 24 main card.
But he surprisingly wasn't offered a UFC contract by Dana White because he shot for a takedown in the last few seconds of the fight.
Having signed with the PFL, Loughnane has won two out of two with the promotion. Victories over Matt Wagy and David Alex Duarte have established his name as one of the best.
The PFL's innovative poll
Joining the PFL's innovative structure, the groundbreaking vote went live last week, providing fans with a choice between the Moraes and Loughnane fight, or a potential main event between Loik Radzhabov and Alex Martinez.
The fan tokens used to vote are collectible digital assets, minted on the Chiliz blockchain, and provide their owners with exclusive access to voting rights in polls, promotions and rewards. For the first time in history, the tokens have been used to decide a MMA main event.
The event, which takes place at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, will be the first card of the upcoming PFL season.
In a press release about the innovative poll, CEO of the PFL Pete Murray said -
"We're committed to using the latest technology to create real, meaningful engagement with PFL fans. This first poll is truly groundbreaking, giving fans from all over the world the chance to have their say in the 'People's Main Event'.
Murray implied more votes similar to the main event decider could be in place soon -
"...we're looking forward to further innovative opportunities to engage with MMA fans worldwide, bringing them closer to our fighters and the action, throughout our 2021 season." Murray said.
PFL 2021 season
The 2021 PFL season is set to be a memorable one. With a talented roster already, the signings of Anthony Pettis and Fabricio Werdum have only made it stronger and added more eyes to one of the fastest growing sports leagues in the world.
Will you be watching the new PFL season? Let us know your thoughts on the rising promotion in the comments section below!