There always has to be a first one. One "brave soul" ready to take the leap of faith and jump from a proven organization where there's comfort, into the abyss of the unknown. When the World Series Of Fighting re-branded themselves into the PFL many looked at them oddly. When they said they were leaving the common open schedule into a season with playoffs, most scoffed.
We are now on the verge of their 3rd season. And what a season it looks like it's going to be. This season all 6 of last year's one million dollar champions return. That makes the hunter the hunted. Adding to that, both Lance Palmer and Natan Schulte are back to back winners, and the target on their back grows. And now, the flood gates have opened, and opened like a can of whoop a** many plan on throwing. Although fighters like Lance and Andre Harrison were hold overs from the WSOF days, the roster has been rebuilt from the bottom up.
The conundrum the PFL runs into is what makes them special. The season, and the small roster size. It makes being signed that much more special and that much more difficult. While Palmer has had opportunities to bring his skills to other companies he's decided to stay put while enjoying being one of the faces for the company. With the wrestler staying in his lane there's a better than even chance he'll win more titles and more millions there. Something other organizations can't offer.
Their 1st big splash into the free agent market was grabbing Rory MacDonald. Before Eddie Alvarez left for ONE FC, it was believed they made him a pitch as well. But since signing "The Red King", they haven't stopped. And on Tuesday they announced a bunch of significant signings. They picked up 10 fighters that all have some serious finishes in their history. Joining the 2020 season is: Mohammad Usman (Kamaru's brother), Justin Willis, Jordan Young, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Johnny Case, Clay Collard, Marcin Held, Bubba Jenkins, Cindy Dandois, and Laura Sanchez.
Not only are all these signings showing fans they are in it for the long haul, but it's showing fighters that they are players in the business game. The fact they also had world-wide tournaments with the winners given roster spots all spells out one huge message to their 6 returning champions. Hold on tight to those belts, because your ride here just got really really bumpy. And to those hoping to get a golden ticket roster spot, you better truly earn it.
And in the end that makes all of us fans, fighters, and press, winners. The season kicks off May 21st, and it promises to be filled with more fireworks than a 4th of July celebration.