PFL MMA Europe to debut in 2023
The Professional Fighters League today announced the launch of PFL Europe, a new international league beginning in 2023. PFL Europe events will all be hosted in European countries, broadcast and broadcast in prime time in Europe, and will feature the best emerging European MMA fighters. PFL Europe will provide a direct way for top European fighters to qualify for the PFL Global Talent List. PFL Europe leverages the proven sporting season format, a world-class squad, expert infrastructure and the trusted PFL brand.
“I am pleased to announce that the PFL will launch PFL Europe in 2023 to advance the sport of MMA and fuel the next phase of the PFL’s global expansion from Europe, MMA’s premier international growth region. “said Peter Murray, CEO of the PFL. “Europe is rich with top fighters who are ready to compete in the PFL season format on a major stage and passionate MMA fans across the region will now have access to premium events hosted in Europe.”
Europe’s best fighters will battle it out on cards Aug. 13 in Cardiff and Aug. 20 in London, hoping to land a contract in PFL Europe. Britain’s Dakota Ditcheva, Ireland’s Will Fleury, Italy’s Francesco Nuzzi and Scotland’s Louie Sutherland will all compete to join the new league.
Ditcheva is a Muay Thai specialist who, at just 23 years old, has already won three world championships and was named Young Sportsman of the Year by the Daily Mirror. She has a perfect pro record of 5-0 with four of those wins by knockout. She will be looking to continue her rise to the top of the women’s flyweight division when she takes on Morocco’s Hassna Jaber in London on August 20.
PFL Europe is the first of several international leagues that will be launched to provide the best talented fighters in the world the opportunity to compete and prove themselves on the world stage.
Irishman Will Fleury is the UAE Warriors middleweight champion, and he will move up to light heavyweight on his PFL debut on August 13 in Cardiff. The disciple of John Kavanagh trains at SBG Ireland, the home of Conor McGregor, and he enters the fight on a three-fight winning streak. He will face Norway’s top heavyweight Kenneth Bergh who brings an impressive 9-1 record, including eight stoppage wins, to his PFL debut.
Francesco Nuzzi earned his position as the top bantamweight prospect with eight straight wins, which took his record to an impressive 9-1. He will be looking to make the jump to PFL Europe when he takes on veteran French fighter Mokhtar Benkaci (20-7) on August 13. Benkaci is entering a six-game winning streak and will be looking to keep his PFL Europe dreams alive with a win over Nuzzi.
The “Vanilla Gorilla” Louie Sutherland had the kind of start to his career that all fighters dream of. Four wins, all by first-round knockout, set the London-based Scotsman up for big things in the sport. He will have a tough test in London-born, Manchester-based Abraham Bably (1-0), who will make his second professional start after a stellar amateur career that saw him go 4-0 with four knockouts. With a TKO victory on his professional debut last December, Bably, like Sutherland, has never been on the scorecards in his career.
“It has been an extremely rewarding experience hosting PFL Europe Qualifier Fights alongside our partners at Live Nation,” said Ray Sefo, President of PFL Fighter Operations. “The PFL is an opportunity, and we are proud of the opportunity we provide to fighters across Europe. I can’t wait to get to work on the first season of PFL Europe.
PFL Europe Qualifier Fights – Cardiff (August 13)
- Will Fleury (Ireland) vs. Kenneth Bergh (Norway)
- Nathan Kelly (Ireland) against TBA
- Vojto Barborik (Slovakia) against Radu Maxim (Italy)
- Moktar Benkaci (France) against Francesco Nuzzi (Italy)
PFL Europe qualifier bouts – London (August 20)
- Dakota Ditcheva (UK) v Hassna Jaber (Morocco)
- Louie Sutherland (UK) v Abraham Bably (UK)
- Tayo Odunjo (UK) vs Magnus Iversen (Norway)
- Ali Taleb (Sweden) vs. Kenji Bortoluzzi (Switzerland)