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PFL brings unique MMA playoff format to Las Vegas

The Professional Fighters League playoffs are coming to Las Vegas.

Peter Murray, CEO of the PFL, confirmed to the Review-Journal the organization will host its postseason events at Mandalay Bay on Oct. 11, 17 and 31.

It will be the organization’s first events in Las Vegas, but Murray said the company had the city in its sights before the PFL even launched operations in 2018.

“Not only is it a big time sports town with all the momentum taking place there with football and hockey, but it’s the fight capital of the world.” he said. “So as a new, emerging property, we’re excited to make our debut there and do it in such a fashion where we’ll be presenting a never-before-seen format in MMA in Vegas.”

The PFL, in the midst of its second season, was granted approval by the Nevada Athletic Commission to bring its unique format to the state.

“It took some time to work through the mechanics of our format and worked very closely with the NAC,” Murray said.

Fighters in the organization’s five male weight classes will have to win two fights on one night at one of the playoff cards in order to qualify for the championship event on New Year’s Eve.

The four semifinalists in the women’s lightweight division will only have to win once to advance.

Approval was also granted for use of the PFL’s Smartcage technology that helps compile real-time fighter performance data.

Playoff competitors and seeding are determined by a regular season that runs through Aug. 8. The postseason winner in each weight class wins $1 million.

This is the second season of the format. Last year, the playoffs were held in three separate cites as events took place in New Orleans, Washington D.C., and Long Beach, Calif.

“Last year was about launching the brand and validating the format,” Murray said. “This year was really about refining the premium product and the experience we deliver combined with quality distribution and reach.”

PFL playoff events will be broadcast across the ESPN platforms.

Murray said the organization plans to expand the number of events in the PFL’s regular season and seek international expansion.

Tickets to the 2019 PFL playoffs will go on sale to the general public on July 12, with a pre-sale starting Wednesday.

More MMA: Follow at CoveringTheCage.com and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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