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On Tuesday, I reported that a new MMA league is on the verge of being announced. This led to me fielding approximately 8456 questions about the league, which was fun. For the record, and I feel like this goes without saying, I have nothing to do with this new venture.
If you missed it, here’s what I wrote:
According to sources, a number of influential industry individuals have come together to create a new MMA league that is structured more like the NBA/NHL/NFL rather than your typical MMA promotion. This new league would also include an athlete association that implements a CBA with 50/50 revenue share, guaranteed contracts, health insurance, career-ending insurance and a pension plan. The plan is to announce the venture in the coming days, I’m told. They are hoping to launch in 2023.
The next day, on “The MMA Hour,” I added this:
The new league is structured as a nonprofit where independent franchise owners will roster a team of athletes signed from free agency or via the league entry draft. Each team will compete in home and away competitions in a traditional league format vying for a playoff spot. The owners and athletes are governed by the leagues bylaws and collective bargaining agreement which is enforced by the commissioner and board of governors.
Naturally, this led to more questions. Some don’t love the league format, others are very intrigued, particularly by the revenue sharing aspect.
Well, here’s more exclusive info on this new group, via sources within the league, who want to remain anonymous at this time:
* The league will be known as World Fight League. Here’s their logo:
* The group is made up of several former/current professional athletes from the world of NFL, NBA and MMA, including multiple MMA world champions, five former respected MMA promoters, former MMA Executives and matchmakers, actors and recording artists
* According to sources, the WFL has been in the works since 2020 and the non-profit was established May 3, 2021.
* The league will consist of four conferences (North America, South America, Europe/Africa, Asia/Oceana).
* Each Conference will consist of no less than eight teams and no more than 24.
* Each team will roster 24 athletes, comprising of three athletes per weight-class.
*They are currently focused on launching in North America first, however, the framework is in place for a true world league.
* At this time, they have six approved franchise owners (four in the USA and two in Canada) and claim they have multiple proposals and applications being submitted for other teams.
* A conference will launch when there are eight respective approved team owners.
* According to sources, the CBA terms can’t and won’t be negotiated until they have a union of athletes established. However, any approved franchise owner has signed agreements that enforces certain terms and conditions they must abide by. Some of these provisions are put into place so they will not be able to take more than a 50 percent revenue share. Additionally, per sources, they must provide specific levels of health insurance, career-ending insurance, and pension plan for their athletes. When the union is established, the plan is for athletes and owners to finalize negotiations and agreements.
The hope is that more info, including, and perhaps most importantly, the players involved in this venture, will be revealed in the coming days/weeks. The plan, I’m told, is to launch the league in 2023.
More as it becomes available.