June 20, 2018

PFL 2: An Intriguing Event That's Worth Your Attention This Week

By Raphael Garcia

Receiving adequate pay is a struggle for most mixed martial artists, even those competing within the confines of the UFC. And as with any industry, competition is important to the development of financial opportunities for the “workers.” That is what makes organizations such as the Professional Fighters League so important. This Thursday night, the organization’s second major event takes place, and this is a showcase that should not be slept on.

Last month, PFL 1 took place at Madison Square Garden and featured names that hardcore MMA fans will recognize, along with newer ones that deserve your attention. Andre Harrison, Lance Palmer, Jared Rosholt, and Steven Siler competed on the first card, and the second brings the likes of Will Brooks, Chris Wade, Thiago Tavares, and Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison. That alone should be reason to watch.

But then there’s the organization’s intriguing attempt to bring MMA into a structured seasonal format with a championship series at the end. A million dollar payday is on the line for each individual that competes within the six divisions. Does a payday of that size come with some questions? Yes it does, but if the PFL can find a way to succeed, it can create a new avenue of opportunity for fighters in the long term. Although mixed martial arts promotions across the board continue to struggle with television ratings, we really won't know just how far PFL can go until after the first season wraps up on December 31.

Looking ahead to PFL 2, there are a number of fight-related questions that should draw the attention of fans. Have we seen the best that Brooks has to offer? Is the undefeated Rashid Yusupov “for real?” What will Harrison look like as she steps into a cage for the first time? Storylines are an important part of professional sports, and each of these Storylines make a viewing of Thursday night’s event worthwhile. And though many fans complain about the “oversaturation” of mixed martial arts, there are enough intriguing matchups to make PFL 2 worth the time.

Competition for the UFC is sorely needed for those competing at the highest levels of professional mixed martial arts. For those that make fighting their trade, PFL 2 provides an alternative to fighting in the Octagon that could, over the long run, offer more opportunities to fighters across the board. For fans, however, PFL 2 represents the second edition of a new MMA offering with a different paradigm, one that comes at a time when the UFC has become stagnant for a variety of reasons. There’s room for different "flavors" of MMA, and PFL 2 is an event that shouldn’t be ignored simply because it’s not the UFC. It could be a refreshing addition to the Thursday night sports menu.

PFL 2: Firmino vs. Brooks takes place June 21, 2018 at Chicago Theater in Chicago, Illinois.

Click HERE for more PFL 2 Pre-Fight Analysis

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