Ray Sefo addresses PFL’s 2020 season cancellation, says most fighters understood the decision

    Despite some headlines to the contrary, PFL president Ray Sefo thinks most fighters understood the promotion’s decision to cancel the 2020 season.

    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, PFL decided to pull the plug on their entire season in April, with all contracted fighters receiving monthly stipends.

    A few fighters voiced their discontent at not being able to compete this year. Most notable was two-time featherweight tournament winner Lance Palmer, who even went as far as requesting his release after PFL put out a statement regarding “repulsive posts” made by Palmer’s father about on his social media regarding race.

    Considering he has no control of his father’s social media account, Palmer thought it was unnecessary for PFL to target his father, which further soured his relationship with the promotion.

    While Sefo understands where the fighters are coming from with wanting to be active, he insists that circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic were out of their control.

    “I think he (Palmer) was just frustrated because obviously he’s a fighter and having to sit out for a little while, he wasn’t too happy about that,” Sefo told MMA Junkie Radio. “But unfortunately the fact that the pandemic happened, obviously not a fault of ours and so the season takes eight months to complete and unfortunately some fighters were unhappy about it.”

    PFL did make a few exceptions though, with 2019 women’s lightweight tournament winner Kayla Harrison getting to compete this past weekend at Invicta FC 43, where she defeated Courtney King in her featherweight debut.

    “When I say some, I mean one or two, but the rest of the team completely understood and of course we allow for certain fighters to wrestle. Kayla Harrison is fighting this coming weekend and a couple of guys that boxed, I think one of our guys did pro wrestling, so we weren’t really trying to stop anybody,” Sefo said.

    “Obviously the message that was sent out to the managers and the fighters was that we’re willing to work with you, as long as you guys keep us up to date with what was happening and who the opponent is or whatever they’re doing. So we made sure there was communication, made sure that the communication was very clear. But right now things are looking good and so we just hope that this pandemic ends real soon and everybody gets back to some sort of normalcy.”

    PFL will return for their 2021 season on April 23 and the regular season bouts will air on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes and stream on ESPN+. According to NBC Las Vegas, events will take place in Las Vegas at either Caesar’s Palace or the Rio.

    This was originally published on

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