World Fight League plans to sign nearly 200 fighters next year, could pay talent in cryptocurrency

world fight league
Credit: WFL

The World Fight League (WFL), a new MMA promotion set to debut in 2023, is expecting to go on a major free agent shopping spree in the new year.

Veteran MMA reporter Ariel Helwani’s Substack page has been the primary source of news for the fledgling fight organization, and he dropped a new set of intel on Friday afternoon about the WFL. The most notable tasty tidbit of information is that the league expects to sign as many as 192 fighters next year.

World Fight League to go on 2022 free agent spending spree

The massive acquisition of talent is being made to fill up the rosters for the teams that will make up the North America, South America, Europe/Africa, and Asia/Oceana conferences in the league. Each conference will feature eight teams with 24 competitors on each squad. The rosters will include three fighters in every division created for the league.

world fight league
Spectators cheer as Cheick Kongo wins via tap-out against Sergei Kharitonov in the Bellator 265 mixed martial arts event on Friday, August 20, 2021 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. Bellator Mma 014

The WFL will mirror the infrastructure set up by the “big four” sports North American sports fans are familiar with. Including team owners — featuring several famous athletes from those popular leagues — and a collectively bargained revenue split between the league and its athletes.

WFL fighters could be paid in cryptocurrency

The new report also includes how fighter pay would break down once league play starts in 2023. Athletes would earn “a traditional purse amount, or 3.125% of the revenue generated from the events in which they compete. Whichever is greater, sources say.”

Each event will feature 16 athletes — two teams of eight — they will receive 50% of the event revenue, and once divided amongst the combatants on the card, their share of the pot would be the aforementioned 3.125%. Furthermore, the league plans to give fighters the option to either receive their fight purse in US dollars or cryptocurrency.

Along with the news of the signing spree and their purse percentages, the league is also in the early stages of negotiating its television broadcast deal. Although a final decision on where WFL content will air won’t likely come for months, both Amazon Prime and DAZN are two platforms the league has already had discussions with.

As more information comes out, does the WFL seem like it could finally be the fighter-friendly organization that fans and MMA media have long pushed for in the sport?

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