First premium Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) league featuring top African athletes, with all events held across the continent, and available via leading regional media partners

MMA Superstar Francis Ngannou to serve as PFL Africa Chairman

Helios Sports & Entertainment Group invests to become strategic partner in PFL Africa

PFL Africa will be Africa’s most accessible sports league across linear, digital and mobile platforms upon Q2 2025 launch


LAGOS, Nigeria, July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league in the world, announced the launch of PFL Africa, which joins PFL Europe and PFL MENA as part of PFL’s network of regional leagues that is becoming the Champions League of MMA. PFL Africa will introduce a thrilling Regular Season, Playoffs and Championship sport-season format featuring top African fighters with all events hosted on the continent.

In a groundbreaking partnership, Helios Sports & Entertainment Group has made an investment and will hold a stake in the promotion, of which MMA superstar Francis Ngannou will serve as Chairman. The newest PFL league will launch in the second quarter of 2025 across linear, digital and mobile platforms.

“The Professional Fighters League is excited to announce PFL Africa, the third international fight franchise as we continue on our path to becoming the Champions League of MMA,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “Africa is home to some of the greatest fighters in the world, including our league Chairman Francis Ngannou, and some of the greatest fans in the sport. PFL Africa aims to serve the great fans with premium content while strengthening the PFL global footprint in what has for too long been an underserved market. Alongside our great investment and broadcast partners we cannot wait to kick off PFL Africa league action in 2025.”

“I am excited and honored to serve as Chairman of PFL Africa, a league that will shape the very foundation of African MMA,” said Francis Ngannou, Chairman PFL Africa. “As we have seen there is a great wealth of talent in Africa just waiting to be given a global stage. I am so very proud to give back to my homeland and to provide great content to a region with such a passionate and diverse fanbase.”

“African talent has had disproportionate success on the global MMA stage and MMA currently has a scarcity of events despite significant demand, creating a huge opportunity for growth as young Africans consume more digital content on their devices,” commented Tope Lawani, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Helios Investment Partners. “We are looking forward to partnering with the PFL, a world class organization, and with Francis Ngannou, who is a manifestation of the success of African talent on a global stage. HSEG is a committed partner of choice for global blue-chip sports and entertainment properties in Africa such as the PFL. This marks our fourth investment following our successful partnership with the NBA in the NBA Africa, our investment in global entertainment company The Malachite Group with a portfolio that includes Afro Nation and Piano People and our investment in Zaria Group, a multi-purpose venue management business. We see several areas of direct synergies between PFL Africa and HSEG’s existing unique portfolio and we are excited by the opportunities such collaboration can bring to the continent.”

PFL is the only organization in MMA with the sports-season format, where individual fighters compete in a regular season, playoffs, and championship each year. The combined roster of PFL and Bellator boasts 30% of its fighters independently world-ranked in the top 25 of their respective weight-class. PFL has an expansive global vision for the sport and is building the “Champions League of MMA” with PFL Europe, PFL MENA, and more international leagues in development. PFL leads in technology and innovation, with its proprietary PFL SmartCage, powering fight analytics, real-time betting, AI scoring, and a next-generation viewing experience. PFL is available on ESPN/ESPN+ in the U.S., DAZN in Canada and Europe and broadcast and streamed in 160 countries with 20 premium media distribution partners.


Professional Fighters League (PFL) is a global powerhouse in MMA and the fastest-growing sports league world-wide. PFL has five live fight franchises, offering year-round content: PFL League Season, PFL PPV Super Fights, PFL Challenger Series, PFL International Leagues, and Bellator. Founded in 2018, PFL is backed by major blue-chip investors including SRJ, Ares, Knighthead, Luxor Capital, Waverley Capital, Elysian Park Ventures, and numerous NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS team owners. MMA is the growth sport business of this decade, with 650 million fans worldwide, the youngest audience demographic, and true global revenue streams.; Instagram (@PFLmma); Twitter (@PFLMMA); Facebook (/PFLmma)


Helios Sports & Entertainment Group (“HSEG”) is a dedicated permanent platform built to capitalize on Africa’s unique demographic profile and global technological advancements by investing in brands, companies and assets in the African sports and entertainment ecosystem. Launched in 2021 by Helios Investment Partners, the largest Africa-focused private investment firm, HSEG is the partner of choice in Africa for global blue-chip sports and entertainment properties.

HSEG’s unique portfolio of assets includes the NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League (“BAL”), a successful partnership with the NBA, The Malachite Group (“TMG”), a global music focused entertainment company operating brands such as Afro Nation, Piano People and Lit Everywhere, and Zaria Group, a specialist in multi-purpose venue management, development and commercialization in Africa.

HSEG invests in the growing global reliance on African talent. By investing and developing the African sports and entertainment sector at scale and providing African talent with global opportunities, HSEG is uniquely positioned to deliver growth with impact.

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SOURCE Professional Fighters League (PFL)


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