PFL Europe Arena

Professional Fighters League – PFL Europe 

This year, the prestigious MMA promotion, PFL, has come to Europe. This is one of the most innovative and fast-growing sports leagues, the first of its kind in the world of MMA, which means it was only a matter of time before it spread its wings and became a worldwide phenomenon. 

Started in 2018, the PFL has been reaching millions of fans across the globe, and now it’s going one step further to showcase 32 of Europe’s top-ranked fighters – all across four weight classes – and put on the events in four of Europe’s biggest cities; Newcastle in the UK, Berlin in Germany, Paris in France and Dublin in Ireland.

The four events will occur every quarter throughout this year, with the first having already taken place in the Vertu Motors Arena, Newcastle. In terms of viewing these events, all of them are being shown live here on DAZN; another step towards our goal to be the number one destination for all MMA fans – and sports fans, full stop!

PFL Europe: The 101

If this has tantalised your interests, you might be asking yourself: okay, but what’s so good about PFL? It’s a fair question, of course, especially when you consider how new PFL is to the block. The original PFL tournament only started five years ago, but in those five years, it has shown itself to be one of the most popular and exciting tournaments in the US. 

This is perhaps because of its unique MMA season format. Instead of a year-long event calendar or a ranking system, players compete twice in the regular season and earn points to move up the table, giving them a chance to make the playoffs and stake their claim as champions. In terms of its league structure, then, it’s more similar to the NFL than it is to the UFC, except it culminates in six big Super Bowl fights in one night rather than one! The format will be much the same in Europe, except for a few small differences:

  • The tournament began on Saturday, March 25th, in Newcastle. This was known as PFL Europe 1. PFL Europe 2 will take place in July, with the playoffs then taking place on September 30th and the final being hosted by the 3Arena on December 8th
  • Although the format is the same, the league itself is a tighter affair than it is in the US. Instead of 72 fighters and six weight classes, PFL Europe has 32 fighters and four weight classes.
  • These weight classes are light heavyweight, lightweight, bantamweight and women’s flyweight.
  • Instead of the $1 million being awarded in the grand finale, winners will instead get $100,000, as well as a chance to enter the global $1 million winning league.
  • It is the promotion’s first-ever regional league, with an aim to revolutionise the MMA world and utilise the original format to make fighters become household names overnight.

PFL Europe: The Fighters To Watch

So who are the 32 fighters taking part in the PFL Europe, and which are the ones you should really look out for? Fighters include:

Light Heavyweight Division

  • Mohamed Amine (Holland)
  • Kenneth Bergh (Norway)
  • Daniel Ladero (Spain)
  • Jakob Nedoh (Slovenia)
  • Simeon Powell (UK)
  • Damien Remy (France)
  • Anthony Salamone (France)

Lightweight Division

  • Aleksandr Chizov (Latvia)
  • Geysim Derouiche (France)
  • Acoidan Duque (Spain)
  • Connor Hughes (UK)
  • Jakub Kaszuba (poland)
  • Rodu Maxim (Italy)
  • John Mitchell (Ireland)
  • Dylan Tuke (Ireland)

Bantamweight Division

  • Mokthar Benkaci (France)
  • Kenji Bortoluzzi (Switzerland)
  • Khurshed Kakhorov (Germany)
  • Frans Mlambo (Ireland)
  • Farbod Iran Nezhad (Germany)
  • Francesco Nuzzi (italy)
  • Ali Taleb (Sweden)
  • Dominique Wooding (UK)

Women’s Flyweight Division

  • Mafalda Carmona (Portugal)
  • Dakota Ditcheva (UK)
  • Griet Eechkout (Belgium)
  • Lizzy Gevers (Holland)
  • Cornelia Holm (Sweden)
  • Clara Riciguolo (France)
  • Valentina Scatizzi (Italy)
  • Marta Waliczek (Poland)

Of course, when it comes to the best fighters to watch, every fighter has a claim to victory. This is part of the reason why the PFL format is so exciting! But there are a few gems in each division that certainly get the mouth-watering. In terms of the light heavyweight and women’s flyweight divisions, the first bout of fights have already taken place, with Abdellah Er-Ramy, Jakob Nedoh, Simeon Powell, and Anthony Salamone set to fight each other in the light heavyweight semi-finals, and Valentina Scatizzi, Cornelia Holm and Dakota Ditcheva already set for their own playoffs. 

For the light heavyweight division, it’s hard to underestimate the ability of Simeon Powell, who showcased his potential in an impressive PFL Europe 1 performance. His fists were fast, and his tactics were well on point, grinding his opponent down until he could get him into an untenable arm-triangle choke. He will certainly be one to watch later on in the tournament. 

In terms of the women’s flyweight division, Valentina Scatizzi came out of the blocks with a fighting spirit that was hard to ignore. She gave opponent Lizzy Gevers no room to manoeuvre in the cage, and she kept herself dominant in the fight by controlling the centre and landing big head kicks. The fight went down to scorecards, but there’s nothing to say Scatizzi won’t make a more definitive statement in her next fight.

For the lightweight division in PFL Europe 2, John Mitchell is looking to make history and take the fight straight to Geysim Derouiche. Originally from Cork, Ireland, he has been enjoying MMA cages since 2015, meaning he is no stranger to pressure. The time seems to be right for Mitchell to go one step further, too, with a feeling that his name was always destined to go up in lights and take over the world stage. 

Over in the bantamweight division, it’s hard to see a playoff without Ali Taleb fighting in the cage. He is one of the best to come out of Sweden, with a current streak of 8 MMA wins – zero losses, zero draws! Once again, this is going to be a hotly tested division in July, but it’s fair to say that Ali Taleb will have a good shot of going all the way and causing a stir during the playoffs of the championship. 

PFL Europe: Dazn Bet’s Pop Quiz

If you’re planning on tuning in to DAZN to watch PFL Europe 2, then you might want to know a few things first. To help you out, here are the most common questions people have about PFL Europe and what you need to know before the fighters take to the stage: 

Q: Who Won The Last PFL?

A: As mentioned before, the PFL in the US has been going from strength to strength, and this is exemplified by the spectacle the last winners put on in New York. The champions of the 2022 season were Ante Delija in the heavyweight division, Rob Wilkinson in the light heavyweight division, Sadibou Sy in the welterweight division, Oliver Aubin-Mercier in the lightweight division, Larissa Pacheco in the women’s lightweight division and Brendan Loughnane in the featherweight division.

Q: Were There Any Knock Outs In PFL 1?

A: One of the most exciting things about MMA are the knockouts – where a fighter puts all their skill and ability into finishing their opponent in one devastating move. This happened in the light heavyweight bout between Riccardo Nosiglia and Jakob Nedoh, where Nedoh took out his opponent in just 48 seconds of round 1. There were also two technical knockouts, both won by Abedellah Er-Ramy, who fought against Madalin Pirvulescu, and Anthony Salamone, who fought against Daniel Ladero.

Q: What’s The Toughest PFL Division?

A: It’s hard to say exactly what the toughest division is in MMA, as every fan – and fighter, for that matter – will have their own opinion. That being said, the lightweight division (155lb) has always been one of the most interesting, not least because of the rivalries that exist between a number of the PFL fighters. Every fight and every weight division has its own spectacle, but there is never such a thing as an easy fight as a lightweight. 

Q: Could Any European PFL Fighters Play In The US?

A: Since its inception in 2018, the PFL has signed fighters from all over the world. The goal, at the end of the day, is to determine the best MMA fighter each year, so it’s entirely plausible that a PFL Europe fighter will find their way into the PFL – especially if they walk away with the belt and become a PFL Europe champion.

Q: Will PFL Overtake UFC As The Best MMA Promotion?

A: Ah, here it is. The big question! How popular will the PFL get, and could it take over from the UFC as the biggest MMA promotion? Well, it’s not madness to suggest that the PFL could become the most popular MMA competition in the near future. The format, after all, seems to resonate with not only MMA fans but sports fans in general. 

That being said, the PFL is five years old – and PFL Europe is only in its first year – while the UFC has been going since November 1993, so it’s had a bit of a head start! There are also a number of other MMA tournaments to compete with. But as of right now, the buzz around PFL Europe shows just how far this tournament could go and how ambitious it is, to begin with. It’s easy to see the PFL Europe and the PFL getting even stronger over the next few years and really taking the world by storm.