Retired MLB great Alex Rodriguez is the latest former professional athlete or celebrity to make an investment in the cage fighting league PFL MMA.
On Thursday, PFL MMA announced the completion of an influx of $30 million in Series E equity capital to help fund the league’s continued global expansion and plans to produce future pay-per-view events. The new funding via Waverley Capital was also combined with an investment from former New York Yankees star and baseball legend Alex Rodriguez.
In a press release on the new round of funding, the league also revealed that Rodriguez was also the newest addition to PFL’s board of directors. A group that already includes NFL Hall-of-Famer Ray Lewis and hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa.
Alex Rodriguez part of PFL MMA’s latest round of capital investment
“I love the global reach of MMA,” Rodriguez said in a press release from the league. “The PFL continues to build and innovate for fans, media, and fighters and there is massive demand in the marketplace.”
This is not the former Seattle Mariners’ first notable investment into a major sports property. Last year, it was reported that the ESPN analyst purchased a minority ownership stake in the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA organization the Minnesota Lynx. With the goal of gaining majority ownership — alongside E-commerce billionaire Marc Lore — in a few years.
“With this new capital, PFL is open for business to sign the biggest MMA star fighters in the world to our new PPV Super Fight Division,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray, “Just as we changed the game with our league season format, we will now disrupt the long-overdue pay-per-view business for the benefit of fighters by partnering to make them major participants in the revenue of their own fights.”
The PFL is currently in the middle of its fourth season. The league has a broadcast partnership with ESPN that sees its events air on ESPN+ and ESPN 2. PFL MMA’s season and playoff format have helped to make it stand out among its cage fighting competitors and the league’s million-dollar payouts to division champions are also among the biggest checks handed out each year in the sport.