10 Major New PFL Fighter Signings Include: Mohammed Usman, Justin Willis, Jordan Young, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Bubba Jenkins, Johnny Case, Clay Collard, Cindy Dandois, Marcin Held, and Laura Sanchez; Additional New Fighters to be Announced Prior to 2020 Season Start on May 21
PFL’s Regular Season Begins Thursday, May 21, 2020 and will be Distributed to 160 countries worldwide, Including ESPN2 and ESPN+ in the United States
NEW YORK (March 10, 2020) – The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the first organization ever to present MMA through a Regular Season, Playoffs and Championship format and award one million dollars to each of the six division champions, today unveiled a group of new challengers with championship pedigrees and big fight experience on the road to the 2020 PFL season. The 2020 PFL roster will feature a skilled and diverse lineup of next-level talent from 22 countries around the world, 50% of whom are new to the league. The Road to the 2020 PFL Championship begins May 21, 2020.
Joining the heavyweight division is UFC champion Kamaru Usman’s younger brother, Mohammed Usman, who will enter the season on a three-fight win streak and attempt to mirror his brother’s journey from humble beginnings in Auchi, Nigeria to MMA champion. Justin “Big Pretty” Willis joins the PFL from the UFC, where he went 4-1. Entering the light heavyweight ranks is Jordan Young, who went 6-1 with Bellator before leaving for PFL.
New signings in the lightweight division include Johnny “Hollywood” Case and “The Canadian Gangster” Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Case (27-7-1) held back-to-back PFL lightweight champion Natan Schulte to a draw in 2018, the Brazilian’s only blemish in his two seasons with the PFL. Training with MMA legend Georges St. Pierre, Aubin-Mercier joins PFL from the UFC. The featherweight division features the arrival of Bubba Jenkins (14-4), reigning Brave FC featherweight champion and former NCAA All-American Wrestling National Champion at Arizona State University.
Looking to overthrow 2019 PFL Women’s Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison are 10-year veteran from Belgium Cindy Dandois (16-5) and Laura Sanchez, Team USA amateur MMA World Champ and former Division-1 basketball player.
“I’m proud to welcome this diverse and talented group of top-ranked and highly sought-after fighters to the Professional Fighters League. Half of the 2020 season roster will be elevated with next-level new talent, and the other half, comprised of the best fighters from last season,” said Peter Murray, CEO of the Professional Fighters League. “The PFL’s fighters must earn their way through the toughest test in MMA, fighting five times over the course of the Regular Season, Playoffs, and Championship for a shot at the six $1 Million Dollar Belts. I’m excited for our global fanbase to watch our new fighters mix it up this season starting May 21st on ESPN2 and ESPN+.”
2020 New PFL Contenders:
Olivier Aubin-Mercier (Canada), 2020 PFL Lightweight Contender:
Nicknamed “The Canadian Gangster,” Olivier Aubin-Mercier hails from Quebec, Canada where he was a two-time junior national champion as well as a three-time senior national medalist in judo. The submission specialist is the protégé of Georges St-Pierre. Aubin-Mercier compiled a 7-5 record with the UFC over six years and the 31-year-old now looks to re-establish himself as a top lightweight fighter in the PFL.
Johnny Case (USA), 2020 PFL Lightweight Contender:
UFC and RIZIN star Johnny “Hollywood” Case returns to the PFL, fighting in the lightweight division after competing as an alternate in the PFL 2018 inaugural season. In Case’s lone fight for the PFL, he fought eventual 2018 and 2019 champion Natan Schulte to a two-round majority draw, with Schulte advancing due to the tiebreaker. With 19 career knockouts, “Hollywood” looks to enact revenge and take down the two-time reigning lightweight champ.
Clay Collard (USA), 2020 PFL Lightweight Contender:
Professional MMA fighter and boxer “Cassius” Clay Collard has amassed an 18-8 career record, including 10 wins by knockout. He brings his knockout power to the PFL lightweight division, where he’ll be looking to take out back-to-back champion Natan Schulte.
Cindy Dandois (Belgium), 2020 PFL Women’s Lightweight Contender:
Known as the “Battlecat,” Cindy Dandois is a 10-year veteran with a 16-5 pro record, riding a four-fight win streak into the 2020 PFL season. Dandois joins the first-ever women’s lightweight division after competing at bantamweight and featherweight for other MMA promotions like the UFC, Bellator, Invicta FC and Cage Warriors.
Marcin Held (Poland), 2020 PFL Lightweight Contender:
Veteran Polish fighter Marcin Held joins the PFL after stints with Bellator, UFC and most recently, the Absolute Championship Berkut. The grappling expert holds a 26-7 career record.
Bubba Jenkins (USA), 2020 PFL Featherweight Contender:
Newcomer Bubba “Bad Man” Jenkins joins the featherweight division. He sports a 14-4 career record, winning his past three fights. The 2011 NCAA Division 1 wrestling champion and Bellator veteran joins the PFL as the reigning Brave Combat Federation featherweight champion, looking to add another championship belt to his resume.
Laura Sanchez (USA), 2020 PFL Women’s Lightweight Contender:
Wisconsin native and former D1 basketball player Laura Sanchez joins the PFL after notching her first pro MMA win in the Chosen Few Fighting Championships. The amateur world champion brought home the gold medal for Team USA at the MMA World Championships in Singapore, winning both of her fights by first-round TKO.
Mohammed Usman (Nigeria), 2020 PFL Heavyweight Contender:
Nicknamed “The Motor," Mohammed Usman enters the season on a three-fight win streak. Following in his brother’s footsteps, UFC champion Kamaru Usman, Mohammed will attempt to mirror his brother’s journey from humble beginnings in Auchi, Nigeria to MMA champion.
Justin Willis (USA), 2020 PFL Heavyweight Contender:
California native Justin “Big Pretty” Willis enters PFL following a 4-1 run with the UFC. The American Kickboxing Academy product holds an 8–2 career record, including notable victories over Mark Hunt and Chase Sherman.
Jordan Young (USA), 2020 PFL Light Heavyweight Contender:
Jordan Young enters the 2020 PFL season following a 6-1 run at Bellator. Prior to his first career loss, Young reeled off five-straight submission victories. Of his 11 career wins, nine have been by tap out.
About Professional Fighters League
The Professional Fighters League (PFL) presents MMA for the first time in the sport-season format where individual fighters control their own destiny, competing in a regular season, playoffs, and championship. PFL’s differentiated format and exciting fights sparked breakout growth for the league. PFL events are broadcast live in primetime on ESPN2 and ESPN+ in the United States and also distributed to 160 additional countries around the world on premium sports networks.
The PFL 2020 Season starts Thursday, May 21 and features elite MMA athletes across six weight classes with each fighter having two fights during the PFL Regular Season in May, June, July, and August. The top eight fighters in each weight class advance to the single-elimination PFL Playoffs in October, where fighters must fight twice and win twice in the same night to advance to the finals. PFL Championship is New Year’s Eve with the winners of each title bout being crowned PFL World Champion of their respective weight class and earning $1 million. Viewers will be delivered next-gen stats never before seen in MMA through the PFL’s proprietary SmartCage™ platform and Cagenomics™ technology.
PFL is backed by an investor group of sports, media, entertainment, and business titans.