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MMA is Saudi Sports Fund’s First Big Investment

  • SRJ Sports Investments is taking equity in the Professional Fighters League.
  • The deal marks the first major investment from Saudi Arabia's new sports-focused fund.
Cooper Neill / PFL

Saudi Arabia’s new sports-focused investment company has made MMA its first major project — by taking an equity stake in UFC’s top competitor.

Officially launched earlier this month, SRJ Sports Investments has acquired a minority ownership stake in the Professional Fighters League and will become an investor in new regional league PFL MENA, which will launch in 2024.

The value of SRJ’s investment is $100 million, according to the Financial Times, although the size of the stake in the PFL is unclear. Last year, the PFL was valued at $500 million.

As part of the deal, Saudi Arabia will host major PFL pay-per-view events. When launched, SRJ’s stated mission was to accelerate the growth of the sector in Saudi Arabia and MENA.

More Sports To Middle East?

It is still unclear if other Saudi-backed sports properties like LIV Golf, Newcastle United, and Formula 1 entities will remain under the banner of the Public Investment Fund, or if any or all of those investments will eventually fall under SRJ.

Exactly how much funding SRJ has is also still unknown — although it had been reported that Saudi Arabia’s sports-focused company would comprise billions of dollars.

If the PFL deal is an indicator of future strategies, SRJ’s next investments could focus on bringing major sports events to the Middle East.

F1 has a Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and LIV Golf has tournaments in the country as well. Most recently, the Saudi Pro League has been luring major soccer stars and exploring the possibility of competing in the UEFA Champions League.

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