It looks like the top MMA league has a new com­peti­tor, and the UFC is wor­ried.

UFC is the main pro­mo­tion in mixed mar­tial arts. His main rivals (PFL, Bel­la­tor, ONE) are still far from being able to com­pete with the hege­mon.

But recent­ly a new sport has been devel­op­ing that has chal­lenged offi­cial MMA. The UFC is mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion and even threat­ened to sue the new pro­mo­tion PFC, where fights are held on pil­lows.

Why is the UFC unhappy with the new promotion?

The UFC for­mal­ly object­ed to Pil­low FC’s appli­ca­tion to reg­is­ter the trade­mark and logo with the US Patent Office, cit­ing that such brand­ing would cause con­fu­sion.

PFC CEO Steve Williams called the UFC’s claims ridicu­lous, but in order to avoid esca­la­tion of rela­tions with the fight league, Pil­low FC decid­ed to change its logo.

Williams expressed dis­ap­point­ment, call­ing the sit­u­a­tion “ridicu­lous” and high­light­ing the absence of such objec­tions among the mil­lions of com­ments on social media. He chal­lenged Dana White to a pil­low fight, express­ing con­fi­dence in vic­to­ry. But I nev­er received an answer.

How does the new sport work?

In PFC, oppo­nents fight with spe­cial­ly designed pil­lows with han­dles. The fight accord­ing to the reg­u­la­tions lasts three rounds of one minute, with­out push­ing, wrestling or hit­ting with any­thing oth­er than a pil­low. Judges also award extra points for knock­downs, round­house kicks and show­man­ship.

Click and watch

Pil­low fight­ing does not lead to seri­ous injuries, unlike clas­si­cal mar­tial arts. This attract­ed new view­ers — for exam­ple, women, who became a large part of the audi­ence.

“We give the view­er the dra­ma of hand-to-hand com­bat, but with­out the blood­shed that is found in MMA or box­ing. But it’s not the same as if you’re fight­ing at home, laugh­ing, and feath­ers are fly­ing around. Every­thing is seri­ous here, these are hard blows with spe­cial pil­lows. The only dif­fer­ence between our fights and MMA fights is that no one gets injured,” say the PFC orga­niz­ers.

Among the par­tic­i­pants in the tour­na­ment were pro­fes­sion­al MMA fight­ers — for exam­ple, Conor McGre­gor’s first oppo­nent in the UFC, Mar­cus Brim­age, and ex-fight­er of the pro­mo­tion, Mar­cus Perez.