Saudi-born Alsaif signs with PFL in historic deal

Professional Fighters League (PFL) has penned a deal with Saudi Arabian-born fighter Hattan Alsaif, making her the first female athlete from the country to sign with a major global MMA promotion, officials told ESPN on Monday.

Alsaif, 22, comes from a Muay Thai background and has not yet competed in MMA. She is expected to make her amateur MMA debut in PFL, potentially before the end of 2024.

“Receiving a contract from the PFL is a dream come true for me,” Alsaif said in a statement. “Being the first female MMA fighter from Saudi Arabia to be signed by a major global organization like PFL is a true honor. I won’t take this responsibility lightly, and I am committed to doing my best to represent my country. I hope this paves the way for more opportunities for aspiring female fighters.”

Alsaif was the first Saudi Arabian athlete to win a gold medal at the 2023 International Federation of Muay Thai Associations World Championships, prevailing in the under-45-kilograms category. She won first place at the World Combat Games and the Saudi Games last year as well.

“With Alsaif’s remarkable achievements in martial arts, she has undeniably earned her place in the PFL, and we believe she will pave the way for many more talented female fighters in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East,” PFL president Ray Sefo said in a statement.

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