Kirkcaldy MMA star Stevie Ray eyes million dollar prize
Kirkcaldy MMA star Stevie Ray will return to the ring next year after signing up with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
His multi-fight deal with the US-based promotional powerhouse is his first since he was dropped from the UFC because of a recurring knee injury.
But, having not fought for two years and at one stage on the verge of retirement, the 31-year-old says he is now fully fit and excited to get back into action.
"I was looking to get back into fighting,” the lightweight fighter says. “Cage Warriors were interested, as were a Middle East company called Brave and one or two others, so I was just waiting to see what the best deal was.
“My manager then called to say he had me a two-season deal with the PFL, fighting for a million dollar prize which is amazing, and they’re paying me the same per fight as I was getting in the UFC.”
The PFL differs in that it is a league-based system with more points up for grabs the earlier a fighter can end his bout.
‘Braveheart’ says: “You’re looking at four fights to win the whole thing. You have a minimum of two fights each and then the four fighters with the most points go through to a semi-final knockout, then the final.
"Last year, there was a guy who won both his fights but still didn’t have enough points to go through, so it encourages you to try and get the fight over with as quickly as possible.
“The standard is probably just the same as the UFC and some of the best fighters in the world are there now, like Rory MacDonald."
Having turned to yoga to help overcome his troublesome arthritic knee, and having qualified as an instructor in the process, Ray is now readying for his tilt at the PFL next April at his own Braveheart MMA gym in Kirkcaldy and backs himself to go all the way and bag the million dollar prize.
“That’s a life-changing amount of money. I could do a lot with that for my gym, for example. I need new premises, really, so that’s an incentive.
“I’ve got a wrestling bout with Polaris Pro Grappling in three weeks, which will keep me active and get back into things. Then after Christmas and New Year is out of the way, it’s game on for the PFL.
"I fancy myself to win it – 100 per cent."