BREAKING: Pro Football Hall of Famer @raylewis Joins PFL's Newly Formed Athlete Advisory Board!— PFL MMA (@ProFightLeague) March 25, 2021
In an effort to grow the influence of both the sport and the Professional Fighters League individually, the promotion is building an all-star athlete advisory board.
On Thursday, the tournament-based organization announced in a press release that it was creating an Athlete Advisory Board. The goal of this, per the PFL, is to “identify and recruit new talent as well as further evolve the PFL’s fighter-first culture and mission.” It is unclear how this board will achieve this, as the specific duties other than media obligations such as “behind-the-scenes access” have not yet been defined. Two key members of this board have been announced: Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, and Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
All-time great linebacker Lewis is not completely unfamiliar with combat sports, as while he played football in high school, he was also a standout high school wrestler at Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Fla. In the NFL, two-time Super Bowl champ Lewis received a myriad of accolades, perhaps most importantly as the Super Bowl MVP of Super Bowl XXXV in 2001. The career Baltimore Raven also earned Pro Bowl honors an incredible 13 times, one shy of the record held by five players including Tom Brady.
In the release, PFL CEO Peter Murray said of Lewis, “I am excited to welcome pro football Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis to the PFL’s Athlete Advisory Board. Ray’s leadership and advocacy for athletes combined with Randy Couture’s legacy and commitment to MMA will ensure the PFL stays true to its fighter-first philosophy and advances the sport.”
In addition to Lewis, Couture will participate on this board. “The Natural” serves as one of the promotion’s color commentators. Earlier this month, the PFL celebrated Couture’s career by releasing a four-part documentary series about his career titled “The Randy Couture Story.” The legendary Couture never competed for PFL or its predecessor World Series of Fighting, as he hung up his gloves over a year before WSOF 1 took place in November 2012. A multiple-time champ at both heavyweight and light heavyweight in the UFC, Couture also served as one of the coaches for Bellator MMA’s ill-fated “Fight Master” series in 2013.