The PFL Signed Tyler Diamond Even Though He Can’t Fight Until 2021

Mixed martial arts are in a weird spot right now. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most, if not all, MMA events have been canceled or postponed. In response to COVID-19, some MMA organizations are trying to do an event, while others are planning for the future. That’s why the PFL signed Tyler Diamond onto its roster.

Who is Tyler Diamond?

Fighting out of Sacramento, California, Tyler Diamond, according to Tapology, has an 11-1 professional record. While this might seem good, it’s not that great when put into context. In 2018, he was a contestant on the UFC’s reality show, ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ There, he fought against other contestants for a chance of getting into the UFC if he won. Daniel Cormier, a head coach during that season of the show, picked Diamond as his first pick of the draft.

He won his first fight on the show against Dulani Perry, but then, in his next fight against Jay Cucciniello, he lost. That said, he showed some promise, so the UFC gave him another chance by having him fight another one of the contestants in the season finale. Diamond’s opponent was Bryce Mitchell, one of his teammates who had also lost earlier. The two fought it out, and the judges ultimately gave Mitchell the win.

So, despite showing a lot of promise, Diamond ultimately was not able to join the UFC. He returned to fighting in smaller organizations before he was finally picked up by the PFL.

The PFL signs Tyler Diamond

Tyler Diamond stands in his corner prior to facing Dulani Perry during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated on February 20, 2017
Tyler Diamond in 2017 | Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The PFL, or the Professional Fighters League, is very different than the UFC. As ESPN reported, the PFL has a format that’s more similar to other sports, such as basketball or football. That’s because the PFL has a season and playoff system where fighters earn points to get up the rankings. Those points are earned by winning fights, and fighters can get extra points depending on how fast they knock out or submit their opponents.

At the end of the season, the top fighters in each division advance into the playoffs. At the playoffs, they’ll participate in a grand tournament that’ll end up with a champion getting the belt. But, in addition to the belt, the champion also gets a $1 million check. 

According to MMA Fighting, Diamond is one of the PFL’s latest signings. If he can show how much he’s improved on his game ever since his brief stint in the UFC, then he has a good chance of bringing home a million dollars. But, there’s a catch. He probably won’t get to fight until next year.

The PFL season was postponed 

Due to the pandemic, the PFL, like other organizations, was forced to shutter its doors for the time being. Unlike the UFC though, which, like the WWE, will be hosting events in the near future, the PFL can’t really do that. 

Since the PFL has a season and playoffs, it needs to be able to host events continuously. If it takes a break and doesn’t host an event for a while, then the system kind of falls apart. But, other sports are taking a gamble and trying to host events during the pandemic, so there’s a chance that the PFL will take a page out of their book and try to do its season later this year.

But for now, the PFL’s plan is to resume things in 2021, which makes signing Diamond a relatively long term investment. That’s because the PFL will be paying its fighters monthly, according to CBS Sports. It’s not clear how much money the PFL is paying its fighters for the time being, but it’s better than nothing.