Nicole Duva is joining the Professional Fighters League (PFL) as its Director of Legal and Business Affairs. The company announced the addition of Duva to its growing roster of executive team talent through a press release distributed to the media on Thursday.
“I’m thrilled to be joining such an innovative and exciting organization such as the Professional Fighters League,” Duva said. “The PFL has truly redefined MMA and continues to expand its efforts in more ways than one. With its rapidly-growing business, name-brand partners, world-class talent, and continued global expansion efforts, I am eager to get started.”
Duva is a recognizable figure in the world of professional boxing. She’s worked for her family’s boxing promotional company, Main Events, for over a decade now, and she’s been hailed by the likes of Bleacher Report as the “heir apparent” of one of the most famous boxing companies in the world.
But Duva revealed to Heavy in an exclusive interview she had been feeling as if a change was on its way for a while now. She didn’t quite know what her future would hold, but she was suddenly feeling open to new opportunities for personal growth.
“I don’t know if I’m ready to commit the rest of my life to being a boxing promoter,” Duva said.
So when Duva came across the PFL’s job listing on LinkedIn, she almost fell right out of her seat. Here was a role that couldn’t have been a better match for what she was looking for had she written it herself.
“Oh my god, I’m probably one of the few people in the country who has the required skill set for this…I have all this weird, very esoteric knowledge,” Duva said.
Duva landed the job, and she’s been happy and excited about the move ever since.
But maybe even better for her is the fact that she gets to start something new without having to start all the way over from scratch.
“It’s the perfect opportunity for me. It’s right in my wheelhouse, but it’s also something new. It’s so wonderful,” Duva said.
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How Main Events Helped Prepare Duva for PFL
Main Events was founded in 1978 by her late father, Hall of Fame promoter Dan Duva. The company is now led by her mother, Hall of Fame promoter Kathy Duva.
Nicole said she’s heading to PFL with the blessing and support of her mother and the entire Main Events staff. In fact, Nicole credited a Happy Hour discussion with Kathy and Main Events VP of Operations Jolene Mizzone as one of the catalysts for her being so open to the change.
“Now just seems like the perfect time for this,” Duva said.
During her time with Main Events, Duva learned just about everything that goes into promoting combat sports, including the many aspects of working with fighters, teams, venues, media, and broadcast partners.
So Duva feels well prepared for her PFL role, and she felt even better about her choice upon discovering some of her colleagues from the past already showing up in her new environment.
“The first day I showed up, and I came across an email that somebody has forwarded to me from Mark Taffet, who is Claressa Shields’ manager now, but who had started working with my parents all the way back in 1990,” Duva said.
Taffet left his 32-year post at HBO in 2015. Before the television network giant stopped offering boxing content in December 2018, HBO was home to many fights and fighters promoted by Main Events.
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More About Duva’s Role with PFL
Adding Duva to the mix is just the latest example of the PFL doing big things in the sport.
Duva joins an increasingly impressive executive team that also includes CEO Peter Murray, chairman Donn Davis, and president Ray Sefo.
Murray welcomed Duva as the PFL’s newest addition via press release. He said, “Nicole brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the PFL and I am excited to have her join our family. She has proven to be an invaluable leader in the combat sports arena throughout her career.”
Duva will report to EVP of Business Affairs and General Counsel Jim Bramson.
Essentially, Duva will work as one of the PFL’s lawyers. It’s an important role in any organization, one that can sometimes go overlooked.
The press release says Duva’s work history included working hand-in-hand with clients and corporate partners to balance competing demands, ensuring the satisfaction of all parties in connection with live televised events involving multiple stakeholders and contractors.
She’ll do that same kind of work with the PFL.
Duva will continue to spearhead the organization’s ongoing COVID-19 compliance. She’ll attend to relations with state athletic commissions as well as other legal and operational support needs to help ensure the safety of fighters and employees during the PFL’s season.
With the addition of world-class talent, whether elite fighters such as Anthony Pettis, or established business executives like Duva, PFL continues to accelerate its global expansion plans.
PFL returns with PFL 4 on July 10.
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