With an entire division basically built around her, Kayla Harrison (10-0) continues to maximize her potential and sharpen her skills to remain undefeated. Still in the hunt for another PFL tournament championship, her next challenge is ahead as it was announced that she’ll be facing Genah Fabian (4-1).
Harrison swept the field early with wins against Mariana Morais and Cindy Dandois, both clearly overmatched opposition. But Harrison handled them adequately and now faces a fresher athlete with power in her hands, albeit someone that is less experienced and who may struggle with Harrison’s overwhelming grappling ability. Fabian got here by earning victories against Laura Sanchez and a stunner against Julija Pajic. Still a great fight to sort out the top end of the lightweight division.
On the other side of the bracket we have a revitalized Taylor Guardado (2-1), qualifying with wins over Helena Kolesnyk and Laura Sanchez. She meets last year’s finalist Larissa Pacheco (15-4), who has improved her accuracy to land those bombs that were always there. Her hands got her into the playoffs after demolishing Julija Pajić and Helena Kolesnyk as well.
Jamelle Jones (12-6) has had a coming out party in PFL, having two finishes in the year against Cody Goodale and a first round thrashing of Klidson Abreu. But he’s got a major obstacle in his way. Heavyweight Bruno Capelozza (12-5) is another Brazilian that has found his groove back lately. Suffering his last loss against Jiri Prochazka in 2018, he was on the shelf until this year and made it look easy against European threat Ante Delija and then styling on Mo DeReese.
But Delija (18-4) made it to the playoffs as well thanks to a first round TKO over Chandler Cole to rebound from the Cappelozza loss. He’s got a stiff test ahead against Denis Goltsov (27-6), who made light work of MoDereese and went on to defeat Brandon Sayles this year.
Remember Renan Ferreira? He’s the guy that won against Fabricio Werdum in a controversial shocker earlier this year only to have that win overturned to a no-contest. He was very upset about there not being a rematch since Werdum was not medically cleared to continue in the tournament after that. He welcomes England’s Stuart “He-Man“ Austin (15-6) to the PFL cage. Austin holds wins over Satoshi Ishii and Tom Aspinall.
Former Invicta matchmaker and then talent Kaitlin Young (12-11, 1 draw) will also be welcoming a new face to PFL, former Sambo champ, Fight Nights Global and Bellator fighter Marina Mokhnatkina (5-2). She’s still got the grappling in her back pocket, but can also be picked apart by the veteran striker in Young.
Full card is scheduled as follows:
Kayla Harrison vs. Genah Fabian – Lightweight
Bruno Cappelozza vs. Jamelle Jones – Heavyweight
Larissa Pacheco vs. Taylor Guardado – Lightweight
Denis Goltsov vs. Ante Delija – Heavyweight
Renan Ferreira vs. Stuart Austin – Heavyweight
Kaitlin Young vs. Marina Mokhnatkina – Lightweight
Carl Seumanutafa vs. Muhammed DeReese – Heavyweight
Mariana Morais vs. Zamzagul Fayzallanova – Lightweight
Cynthia Vescan vs. Amanda Leve – Lightweight
PFL 2021 #8: The Playoffs takes place on August 19th starting at 6:00pm EST on ESPN+ for the prelims and the main card simulcast on ESPN+ and on ESPN2.
About the author