PFL (Professional Fighter’s League) continues to narrow things down as Round 2 for a few divisions starts off this week. And the chase for the million led to some risky matchmaking along with some thrilling bouts.
Now, the risk we’re talking about is the possibility for upsets. We’ve already established that there’s always a high possibility for upsets in PFL for some time, and some of these fights could have some potential for just that.
The main event is a good one, with Bruno Cappelozza continuing to steamroll opposition. Cappelozza (15-5) takes on fellow Brazilian Matheus Scheffel (15-8). Scheffel stumbled out the gate against Ante Delija (also on the card) when he got sparked in the second round of their fight. Having him face another heavy hitter, former champ, and opponent that’s quick to close the distance is dicey, but he might be able to deliver a surprise here with his counterstriking. Not a roll of the dice that I’d personally vouch for, but it’s a fight to keep your eye on.
Co-main event honors go to former UFC champ Anthony Pettis (25-12), who didn’t have the 2021 he expected. But he did correct course earlier in the year by submitting Myles Price. He meets Scotland’s Stevie Ray (23-10), who lost a narrow split decision against Alexander Martinez. Martinez just clinched a playoff spot in the last event, so a win here could have them rematch to squeeze through, but he’s gotta get past Pettis first. With his submission savvy, it’s totally possible he might. It’s going to be tough to deal with Pettis’ movement and range on the feet, though. Still a good one to check in for.
Chris Wade (21-7) continues to look like he’s in prime form, having defeated Lance Palmer by decision in his last outing. His agile wrestleboxing style is a tough one to deal with, and he is going to need a lot of that physicality and athleticism against Kyle Bochniak (11-6). Bochniak lost his PFL debut against Bubba Jenkins this year, but Jenkins has also looked great. That’s not a bad loss to have, all things considered. Remaining technical and minding his defense could be instrumental for his success here.
Lance Palmer (22-6) continues on his road to reclaim past glory as he faces famed striker Sheymon Moraes (14-5). Moraes notched a win over Boston Salmon earlier in the year, and Palmer has that aforementioned loss to Wade earlier in 2022. He’d need a quick finish to hope for a shot at clinching a playoff spot, and even that’s not guaranteed.
Ante Delija (20-5) continues to improve and impress, and might not even have reached his final form yet. He’s got next against Shelton Graves (9-5), who’s got a steep uphill climb against the Croatian heavyweight threat. Bubba Jenkins (17-5) is having a grand old time in PFL, looking revitalized and seasoned. He faces Pitbull Brothers acolyte and submission hunter Reinaldo Ekson (18-5).
Denis Goltsov (28-7) is always, always dangerous, and he might just show that again against former UFC fighter and crochet maven Maurice Green (10-6). Another former UFC vet in Juan Adams (9-4) steps in against Sam Kei (8-5), and both are making their PFL debuts.
Finally, former ONE competitor Ryoji Kudo (10-3, 1 draw) turned some heads when ha gave Brendan Loughnane a tougher fight than expected earlier this year. He’ll have another tough test ahead when he faces former Combate Global fighter Alejandro “Gallito“ Flores (21-3). Loughnane (22-4) will open the card against “The Bosnian Dragon“ Ago Huskić (8-4).
You can check out the weigh-ins here:
Bruno Cappelozza (237.2) vs. Matheus Scheffel (254)
Anthony Pettis (155.4) vs. Stevie Ray (155.6)
Renan Ferreira (261.2) vs. Klidson Abreu (258)
Chris Wade (145.6) vs. Kyle Bochniak (145.8)
Ante Delija (246.8) vs. Shelton Graves (265.6)
Bubba Jenkins (145.8) vs. Reinaldo Ekson (145.2)
Denis Goltsov (244.2) vs. Maurice Greene (241.4)
Sheymon Moraes (145.6) vs. Lance Palmer (145.8)
Juan Adams (266) vs. Sam Kei (240)
Alejandro Flores (145.8) vs. Ryoji Kudo (145.4)
Ago Huskic (145.4) vs. Brendan Loughnane (145.8)
PFL 5: Cappelozza vs Scheffel takes place live this Friday night. The prelims and pre-show start at 5:30pm EST streaming exclusively on ESPN+, while the main card starts at 8:00pm with a simulcast on ESPN+ and ESPN.
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