Tomorrow night at the 2023 PFL World Championships, the featured prelim of the evening actually features a bout for the 2023 featherweight title. Two of the breakout stars of this season will fight for the second time as the undefeated Gabriel Braga (12-0) takes on Jesus Pinedo (22-6-1).
As mentioned, this is the second time this season that these two have fought. They fought at the opening event back in April with Braga picking up the close split decision victory. However, since that first fight, I don’t think anyone in the season has been more impressive than Jesus Pinedo.
Pinedo’s second fight came against 2022 champion and promotional star Brendan Loughnane. While many didn’t give him a chance, Pinedo went out there and knocked out the defending champion in the first round. Following that, he took on the very dangerous Bubba Jenkins. Again, there were a lot of doubters and again, Pinedo delivered a knockout win.
Following Braga’s win over Pinedo, Braga took on former UFC title challenger Marlon Moraes. Braga was able to score the first round knockout in that fight which led to his matchup against Chris Wade in the semifinals. While it was a split decision win for Braga, it was pretty clear that he was the winner and earned his spot to the PFL championships.
PFL Championship Prediction
I’m expecting another close fight between these two, but I think we’ve seen a lot more growth out of Pinedo this season than we’ve seen from Braga. I really like the improvement we’ve seen from Pinedo and I believe that this can be his crowning achievement.
Because of his wins to earn this spot in the finals, Pinedo comes into this fight as the slight betting favorite. I think that’s warranted and I believe that he’s going to avenge his loss earlier in the season. I don’t think it’ll come in the first two rounds, but in the third round, Pinedo will land something big.
From there, I think he’ll pour it on Braga and ultimately walk away with the 2023 PFL featherweight championship and one million dollars.
Prediction: Jesus Pinedo by TKO – Round 3