Tomorrow night at the 2023 PFL World Championship, we are going to see the welterweight title be decided in a rematch. 2022 champion Sadibou Sy (16-6-2) will look to win his second straight championship as he takes on the tough Magomed Magomedkerimov (33-6).
If you want to talk about dominant fighters in the PFL, it doesn’t get much more dominant than Magomedkerimov. Magomedkerimov was the 2018 championship and he has a staggering 15-1 record with the promotion. This season, he’s a perfect 3-0 with two first round finishes. Among those fifteen wins includes a win over 2022 champion Sadibou Sy.
After Magomedkerimov defeated Sy in 2021, Sy had a professional record of 9-6-2. He wasn’t looked at as anything special. However, he really turned things around in 2022 going 4-0 including a win over Rory MacDonald. Following that, he had two sensational knockouts to start this season off. However, the defending PFL champion struggled in his semifinal win against Carlos Leal which left much to be desired.
PFL Championship Prediction
I don’t think these are the same two guys who fought in the Smart Cage back in 2021. Sy has really evolved and turned himself into an elite mixed martial artist. However, has he done enough to close the gap on Magomedkerimov? That I’m not so sure of.
We know how good Sy is on the feet and we’ve seen Magomedkerimov get himself into trouble when he spends too much time on the feet. Just see the second fight with Ray Cooper III. However, if Magomedkerimov fights to his strengths and utilizes his grappling, I think there’s reason to be optimistic if you’re in his camp.
So, who walks away PFL champion in 2023? I think you’re going to see Magomedkerimov get his hand raised at the end of the night. I expect him to fight with a lot of forward pressure and he’s not going to let Sy get comfortable from distance. It won’t be the most exciting fight of the night, but expect Magomedkerimov to win his second season title.
Prediction: Magomed Magomedkerimov by Decision