PFL 8: 2023 Playoffs Preview

PFL 8 Greene Ferreira
(Cooper Neill / PFL)

Tomorrow night, the PFL returns for their second playoff event of the 2023 season. In this event, the heavyweights as well as the women’s featherweight divisions will be taking center stage. In the main event, heavyweight hopefuls Maurice Greene (11-8) and Renan Ferreira (10-3) will square off.

These two men will meet in the middle of the cage with a spot in the finals on the line. Ferreira didn’t get off to a good start this season losing a decision to Rizvan Kuniev. However, Kuniev tested positive after the fight and it was ultimately reversed to a No Contest. Following the No Contest, Ferreira stopped Matheus Scheffel in 50 seconds to earn this spot.

Maurice Greene made his PFL debut last year and lost a decision. He got off to a hot start in the 2023 season with a second round TKO win over Marcelo Nunes. He did drop his last fight against Ante Delija by decision, but he still had enough points to earn his shot against Ferreira. Tomorrow night, he’ll look to take full advantage.

The other heavyweight semifinal matchup pairs Denis Goltsov (31-7) against Jordan Heiderman (7-0). Heiderman was a contestant on the 2022 season of The Ultimate Fighter ultimately falling short. However, he’s never lost in his professional career and he’s 1-0 in the PFL entering tomorrow’s playoffs.

Goltsov enters the cage on a four-fight winning streak. Dating back to 2019, Goltsov is 7-2 in the PFL with his two losses coming against former champions Ali Isaev and Ante Delija. He’s hoping to break through this season and win the championship for himself. It all starts with his semifinal matchup against Heiderman tomorrow night.

PFL Playoffs

The other division in the spotlight tomorrow night is the women’s featherweight division. 2022 lightweight champion Larissa Pacheco (21-4) is looking to continue her dominance as she takes on Olena Kolesnyk (9-5) in the co-main event tomorrow night.

Dating back to the 2021 season, Pacheco has won eight straight fights. During that winning streak, she’s already fought Kolesnyk twice. Both of those times she knocked her out in the first round. She’s an overwhelming favorite to defeat her for a third time tomorrow night.

Kolesnyk is actually been doing very well in the PFL. She’s 4-1 in her last five fights and that lone loss was one of her losses to Pacheco. She knows the odds are steep tomorrow night, but Kolesnyk has promised to bring the fight to Pacheco while looking to shock the world.

The other semifinal event features Marina Mokhnatkina (10-3) against Amber Leibrock (7-5). Since coming over to the PFL in 2021, Mokhnatkina has a record of 5-1. The lone loss came against former champion Kayla Harrison. She’s won four fights in a row leading up to tomorrow night.

Leibrock had a four-fight winning streak going heading into the second featherweight event of the 2023 season. Not only that, she had four straight first round finishes. However, she ran into PFL champion Larissa Pacheco and was stopped in under a minute. She’ll look to bounce back and secure a spot in the finals tomorrow night.