Today, the PFL announced their first three events of the 2023 season and there are some straight bangers on the cards. The promotion announced two fights for the first three events and also announced that all the fights will be taking place at The Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
PFL’s 2023 campaign will kickoff on April 1st and things will kickoff in the featherweight and light heavyweight divisions. Headlining the first card is 2022 featherweight champion Brendan Loughnane (26-4) who will be taking on former UFC title challenger Marlon Moraes (23-11-1).
Moraes came out of retirement last year to sign with the promotion and made his debut at the championship event. After controlling the first two rounds of the fight, he was stopped in the third which was his fifth straight loss.
Loughnane came close to capturing PFL gold in 2021, but he wasn’t going to be denied in 2022. After winning every fight leading to the finale, Loughnane had a battle with Bubba Jenkins. Loughnane left no doubts as he stopped Jenkins in the fourth round.
The featured light heavyweight bout on April 1st features a newcomer to the promotion. Former UFC title challenger Thiago Santos (22-11) will be taking on last year’s light heavyweight champion Rob Wilkinson (17-2).
Wilkinson dominated his way through the 2022 season on his way to capturing the light heavyweight championship. He went a perfect 4-0 with four knockouts and not a single fight saw the third round. Last August, Thiago Santos had a war with current UFC champion Jamahal Hill.
After coming up short against Hill, Santos was free to test the market. He ultimately signed with the PFL and he’s getting a shot against the best the promotion has to offer in his first fight.
PFL’s Other Events
In addition to this event, the promotion announced events on April 7th and April 14th. The 7th features the heavyweight division and the debut of the women’s featherweight division. Headlining for the heavyweights is 2022 champion Ante Delija (23-5) taking on Yorgan De Castro (9-3).
A lot of eyes are going to be on the women’s featherweight fight. 2022 lightweight champion Larissa Pacheco (19-4) will be taking on former Bellator featherweight champion Julia Budd (16-5). Pacheco shocked the world handing Kayla Harrison her first professional loss last year.
In that win for Pacheco, she captured the lightweight title. As the promotion seeks greater levels of competition, they are doing away with the women’s lightweight division in favor of the featherweight division for this season.
PFL’s April 14th event will feature lightweights and welterweights. In the main event, 2022 lightweight champion Olivier Aubin-Mercier (17-5) will be taking on the debuting Shane Burgos (15-3).
Burgos was a massive signing for the promotion and one that Dana White really regrets. Burgos was a ranked featherweight contender and now he’s moving up to lightweight for this season. OAM dominated the 2022 season with three decision wins and a decisive knockout over Stevie Ray to win the championship in November.
Rounding out the fight announcements is 2022 welterweight champion Sadibou Sy (13-6-2) taking on Jarrah Hussein Al-Silawi (18-4). All six of these fights are sensational and the promotion is really putting their best foot forward to start the 2023 campaign.