PFL has a rising star in championship contender Jesus Pinedo

2023 PFL 7: San Antonio at the Boeing Center at Tech Port in San Antonio, Texas, Friday, Aug. 4, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

This past weekend in the main event of the first PFL Playoff event of the 2023 season, we saw a featherweight matchup between last season’s runner-up at 145 Bubba Jenkins (21-7) and Jesus Pinedo (22-6-1). It felt like all of the attention was on Jenkins heading into the event on Friday night.

However, maybe more attention should have been on Pinedo. Pinedo had a quiet entry into the PFL season this year losing, a split decision to Gabriel Braga. Ultimately, I think that decision was the correct one, but you could’ve easily made the argument that Pinedo won that fight. Surprisingly, losing that decision setup something truly special for Pinedo.

Pinedo was paired up with 2022 PFL champion Brendan Loughnane after that bout. Everyone was focused on the former champion who had demolished Marlon Moraes in his first bout of the 2023 season. Pinedo was there to shock the world and that’s exactly what he did.

Pinedo knocked out Loughnane in the first round which earned him a ticket to the playoffs. Not only did it earn him a spot in the playoffs, the knockout win knocked Loughnane out of the playoffs. His reward for knocking out Loughnane was a fight against Bubba Jenkins.

PFL’s Budding Star

With all the attention once again directed in the other corner, Pinedo was there to shock everyone one more time. Once again, that’s exactly what he did. After nearly finishing the fight in the first, Pinedo was able to get Jenkins out of there in the second round to punch his ticket to the PFL championships in November.

A split decision loss lined Pinedo up with two straight fights against the 2022 champion and 2022 runner-up. He shined in those fights and is now a growing star for the PFL. The full circle moment happens for Pinedo now as he gets another shot at Braga who defeated him in the opening event of the season.

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