PFL announces sixth event with Kayla Harrison taking on Julia Budd

MMA, PFL

Earlier today, the PFL announced their sixth event of the season which will be the final regular season event of 2022. Arguably the biggest star in the promotion and two-time defending lightweight champion Kayla Harrison (13-0) will be headlining the event.

Harrison will be facing her toughest challenge yet as she takes on former Bellator champion Julia Budd (16-4). PFL signed Budd hoping to provide Harrison with some stiffer competition in the 2o22 season.

Prior to her PFL debut, Budd was 16-3 and had only ever lost to Cris Cyborg, Amanda Nunes, and Ronda Rousey. However, she wasn’t able to get the win in her promotional debut. Genah Fabian played spoiler and defeated Budd by decision.

However, the PFL still wanted to book Budd against Harrison and that’s exactly what they did. Kayla Harrison began her 2022 season with a dominant decision win over Marina Mokhnatkina. Harrison wasn’t thrilled with the performance, but it was still a one-sided victory.

Rest of PFL 6

Another women’s lightweight matchup to keep your eyes on is Larissa Pacheco (16-4) and Genah Fabian (5-2). As mentioned, Fabian played spoiler to Julia Budd and Larissa Pacheco has been the second most dominant lightweight in the PFL.

Dating back to last year, Pacheco has won three straight by first round stoppage. However, she missed weight last year and was forced out of the playoffs. Now, she’s hoping to make another run at Kayla Harrison’s crown.

The welterweights will also be on display at PFL 6. In the co-main, Rory MacDonald (23-8-1) will be taking on Sadibou Sy (10-6-2). MacDonald got his 2022 season off to a great start with a first round submission over Brett Cooper.

Ray Cooper III will also be the card as he looks to bounce back. Former champion Magomed Magomedkerimov is also making his 2022 PFL debut after having to miss the first event of the season.

It’s a tremendous card and it can be viewed in it’s entirety below.

PFL 3 Preview: Kayla Harrison returns to defend her crown

MMA, PFL

Tomorrow night the PFL returns for their third event of the 2022 season. Featured tomorrow night will be the women’s lightweights and the welterweights. However, there is on lightweight fight on the main card on ESPN2.

In the main event of the evening, Kayla Harrison (12-0) is back as she looks to win her third PFL championship in a row. Standing in her way in this opening round contest is Marina Mokhnatkina (6-2).

The Russian fought once in PFL last year picking up a decision win. Prior to that, she fought twice in Bellator, but she’s going to have the toughest fight of her career tomorrow night in fighting Kayla Harrison.

Kayla Harrison might be the best female fighter on the planet. She became a free agent after winning the PFL championship last year and the promotion pulled out all the stops to keep her. Now, she’s back and she’s a huge favorite to win the lightweight championship again.

PFL 3 Preview

Another defending PFL champion is in the co-main event and that’s defending welterweight champion Ray Cooper III (24-7-1). Cooper was sensational last year in capturing his second consecutive PFL championship.

Like Harrison, Cooper is looking for his third straight season title and he kicks off tomorrow against Carlos Leal (16-3). Leal comes into PFL 3 riding an impressive 10-fight winning streak. The last two wins have come this year in the PFL challenger series. He’s poised to give Cooper a challenge tomorrow night.

Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (24-12) will also be making his season debut tomorrow in the lightweight division. After his first fight got pushed back, Showtime returns as he takes on Ireland’s Myles Price (11-7).

Pettis was a huge signing for PFL but failed to live up to expectations in 2021. The former UFC champ went 0-2 in his lone two fights last year. Now, he’s more focused than ever as he looks to make a statement in the lightweight division.

Also on the card is Rory MacDonald (22-8-1). Like Pettis, MacDonald had an underwhelming first season with PFL going 1-2 in three fights. He takes on Brett Cooper (28-15) tomorrow night as he looks to redeem himself.

After signing with PFL and making her debut last year, Julia Budd (16-3) is on the card tomorrow taking on Genah Fabian (4-2). Budd is a former Bellator champion and she’s expected to give Harrison the biggest challenge this year.

The rest of the PFL 3 card can be viewed in the tweet below.

Free agency looms for Kayla Harrison ahead of PFL Finals

MMA, PFL

Tomorrow night in the main event of PFL‘s tenth event of the 2021 season, we will see the finals for the women’s lightweight division. The massive favorite, Kayla Harrison (11-0), will look to remain perfect and pick up her third straight PFL championship.

Standing in her way is Taylor Guardado (3-1) who will be looking to pick up the massive upset. Guardado lost her professional debut last year, but a perfect PFL season at 3-0 has earned her a spot in the finals against the Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time PFL champion.

While Guardado is a good opponent, there’s more focus on what comes after the fight for Kayla Harrison. No disrespect to Guardado, but I can’t see any scenario where Harrison walks out of the cage tomorrow night without capturing her third PFL championship.

That is the general consensus in the MMA community which is why the focus of this week is about what comes next. Once the PFL finals are over tomorrow night, Kayla Harrison is officially a free agent and she’s the best female free agent MMA has ever seen.

Will Harrison stay with PFL?

Harrison has competed at 155 pounds for the entirety of her career with PFL. However, last year, she cut down to 145 pounds to show the world that she’s very capable of making the featherweight limit which opens the doors for a couple of superfights.

PFL is obviously wanting to retain her and they’re trying to make the promotion even more attractive from a competition standpoint. They recently signed Julia Budd (15-3) and Budd will be making her debut tomorrow night for the promotion. Budd was a longstanding champion in Bellator.

Speaking of Bellator, they will be calling Harrison with the dream of Harrison fighting one of the greatest of all time in Cris Cyborg (24-2). Harrison has always wanted to fight Cyborg and was frustrated when PFL didn’t sign her following her release from the UFC.

And speaking of the UFC, that is where the biggest fight of all is. The fight I’m referring to would pair Harrison against her teammate and the greatest female fighter of all time, Amanda Nunes (21-4). Nunes is the two-division UFC champion who is widely considered to be the best ever.

Harrison wants the world to view her as the greatest of all time. She told the media this week that she’s going to be following some comments from UFC president Dana White who advised her to stay with PFL and continue beating up on less competition.

Harrison took the comments in stride as she knows the game. The PFL champion knows the game and she knows how to play it. Where she ends up signing will be one of the biggest MMA storylines between tomorrow night and the end of 2021.

Bellator 244 Preview: Ryan Bader looks to continue his reign against Vadim Nemkov

Ryan Bader

Bellator makes it’s return tomorrow night with another Friday night fight night. In the main event of the evening, double champ, Ryan Bader (27-5), will be defending his light heavyweight crown against Vadim Nemkov (11-2). Let’s take a dive into the four main card fights that will be on the Paramount Network.

Ryan Bader looks to continue Bellator dominance

Since getting knocked out by Anthony Johnson in the UFC back in early 2016, Ryan Bader has been on an incredible run. He knocked out two straight opponents before jumping to Bellator. Since joining his new promotion, he’s gone 5-0, 1 NC on his way to capturing two titles.

This will be Bader’s first fight back at light heavyweight since 2017 when he kncoked out Linton Vassell in his only title defense. Bader is incredibly strong with very good power and good wrestling. I’m very curious to see how he looks back at 205 pounds.

Vadim Nemkov is no joke. He trains under the great Fedor Emelianenko and he comes into this contest riding a six fight winning streak. He’s 4-0 since joining Bellator with wins over Liam McGeary, Phil Davis, and Rafael Carvalho.

There is really not a spot in the fight where Nemkov won’t be comfortable. He’s got good grappling, he’s got good submissions, and he has solid power. I think this is a very dangerous matchup for Ryan Bader.

The public sees this as an easy Bader win, but the odds are close for a good reason. Nemkov can easily win this, and I’m wondering just how much the cut to 205 will hurt Bader. I think this fight goes the distance and the judges won’t be unanimous, but I think Bader keeps the belt.

Prediction: Ryan Bader by Split Decision

Julia Budd vs Jessy Miele

In the co-main event of the evening, we see a women’s featherweight contest between Julia Budd (13-3) and Jessy Miele (9-3). Budd is coming off a title loss back at Bellator 238 against Cris Cyborg.

Prior to the Cyborg loss, Budd was completely dominant in the promotion. The former featherweight champion was 7-0 with a few finishes. Budd is a very solid overall fighter, she just got overwhelmed by Cyborg.

In this contest, she will look to get back to a Cyborg rematch. I don’t see an incredibly deep talent pool at 145 in Bellator, but I believe that a rematch between Budd and Cyborg would garner some attention.

Jessy Miele is going to look to spoil the party. Miele is a very solid grappler who comes into this contest riding a four fight winning streak. She won her Bellator debut over Talita Nogueira.

Miele has got to make this an ugly fight. I think she needs to make it a grappling heavy contest and get the better of the positions if she hopes to take it. I think the winner is next in line, and I think ultimately we are going to secure the rematch tomorrow night.

Prediction: Julia Budd by Unanimous Decision

Roy Nelson vs Valentin Moldavsky

The second fight on the main card pairs “Big Country” Roy Nelson (23-18) against Valentin Moldavsky (9-1). Nelson is looking to turn things around in his Bellator career.

Since making the jump from the UFC, things have not been smooth sailing for Big Country. Nelson is just 1-4 since joining Bellator and that one win came in his debut.

Nelson is still as tough as they come, but he’s just been outworked for the most part. The 44 year old veteran seems to be a one trick pony these days trying to land his signature overhand right. The problem for Nelson is he hasn’t knocked anyone out in four years.

The Fedor protege, Moldavsky, enters the cage tomorrow night riding a four fight winning streak. At 4-0 in the promotion, Moldavsky might only be a win or two away from getting the shot at the heavyweight crown.

Moldavsky has very good overall skills, but really does a good job of using his grappling and good pace to outwork his opponents. I think both of those things are really going to help him here. As long as he avoids that massive right, I think this is pretty easy to predict.

Prediction: Valentin Moldavsky by Unanimous Decision

John Salter vs Andrew Kapel

Kicking off the main card is a middleweight matchup between John Salter (17-4) and Andrew Kapel (15-6). Both of these men come into this Bellator middleweight contest riding multiple fight win streaks.

This is your classic striker versus grappler matchup. For Salter, he’s won two straight and he’s 7-1 since joining the promotion back in 2015. Out of his 17 victories, only one of them has gone to the scorecards. Salter is slick on the ground and has nine submissions.

Kapel comes into the fight riding a five fight winning streak that includes his knockout over King Mo Lawal back in November. That knockout came in Kapel’s Bellator debut. Kapel has very smooth striking skills due to his muay thai background. He does have ten submissions, but those are usually setup through hurting his opponents standing.

This is a very good matchup, and I think the winner could be close to a middleweight title shot. I’m going to go with John Salter in this one. I think it’s back and forth, but Salter catches a late submission to secure the win.

Prediction: John Salter by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 3

Bellator Outlook

Bellator is really starting to pick up some momentum after returning. They have put together a few solid cards and this week they announced some big fights for September. I think this every other week cadence. I think you’ll see Bellator really do some big things the rest of the year.