PFL 3 Preview: Kayla Harrison returns to defend her crown


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.

PFL announces welterweight and women’s lightweight season opener


The PFL announced today their third event of the 2022 season which will feature the kickoff for women’s lightweight and welterweight. The event will take place on May 6th on ESPN.

In the main event, PFL superstar Kayla Harrison (12-0) will start her quest for a third straight season championship. In her season debut she will be taking on Russia’s Marina Mokhnatkina (6-2).

Harrison was the biggest story over the past few months in terms of MMA free agency. At one point, it appeared that Harrison was destined to go to a new home, however, the PFL came forward with an offer that she couldn’t turn down.

Now, she will begin the quest for a third championship. Mokhnatkina will be making her second appearance with the promotion after debuting last August. She’s coming off of two straight wins as she enters this lightweight contest against Harrison.

Rest of PFL 3

Another noteworthy fight in the women’s lightweight division features the PFL season debut for Julia Budd (16-3). The former Bellator featherweight champion will be taking on Genah Fabian (4-2).

Fabian went 2-1 last season with the lone loss coming against Kayla Harrison. Many are already anticipating a lightweight finale this year featuring Harrison and the former Bellator champion.

In terms of the welterweights, Ray Cooper (24-7-1). will be looking to capture his third PFL championship and he will debut this year against the undefeated Magomed Umalatov (11-0). Cooper is coming off a sensational season that was capped off with his knockout win over Magomed Magomedkerimov.

Umalatov will be making the walk for the third time with the PFL. He won two fights in 2021 which included a knockout over Kyron Bowen. Rory MacDonald (22-8-1) is also on the card on May 6th as he takes on Brett Cooper (28-15).

Worth noting that the lightweight contest between Anthony Pettis and Myles Price has also been moved to this PFL 3 card. You can see the full card in the tweet below.

PFL 7 Preview: Welterweight and Lightweight playoffs begin tonight

Tonight the PFL is back with their seventh event of 2021 and the playoffs begin tonight. It will be the welterweights and lightweights that will take center stage tonight as four men look to punch their ticket to the finals and one step closer to one million dollars.

In the main event of the evening, former Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald (22-7-1) will be taking on former PFL champion Ray Cooper III (22-7-1). This is the welterweight matchup we were hoping to see out of this PFL season.

That said, nobody thought we’d see it in the semifinals. MacDonald was the victim of a horrific decision against Gleison Tibau back at PFL 5 which robbed him of a higher seed. Had MacDonald won that fight, he could’ve met Cooper III in the finals.

Instead, we see it in the semis. Cooper III has been dominant so far with two wins including a first round submission thus far in the 2021 PFL season. Whoever wins this matchup tonight could be the favorite heading into the finals.

The other semifinal matchup features former PFL champion Magomed Magomedkerimov (28-5) taking on Sadibou Sy (9-5-2, 1 NC). Magomedkerimov has never lost under the PFL banner and he’s the big favorite to get it done tonight against Sadibou Sy. Sy is just 3-3, 1 NC in seven career PFL bouts.

PFL Lightweight Playoffs

Opening up the featured card on ESPN is the two lightweight semifinal matchups. The popular Clay Collard (20-8) takes on Raush Manfio (13-3) in one of the matchups. Both of these men have shared the same two opponents thus far in the 2021 season.

Collard and Manfio have decision wins over Anthony Pettis and Joilton Lutterbach. Both of Manfio’s wins were by split decision while Collard was able to get a unanimous decision over Anthony Pettis.

This is a tremendous matchup and is likely to gain a lot of attention at PFL 7. The other lightweight semifinal actually features a rematch from the first PFL event of 2021.

Alex Martinez (8-1) will be taking on Loik Radzhabov (14-3-1). Martinez picked up the split decision back at PFL 1 and Radzhabov bounced back to defeat Akhmed Aliev by first round knockout at PFL 4.

Alex Martinez lost his first professional fight in his last appearance by dropping a split decision to Natan Schulte. That said, despite both men being 1-1, they’ve both secured a spot in the semifinals tonight.

Playoff Predictions

  • Rory MacDonald vs Ray Cooper III – Cooper III by Unanimous Decision
  • Magomed Magomedkerimov vs Sadibou Sy – Magomedkerimov by Unanimous Decision
  • Clay Collard vs Rausch Manfio – Collard by Unanimous Decision
  • Alex Martinez vs Loik Radzhabov – Martinez by Split Decision

PFL 5 matchups announced; Rory MacDonald – Gleison Tibau to headline

The PFL has announced their matchups for their fifth event of the 2021 season. This fifth event will feature the second matchups between the welterweights and the light heavyweights of the PFL.

In the main event of the evening, former Bellator champion and top UFC contender Rory MacDonald (22-6-1) will be taking on UFC veteran Gleison Tibau (35-15). The fifth PFL card of 2021 will take place on June 17th.

MacDonald will be making his second appearance with the Pro Fight League. He was the promotion’s biggest signing prior to the 2020 season, but last season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the PFL up and running in 2021, MacDonald made his debut at PFL 2 when he submitted Curtis Millender in the first round. MacDonald is being looked at as the favorite to become the Pro Fight League welterweight champion.

Standing in his way on June 17th is the tough Gleison Tibau. Tibau lost his opening matchup at PFL 2 by decision. That loss snapped a two-fight winning streak which included a victory over former Bellator champion Will Brooks.

At 37 years old, Tibau is now fighting in the welterweight division after spending the majority of his career at lightweight. He’s been in there with some of the best in the world and he’s looking to pull a massive upset at PFL 5.

Other matchups to watch at PFL 5

I’m incredibly excited to see the 2019 PFL champion Ray Cooper III (21-7-1) compete in a few weeks. Cooper had a dominant first round submission victory back in April to start his 2021 season.

Ray Cooper III made his PFL debut in the 2018 season. He started 4-0 which included two stoppage wins over former world champion Jake Shields. Cooper was then submitted in the finals. However, he bounced back to win the 2019 season and become welterweight champion.

He will be taking on Nikolay Aleksakhin (24-5, 1 NC) on June 17th. Aleksakhin had his first matchup of the season end in a No Contest after an accidental eye poke back in February. That was Aleksakhin’s second appearance in the PFL cage.

His first came back in 2019 when he scored a TKO win over Jesse Ronson. That No Contest snapped a seven-fight win streak. He should be a good test for the former PFL champion in a few weeks.

I’m also very excited to see the matchup between light heavyweights Vinny Magalhaes (19-12, 1 NC) and Antonio Carlos Jr (11-5, 1 NC). The two UFC vets are two of the best submission artists in the game. If you’re a fan of grappling this is definitely one to watch at PFL 5.

You can check out the full lineup for the Pro Fight League’s fifth event of 2021 below.

PFL 2 Recap: MacDonald and Cooper shine in 2021 season opener

Last night, PFL held their second event of 2021. Last week, the promotion held their first event and it was a night filled with upsets. Two former champions lost and Anthony Pettis lost his highly anticipated PFL debut.

Last night, Rory MacDonald (22-6-1) was set to make his PFL debut. MacDonald signed an exclusive deal with the Pro Fight League just before 2020. He was a massive signing and he was expected to make his debut during the 2020 season.

Of course, the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID. With that, MacDonald has sat on the sidelines waiting to get back into the cage. Well, he got that chance last night.

Meeting him in his PFL debut was Curtis Millender (18-7). Like MacDonald, Millender is a veteran of both the UFC and Bellator. He was a recent signing for PFL after MacDonald’s original opponent fell through for last night’s second event.

When the fight got underway, it didn’t take long for MacDonald to get the fight to the ground. Given MacDonald’s overall skillset, his path to victory in this one was on the ground and he didn’t take long to get it there.

MacDonald was able to get Millender’s back, but he was struggling to lock in a rear-naked choke. The Red King started working heel kicks to the thighs and opened up his hooks to do so.

Millender saw this as an opportunity and he tried to get up. However, in doing so, he went right into MacDonald’s trap. MacDonald locked in the choke when Millender stopped fighting the hands and he got the submission win in his PFL debut.

PFL Champion Impresses

In the co-main event of the evening, previous PFL champion Ray Cooper III (21-7-1) returned to take on Jason Ponet (20-13-1). The fight didn’t last very long and Cooper was incredible impressive.

In the first round, the two men found themselves in a clinch along the fence. Ponet attempted a knee but it was caught by the former PFL champion. Cooper slammed Ponet to the ground and started working on the floor.

It didn’t take long before Cooper locked up an arm-triangle for the submission victory. Both MacDonald and Cooper were incredibly impressive at PFL 2 with their first round submission victories.

I, along with many fight fans, am very excited about the potential matchup between MacDonald and Cooper. Whenever it does happen during the 2021 season, it will definitely be one to watch.

PFL 2: What to watch for

Tonight, PFL will return for the second event of 2021. Last week, the promotion made it’s return after taking 2020 off due to the global pandemic. It was an extremely eventful first night back for the Pro Fight League. The night was filled with big upsets.

Former PFL champions Lance Palmer and Natan Schulte both lost by unanimous decision last week. The two former champions were sizable favorites in their first fights of the 2021 season. In the main event, PFL‘s biggest signing of 2020, Anthony Pettis (24-11), made his debut.

Pettis took on the incredibly popular Clay Collard (19-8). Collard spent last year in the professional boxing ring, but he returned to PFL for the 2021 season. The first two rounds of their fight was all Collard who nearly finished Pettis a couple of times.

In the third round, Pettis almost pulled off the comeback when he landed a beautiful head kick that he transitioned into a big knee. However, Collard survived and went on to win a decision. Probably wasn’t exactly what PFL executives were thinking for their first night back, but this is MMA where anything can happen.

PFL 2 – Fights to Watch

Tonight, PFL will host their second event of 2021. Of course, all of the attention is going to be on former UFC and Bellator welterweight, Rory MacDonald (21-6-1). MacDonald was a massive signing for PFL and was expected to compete in the 2020 season.

However, the pandemic shut things down so he is just now getting set for his promotional debut. He’s had an opponent switch and he is taking on Curtis Millender (18-6) in the main event. Like MacDonald, Millender is a veteran of both the UFC and Bellator.

This is expected to be a very good matchup for PFL’s second main event of 2021. I’ve also got my eyes on Ray Cooper III (20-7-1) tonight. Cooper was the 2019 welterweight PFL champion and he’s taking on Jason Ponet (20-12-1) in the co-main event.

I’m very excited about the possibility of Cooper and MacDonald meeting at some point during this PFL season. It will be very interesting to watch how they both look tonight in their first fight of the season. The event is filled with solid fights and it should be a good watch for MMA fans.

David Michaud out of PFL headliner with Rory MacDonald; heart condition could force retirement

PFL is getting ready to kick things off this month. After having 2020 off due to the pandemic, the Pro Fight League has been gearing up for a major 2021 season. One of the division’s generating the most buzz has been the welterweight division.

The welterweight season is set to kick off on April 29th and PFL was putting forth a phenomenal main event to kick things off. One of the big storylines in 2020 was the PFL signing of former UFC and Bellator fighter, Rory MacDonald (21-6-1).

MacDonald didn’t get to compete last year, but many have been anxious to see him back. PFL was throwing a great fight at him right away by having him take on the 2019 runner-up in David Michaud (18-6).

However, we now know that the fight is not taking place. It’s not just that the fight isn’t taking place, but David Michaud might never compete in PFL and mixed martial arts ever again.

Today, Michaud took to Twitter to announce that he wouldn’t be competing at PFL‘s event on April 29th due to a heart condition. The heart condition is severe enough where Michaud may never compete again.

PFL’s Next Steps

David Michaud had a three-fight run in the UFC back in 2014/2015. However, it was his run in PFL that saw him really find himself in the sport of mixed martial arts.

When Michaud made his debut in the 2019 season, he was finished in the first 20 seconds. While it was certainly not the way he wanted to start his PFL journey, Michaud didn’t give up.

He went on to win three consecutive fights. That landed him with a shot at Ray Cooper III and one million dollars in the PFL finals. Ultimately, Michaud came up short and Cooper got the second round TKO win.

However, Michaud had been working extremely hard and wanted to show off his skills this season. PFL gave him the biggest fight possible, but due to this condition, we may never see him compete again.

Your heart has to feel for Michaud. At this time, there is no word from PFL on what they are planning on doing. They will likely add another welterweight to their season, but we could see a shifting in the opening matchups to keep MacDonald in the main event slot on April 29th.

PFL announces welterweight matchups including Rory MacDonald – David Michaud

The 2021 PFL season is getting ready to kick off next month. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve seen the promotion announce the opening matchups for many of their weight classes including the men’s lightweight division.

The first round of lightweight matchups is headlined by the anticipated matchup between Anthony Pettis and Clay Collard. Today, PFL announced the welterweight matchups that will kick off on April 29th.

The headliner of the 4/29 card is the welterweight matchup between Rory MacDonald (21-6-1) and David Michaud (18-6). Michaud is no stranger to the PFL ring. He competed in the 2019 PFL season.

Michaud was stopped in his first fight against Sadibou Sy in just 17 seconds. However, after that fight, Michaud would rattle off three consecutive wins that put him in the PFL season finale against Ray Cooper III.

Ultimately, Michaud was stopped in the second round and came up short in his opportunity to capture PFL gold. Well, the 2019 runner-up gets the biggest matchup in the opening round of the 2021 season.

MacDonald’s PFL Debut

On April 29th, Rory MacDonald will be making his highly anticipated PFL debut. MacDonald is already a veteran of the UFC and Bellator and now he will be trying out the Pro Fight League for the 2021 season.

We haven’t seen MacDonald since he lost to Douglas Lima back at Bellator 232 in October of 2019. That was the final fight on MacDonald’s Bellator contract and the talented welterweight started exploring his options.

In the end, MacDonald decided to sign with PFL for their 2020 season. Of course, the season never happened after COVID shut everything down. Now, more than a year later, MacDonald finally has his PFL debut set.

Rory MacDonald looked like he was going to be the next great superstar in MMA. MacDonald grew up in the sport competing in all areas of martial arts. He was considered to be a new-breed MMA fighter and his mentor was Georges St. Pierre.

However, MacDonald never fully lived up to expectations. MacDonald came within a round of becoming UFC champion, but Robbie Lawler pulled off a rally TKO. MacDonald did become a champion in Bellator, but he couldn’t put together a long reign.

Now, the 31 year old starts off on his new journey with PFL. Considering the length of his career, it’s shocking to think MacDonald is only 31. I’m very excited to watch him compete in this upcoming PFL season. A refreshed Rory MacDonald could mean trouble for the Pro Fight League welterweights.

PFL’s biggest stars ready for new season

Professional Fighters League’s reigning champions along with its new big-name signees are all set for its 2021 season.

World champions Kayla Harrison, Lance Palmer, Natan Schulte, and Ray Cooper III will be back to defend their titles in the most innovative and fastest-growing Mixed Martial Arts league on the planet.

The PFL has also added former world champions Rory MacDonald, Fabricio Werdum, Anthony Pettis and boxing icon Claressa Shields and many more world-class fighters in what promises to be its biggest offering yet.

The new PFL season will be aired live on the ESPN family of networks beginning in April.

Innovative format

Since its debut three years ago, the PFL has taken the MMA world by storm. Along with the finest collection of athletes globally, the league has continued to grow its fight-night and in-cage technology through SmartCage and IBM.

PFL fighters will compete in regular-season fights to accumulate points that will determine who will advance to the playoffs. The survivors from six different weight classes will battle it out in an exciting knockout style format in the playoffs. Each champion will be rewarded with a million-dollar paycheck.

Return of the champions

Harrison, a former Olympic gold medalist, Palmer, Schulte, and Cooper III are among the select few who have already run the gauntlet of the PFL and cashed in.

MacDonald is arguably one of the top pound-for-pound fighters of his generation. He took note of the PFL’s innovations and signed with the promotion in 2019. The welterweight fighter will make his debut this year.

In 2020, the PFL roster grew with the additions of such fighters as Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira and Sung Bin Jo. It served as a precursor to the earth-shattering signings of Werdum, Pettis, and Shields.

New stars

Werdum has risen to the top of the heavyweight division on more than one occasion, beating the likes of Fedor Emelianenko and Cain Velasquez along the way.

On the other hand, Pettis is also a former lightweight champion who has also competed at welterweight. His resume includes victories over Benson Henderson, Charles Oliveira, and Donald Cerrone.

Meanwhile, Shields is aiming to become the PFL’s crossover star. She will continue her quest inside the boxing ring while also beginning her career as a mixed martial artist this year. The three-division boxing world champion has been training at the world-famous Jackson-Wink MMA gym in New Mexico in preparation for her much anticipated PFL debut.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Inside PFL’s rise as no.2 global market leader in MMA

While the UFC continues to reign over the landscape of mixed martial arts worldwide, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) has exploded into the scene and now finds itself right behind the industry leader after just three years.

In an interview with, PFL founder Donn Davis said that the league had established itself as the number-two MMA company globally on multiple factors, including fighter roster, worldwide audience, distribution, and growth.

“So I think what you’re seeing now, by all metrics, is the PFL is the number-two MMA company worldwide. In terms of fighter roster, PFL is number two. For a worldwide audience, PFL is number two. In terms of worldwide distribution, PFL is number two, and in terms of growth, PFL is number two,” Davis said.

Top MMA Promotions - PFL

Season format

But what pushed the PFL out into the front of the pack, alongside the UFC?

Founded in 2017, the league has already been able to put on two massively-successful seasons. Now, they are gearing up for the third season, which kicks off in April.

Notice how the PFL’s year is called a season?

That’s because the league follows a tournament-style format, which is unique in the world of MMA.

The league uses a regular season, playoffs, and finals format, which means the fighters will need to win to advance. At the end of the season, a world champion will be crowned for each weight division, and the winners are awarded one million dollars.

Stacked roster

Making that tournament format all the more exciting for the fans to watch is the stacked roster of fighters that the PFL boasts.

Each of the league’s six weight divisions features veterans and up-and-coming talent from across the globe. The PFL is home to many of the MMA world’s top stars, including PFL Women’s Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison, two-time PFL Featherweight Champion Lance Palmer, two-time PFL Lightweight Champion Natan Schulte, and many others.

In 2021, the league will have an influx of world championship talent led by Fabricio Werdum, Anthony Pettis, Rory MacDonald, and three-division boxing world champion Claressa Shields, who will be making her mixed martial arts debut.

Top-notch management

While the PFL indeed features an all-star roster of fighters, they also have the number one executive team in sports.

Founder Donn Davis, who was also behind Revolution LLC, has brought together some of the top minds in media, sports, and digital to lead the league to the top.

Leading the charge is PFL CEO Peter Murray, who helped sign some of the biggest names in sports during his time with Under Armour. Executive Producer George Greenberg has over 40 years of experience and is coming off as an Executive Vice President for Fox Sports. President Ray Sefo was the founder of the World Series of Fighting and is a combat sports legend.

Those big names are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the PFL’s executive management roster.

Overwhelming support

The PFL is also backed by a world-class team of investors, including Swan & Legend Venture Partners and Matterhorn Private Equity, and Ted Leonsis, David Blitzer, Mark Lerner, Kevin Hart, Mark Burnett, and Tony Robbins. The league has also managed to secure sponsorships with AB InBev,, The Marines, and many others.

The PFL can be seen in the United States via ESPN and in an additional 160 more countries worldwide via various platforms and sports networks.

With all these considered, it’s no surprise that the PFL is already at the top of the MMA mountain, alongside the UFC. With another big year in store in 2021, there’s no telling the heights that the fastest growing sports league in the world can reach.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo