Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

With the playoff seeding set for 4 of the six weight courses within the PFL, all eyes flip to welterweight and ladies’s light-weight divisions. Both weight courses can have their second and last regular-season fights of the yr this Friday at PFL 6 (major card on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, prelims on ESPN+ at 6 p.m.).

Kayla Harrison, the promotion’s greatest star, will take heart stage at Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta in the primary occasion in opposition to Kaitlin Young, who steps in to interchange former Bellator champion Julia Budd. Harrison is one in all 4 lightweights (together with Martina Jindrova, Olena Kolesnyk and Budd) with three factors and might lock up a spot within the playoffs with a win.

In the co-main occasion, Rory MacDonald, the one welterweight with six factors getting into Friday’s card, takes on Sadibou Sy. MacDonald enters the struggle following a first-round submission of Brett Cooper at PFL 3. Also on the cardboard is two-time PFL champ Ray Cooper III, who missed weight in his first struggle and shall be trying to proper the ship with a must have win over Brett Cooper.

There’s nonetheless a lot to type out. Here’s how I see Friday’s fights taking part in out, together with playoff situations calculated by the PFL.

Women’s light-weight: Kayla Harrison vs. Kaitlin Young

In order to safe a spot on this season’s PFL playoffs, Harrison might want to safe a end in her struggle in opposition to the artful veteran Young. Young, who’s primarily a striker with first rate takedown protection, has loads of expertise within the cage in all forms of fights. But as soon as Harrison will get shut, she’s going to take this struggle to the bottom, and it ought to be solely a matter of time earlier than Harrison will get the end. With the win, Harrison would as soon as once more be the favourite to win the title.

Prediction: Harrison to win.

What Harrison must make the playoffs: A end in any spherical.

What Young wants: A win to remain alive.

Welterweight: Rory MacDonald vs. Sadibou Sy

MacDonald seemed just like the dominant model we anticipate to see out of the veteran in his final struggle. Look for him to take the identical method he did final season in opposition to Curtis Millender — take the struggle to the mat. MacDonald can have the key benefit there. Since he was capable of get a first-round end in his first struggle of the season, there isn’t any strain for him to get a end right here — any win will get him in.

Prediction: MacDonald to win.

What MacDonald wants: A win of any type; a end in any spherical clinches the No. 1 seed.

What Sy wants: A end in any spherical.

Welterweight: Ray Cooper III vs. Brett Cooper

For both fighter to have an opportunity to get into the playoffs, a first- or second-round end is required. Ray Cooper III, final season’s champ, missed weight in his first struggle and adopted that by dropping a call to Carlos Leal. Assuming Ray Cooper III is available in on weight, I anticipate him to take the struggle to Brett Cooper early and get a first-round KO/TKO end.

Prediction: Ray Cooper III to win through TKO/KO.

What Ray Cooper III wants: A primary- or second-round end to remain alive.

What Brett Cooper wants: It’s win or go residence.

Welterweight: Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Joao Zeferino

In the same state of affairs to final season, Magomedkerimov missed the primary struggle of the season and can want a first- or second-round end as a way to advance to this season’s playoffs. Last season, he had a positive matchup in opposition to an opponent who was primarily a striker with no reply to his floor assault. This time round he has a really well-rounded opponent in Zeferino, who wont be as simple to submit.

I nonetheless like Magomedkerimov right here, even when it is a win by determination. He is the higher striker, and if he can get high place, he can management Zeferino on the bottom. If he wears him down sufficient, it may open up for a submission.

Prediction: Magomedkerimov to win.

What Magomedkerimov wants: It’s end or go residence.

What Zeferino wants: It’s win or go residence.

Women’s light-weight: Genah Fabian vs. Larissa Pacheco

Despite lacking weight, Fabian was capable of get the upset win over Julia Budd. Fabian confirmed good takedown protection and placing as she took over the struggle within the second and third rounds. Pacheco continued her successful methods with one other first-round KO in her final struggle. Pacheco seems to be in the very best bodily form of her life, and at the same time as a world-class grappler, her placing is changing into a serious risk. Look for Pacheco to get the win right here as she has the instruments to face or take the struggle to the bottom, the place she can have a serious benefit.

Prediction: Pacheco to win.

What Fabian wants: A primary- or second-round end to remain alive.

What Pacheco wants: A win of any type; clinches the No. 1 seed with a end in any spherical.

Welterweight: Jarrah Al-Silawi vs. Magomed Umalatov

We first noticed Al-Silawi land a flying knee within the Challenger Series to earn his PFL contract. Then he acquired a detailed determination win over veteran Gleison Tibau. However, in that struggle, we noticed Al-Silawi have points defending the takedown. If that continues, he can have a really troublesome time in opposition to Umalatov. I anticipate Umalatov to make use of his placing to shut the space, then get a takedown early. Umalatov wants a end to have an opportunity on the playoffs, but when he does not get that achieved, I anticipate his wrestling to dictate the struggle and get him the win.

Prediction: Umalatov to win.

What Al Silawi wants: A end in any spherical.

What Umalatov wants: A end to remain alive.

Welterweight: Carlos Leal vs. Nikolai Aleksakhin

Leal returns to the PFL sensible cage after getting the largest win of his profession over final season’s champ, Ray Cooper III. In that struggle, we noticed quite a lot of placing and a very good model of struggle administration from Leal. I anticipate the same struggle right here as he takes on Aleksakhin, who’s primarily a striker. Look for Leal to make use of his placing to shut the space and take the struggle to the ground, the place he can have a serious benefit. Leal might be the wild card of the division if he can safe one other dominant win right here.

Prediction: Leal to win.

What Leal wants: A end in any spherical.

What Aleksakhin wants: It’s win or go residence.

Women’s light-weight: Marina Mokhnatkina vs. Abigail Montes

This is a must-win state of affairs for each fighters. In her PFL debut, Montes confirmed that she has strong wrestling and energy in her arms. Unfortunately for her, Mokhnatkina, a sambo world champion, has extra expertise and is the higher striker. I like Mokhnatkina right here to make the most of her sambo background and get the struggle to the bottom, the place she ought to have the ability to earn herself the win and a possible spot within the playoffs.

Prediction: Mokhnatkina to win.

What Mokhnatkina wants: A win to remain alive.

What Montes wants: A win to remain alive.

Women’s light-weight: Martina Jindrova vs. Zamzagul Fayzallanova

Jindrova placed on a placing clinic in her final struggle in opposition to Vanessa Melo. I anticipate nothing much less on this struggle. Jindrova would be the higher striker by a big margin. If she will press the motion early and keep away from wild punches, this ought to be a comparatively simple win for Jindrova.

Prediction: Jindrova to win.

What Jindrova wants: A stoppage in any spherical.

What Fayzallanova wants: A win to remain alive.

Women’s light-weight: Olena Kolesnyk vs. Vanessa Melo

In what seems to be a placing battle, Kolesnyk will look to get the win for a spot on this yr’s playoffs. In her final struggle, Kolesnyk drastically improved her placing and her head motion. If she will do the identical right here, I imagine she will earn a call win over Melo.

Prediction: Kolesnyk to win.

What Kolesnyk wants: A stoppage in any spherical; it strikes her into first place, pending later outcomes; a call win would put her in second, pending different outcomes; a loss doesn’t eradicate her. .

What Melo wants: Cannot clinch a playoff spot within the struggle, however strikes into first place with a stoppage by 1:24 of Round 1, pending latter outcomes; eradicated by a loss.

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