Combat Sports

PFL 3: Nine Fights, 18 Fighters Go to War

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For the third week in a row, The Professional Fighters League brings us more exciting action with PFL 3. This week we have the heavyweights in action, as well as the women’s lightweights. There are nine fights in store, after PFL 2019 heavyweight champion Ali Isaev and PFL newcomer Hatef Moeil have both pulled out of their bout and have re-scheduled to fight in June.

The main event will see one of the PFL’s biggest new signings in former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum make his promotional debut against Renan Ferreira. Undefeated star and 2019 PFL women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison returns to face another PFL newcomer Mariana Morais in the co-main event.

In this article, we’re going to have a look at what else the PFL has to offer. With seven other intriguing scraps and potential knockouts to put some points on the board and to show the former champions, the newcomers are not here to mess around.

PFL 3: The Other Seven Showdowns

Mohammed Usman vs Brandon Sayles

Mohammed “The Motor” Usman (7-1), the younger brother of UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will look to take the league by storm when he makes his promotional debut on Thursday. Mohammed is a versatile fighter just like his older brother, as he has three TKO/KO’s and two submissions in his seven wins.

He finished all of his first three fights in the first round, before losing his fourth and only defeat against UFC heavyweight Don’Tale Mayes on a unanimous decision back in 2018. He bounced back with four wins in four fights in Titan FC from 2019, coming up with two more first round knockouts over Alexis Garcia and Reggie Cato. His last victory came in August 2020 against Terrance Hodges on a unanimous decision before being signed up for PFL.

Brandon “Man of War” Sayles (5-1) holds only one defeat in his career, when he also lost on a unanimous decsion to Chase Gormley back in 2012. The 40-year old went on hiatus between 2013-2016, when he returned to fight and submit Robert Neal in 2017.

Sayles has only fought two more times after the Neal fight, and his last victory came in the National Fighting Championship over Dexter Carthon in January 2018. With three TKO/KO’s and two submission his five victories, it’s clear Sayles doesn’t like to go the distance. Make sure to expect an all out brawl between these two at PFL 3.

Larissa Pacheco vs Julija Pajic

Larissa Pacheco (13-4) is on the hunt for revenge after losing the chance at glory in the 2019 season against Harrison. After five rounds in the championship bout, Pacheco was dominated by Harrison who won on a unanimous decision. Pacheco went her first 10 fights unbeaten, finishing all 10 opponents, including the likes of UFC’s women’s bantamweight competitor Irene Aldana.

The Brazilian competed in the UFC on two occasions, but she got finished by Jessica Andrade and Germaine de Randamie. Pacheco has a quality ground game and she’s shown it with her eight submission victories and her most recent submission win over Bobbi Jo Dalziel in the 2019 PFL season.

Julija Pajic (3-0) makes her promotional debut after impressing in her three professional fights back in 2019. The 23 year-old is one to watch after finishing the three opponents she has faced.

To make her look even better, her three victories have all came in the first round. She holds two TKO/KO’s and one submission. So, Pajic is certainly a fighter to watch out for on PFL 3.

Ante Delija vs Bruno Cappelozza

Ante “Walking Trouble” Delija (17-3) will be looking to put on a show after despair in his first season in PFL back in 2019. After an impressive debut against Carl Seumanutafa, winning via unanimous decision, Delija withdrew from the tournament due to a hand injury.

Delija was on an eight-fight undefeated streak before losing to Dion Staring back in 2013. He has six TKO/KO’s and seven submissions in his 13 victories. His last win was against Oli Thompson in KSW in November 2019. Delija was due to fight Ciryl Gane in the UFC in 2020, but due to issues with him still being contracted with PFL, the fight couldn’t go ahead.

Bruno Cappelozza (10-5) makes his first walk in nearly three years this Thursday, as he returns to fight for PFL for the first time. His last fight came in June 2018, when he competed in Rizin against new UFC star Jiri Prochazka. Cappelozza was knocked out in the first round.

Cappelozza is going to look to capitalise on the feet, with him finishing all of his 10 wins via TKO/KO. Six of those victories have came in the first round. These are potentially the most experienced fighters who are competing against each other on PFL 3.

Cindy Dandois vs Kaitlin Young

Cindy “Battlecat” Dandois (16-5) makes her promotional debut in her 22nd professional MMA bout. Dandois has eight submissions in her 16 wins and she’s been extremely impressive in her last four bouts, with three first round finishes and a second-round armlock in her last win against Eleni Mytilinaki.

Dandois has competed in multiple promotions including Invicta, Rizin, Bellator and the UFC back in 2017 when she lost to Alexis Davis on a unanimous decision.

Kaitlin “The Striking Viking” Young (11-10-1) last competed in July 2020, when she was victorious over Latoya Walker in Invicta after a winning unanimously after three rounds.

Young has fought many brilliant fighters in her 14 years of competing professionally. She even knocked out Miesha Tate after 30 seconds with a head-kick in her third professional bout in 2007.

Genah Fabian vs Laura Sanchez

Genah “Fabioso” Fabian (2-1) had to pull out of the 2019 PFL season due to illness and weight cut issues before a potential matchup with Harrison. She looks to make amends at PFL 3.

Fabian is a World Muay Thai Champion and she originally had her first MMA bout in 2015. She knocked out Joanne Obolevics, but didn’t compete till PFL four years later. Fabian lost her first seasonal bout to Dalziel, but bounced back with a first round knockout over Moriel Charneski. She hasn’t competed since then.

Laura Sanchez (1-0) made her professional debut in 2020 in the Cage Fury Fighting Championship. She didn’t go past four minutes and 25 seconds after she finished Miranda Barber with knees and punches. Both fighters are inexperienced in the MMA department, which makes it all up for grabs in this one.

Denis Goltsov vs Justin Willis

Denis “The Russian Bogatyr” Goltsov (25-6) has fought in the second most fights on the PFL 3 card, just behind the experienced Werdum. Goltsov has been competing since 2010 and lost to Alexander Volkov early on in his career.

Goltsov went unbeaten for four years and 11 months in between 2012 and 2017, winning the ACB Heavyweight Championship against Paul Buentello in 2016. He defended it once, but then he was defeated to Mukhomad Vakhaev to lose his title. He never gained the title back, and joined PFL for the 2019 season. After three impressive vicotires, he lost to Isaev in the semi-final by being knocked out in the third round.

Justin “Big Pretty” Willis (8-2) was looking like a real force in the UFC’s heavyweight division before losing to Curtis Blaydes in 2019. After his decision loss to Blaydes, Willis never fought in the UFC again and this will be his first fight in just over two years.

Willis is one powerful human and this is one of the most exciting matchups on PFL 3. In his time in UFC, Willis beat the likes of Mark Hunt, Chase Sherman and Allen Crowder.

Helena Kolesnyk vs Taylor Guardado

Helena “Pretty” Kolesnyk (5-2, 1NC) looks to get back to winning ways after lost her last two bouts. She last fought in July 2018, losing by submission to Felicia Spencer. She’s finished all of her five victories.

Taylor “No Mercy” Guardado (0-1) will be looking for her first ever professional MMA victory on PFL 3 in her second bout. She lost her first fight in March 2020 on a unanimous decision against Taneisha Tennant.

Which fight are you most looking forward too on PFL 3? Let us know your predictions in the comments below!

Follow me on Twitter @JakeBroderick98 for more combat sports news and discussions. Also, make sure to follow @OT_Heroics for all of your sporting needs. Don’t forget OTHeroicsMMA for all things MMA.

Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images

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