The Professional Fighters League is set to return with arguably its best card of the year in terms of name recognition. Headlining PFL 4 will be Women’s boxing’s most decorated champion of all-time Claressa Shields. She is scheduled to make her highly-anticipated professional and promotional MMA debut against Brittany Elkin (3-6).
Former UFC and WEC champion Anthony Pettis (24-11) was scheduled to take on 27-year old undefeated Alex Martinez (8-0), who coming off a 3-point decision victory over Loik Radzhabov (13-3-1) on the PFL 1 card back in April. Unfortunately, Showtime was forced to pull out of the contest due to an undisclosed illness. Taking his place will be two-time lightweight defending champion Natan Schulte (20-4) who was also scheduled to fight on the prelims
The rest of the card will feature PFL’s featherweights including Bubba Jenkins (15-4), Brenden Loughnane (20-3), Tyler Diamond (12-1), and Lance Palmer (22-3). A couple of Lightweight bouts will also be scheduled to round out the entire card.
Meet The Fighters: Natan Schulte vs Alex Martinez
Natan Schulte (20-4-1)
The 29-year old Brazilian Natan Schulte has been shuffled around on a Thursday night PFL 4 card and has landed in about vs young prospect Alex Martinez in a very late replacement fight. Fighting out of American Top Team, Schulte has twice before reigned supreme over the division. This fight at PFL 4 is win or go home for the defending champion.
Coming off a unanimous decision defeat from the hands of Marcin Held, Schulte will be in desperation mode on Thursday night if he plans on defending his Lightweight championship for a third consecutive PFL season. Coming up short would mean a new Lightweight PFL champion would be crowned for the 2021 season.
Alex Martinez (8-0)
Alex Martinez is a young undefeated prospect that also made his PFL debut back in April on the first card of the year. Fighting out of Alberta, Canada, the 27-year old Paraguayan spent most of his early career competing for Ikon Fighting Federation and Brave Combat Federation. At PFL 1, Martinez earned himself a split-decision victory and three points after stepping in as a replacement against Loik Radzhabov (13-3-1), all as the +315 underdog.
Currently sitting in third in the Lightweight PFL standings with three points, Martinez will look to build his name off of the former two-time PFL Lightweight Champion and get a marquee win on his record at PFL 4.
Natan Schulte vs Alex Martinez PFL 4 Breakdown and Prediction
Similar to his last fight, Schulte’s opponent has a grappling heavy style just like his own. More often than not, this results in the fighters engaging in a striking-heavy bout.
For Martinez, it’ll be about how fast he can take the fight to the ground. For as much as we know about the young Martinez, he will feel his advantage will be in the wrestling aspect, where Schulte would be quite comfortable. However, if the Paraguayan can have superior offensive wrestling, he may be able to get the fight into favorable positions, which could lead to a decision victory.
Natan Schulte vs Alex Martinez Official Prediction: Schulte via Submission
With plenty of exciting fights coming up at PFL 4, which bout are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.
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Featured Image Credits to: Professional Fighters League