The final event of the 2021 PFL season goes down on Wednesday night with six belts and six million dollars up for grabs. It’s been a season to remember this year with superstar signings Anthony Pettis and Fabricio Werdum not even making it to the play-offs. From quick finishes to dominant performances, we’ve had it all. Now, let’s see what’s in store for the final event.
PFL 10: Preview of Potential Champions
Kayla Harrison vs Taylor Guardado
The main event can only be one person, the face of PFL, Kayla Harrison. She defends against the highly skilled prospect Taylor Guardado. Harrison has been dominant throughout her career with an excellent undefeated record of (11-0). She made her MMA debut in 2018 after winning gold medals in the 2012 & 2016 Olympics in the 78kg category in Judo. Harrison has three first-round finishes this season, with her latest coming against Genah Fabian in the semi-finals.
Guardado loves to grind her opponents down with her wrestling ability, with all four of her fights going the distance so far. Since losing her first professional fight in 2020, she’s been on a hot streak since signing up for the PFL 2021 season, with three wins to her name this year. The question is, can anyone stop Harrison? Guardado is tough but in-experienced. It could be another short night’s work once more for Harrison, or could Guardado shock the world?
Magomed Magomedkerimov vs RayCooper III
In the co-main event, we have a potential fight of the night, with the Russian Magomed Magomedkerimov taking on America’s own Ray Cooper III for a second time. Magomedkerimov submitted Cooper via guillotine choke to become the first-ever PFL welterweight champion in 2018.
They were supposed to fight for the second time in the 2019 play-offs, but Magomedkerimov had to withdraw due to illness. Cooper went on to win the tournament finishing David Michaud to win the $1 million prize. Both are in their primes, with Cooper on a five-fight win-streak and Magomedkerimov topping that with a 13-fight win-streak. The last and fourth defeat of his career came in March 2015.
Bruno Cappelozza vs Ante Delija
A new heavyweight champion will be crowned this season, with Bruno Cappelozza facing Ante Delija. Delija will be looking for some redemption from the first event of the season when it only took Cappelozza 46 seconds to find the finish over Delija.
A right hook stumbled the Croatian, and the Brazilian did what he does best, unleashing powerful shots to the point where his opponent crumbles. Both have had two wins since they last fought, and we expect this one to go longer than the first. Don’t blink because the power and speed these two have could have this fight over quickly.
Movlid Khaybulaev vs Chris Wade
Another exciting and unpredictable match-up we have in store in the featherweight division, as the undefeated Movlid Khaybulaev takes on “The Long Island Killer” Chris Wade.
Khaybulaev fought with all of his power to keep that unbeaten streak alive in his semi-final contest against Brendan Loughnane. A split decision in the Russian’s favour led him through to the final. Wade grinded to a classy and composed victory in his semi-final bout against Bubba Jenkins. The American is on a three-fight win streak as he heads into one of the toughest tests of his career.
Antonio Carlos Junior vs Marthin Hamlet
The light heavyweight finale consists of two PFL rookies as former UFC athlete Antonio Carlos Junior facing Marthin Hamlet.
After his release from the UFC in February, Carlos Junior signed up for the 2021 season as one of the favourites for the 205 lb. title. He took the challenge by storm and produced a first-round submission in his first bout against Tom Lawlor. He progressed through to the finals by defeating 2019 PFL champion Emiliano Sordi via unanimous decision.
Hamlet had the easiest semi-final of them all, with his fight-ending extraordinarily. After only thirteen seconds, Cezar Ferreira pulled his hamstring, which led to the Brazilian falling on the floor. Hamlet capitalized by getting on top and releasing a dozen strikes before the referee intervened.
Loik Radzhabov vs Raush Manfio
The 2019 PFL finalist Loik Radzhabov looks to get himself redemption with another shot at the title this year, but Raush Manfio will be looking to stop him, as he finds himself in the final two for the lightweight title at the first time of asking.
The Hungarian Radzhabov started the season in losing fashion against Alex Martinez via split decision. He bounced back with a stunning knockout over Akhmed Aliev, and a classy victory in a re-match against Martinez saw him stroll through to the finals.
Manfio has been an underdog through the season, and now he finds himself one win away from becoming a champion and a millionaire. He’s currently on a three-fight win streak, with wins over Pettis and Clay Collard added to his resume.
And Who Else?
A non-title bout has paved its way onto the main card of PFL 10, but it’s no surprise with it being a female boxer and newly-made martial artist Claressa Shields. After her successful debut over Brittney Elkin, Shields makes her second appearance in MMA and PFL, as she takes on undefeated Mexican with a record of (2-0), Abigail Montes. The bout is before the co-main event, given priority over four of the title bouts.
Two former UFC athletes, Omari Akhmedov and Don Madge make their PFL debuts. Akhmedov meets Jordan Young, who appeared only once at light heavyweight in the 2021 season, losing to Lawlor. This bout will be at Akhmedov’s usual weight of 185lbs.
Madge didn’t appear in the UFC for almost two years, with four of his fights falling through since he last fought. Madge was unbeaten at (2-0) in his brief stint in the UFC. Nowadays, he’s looking for the $1 million prizes in the PFL lightweight division. Nathan Williams will be the first man to test his skills on Wednesday night.
Former Women’s Featherweight Bellator champion Julia Budd decided to leave Bellator and join PFL, despite being on a two-fight win-streak. Her first opponent will be Kaitlin Young, who was unsuccessful at making the playoffs in her first season in PFL.
Which fight are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image Credits to PFL