PFL needs to stop booking friends to fight each other

  • PFL booked two friends to fight and it went badly last season
  • Now it seems they have done it again with Pitbull vs. Braga
  • PFL vs. Bellator takes place on Saturday Feb. 24

Gabriel Braga
Gabriel Braga / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Last year the PFL fumbled the 2023 season when it made a fight between two friends (and godfathers to each other's children) Raush Manfio and Natan Schulte. Many felt the fight was made to ensure specific people got into the playoffs but that backfired and the promotion then had to penalize the two friends for a lackluster fight that they made in the first place.

And now it might be happening again ...

After Jesus Pinedo pulled from his PFL vs. Bellator fight with Patricio "Pitbull" Freire due to injury, PFL booked fellow Brazilian, Gabriel Braga in his place. The only thing is the Braga family is close with the Freire family. So much so that Freire made a video explaining how hard it will be to fight Braga on Saturday.

"So, when we were already exchanging tickets, with our suitcases ready to go back to Brazil, the organization (...) announced that the fight would happen - unfortunately - with compatriot Gabriel Braga," he said on a video in Portuguese, translated by Google.

Patricio Pitbull says he watched Gabriel Braga 'grow up'

It's not just that they are fellow countrymen and friends but Freire was close with Braga's father, Diego, who was murdered just weeks ago in Brazil. The fact that Braga is even fighting is a testament to his dedication to the sport.

"We will have Gabriel Braga in front of us, a guy I really like, I really respect his story, his family's, his father's. Unfortunately, this happened, but we are professionals and we decided to do this fight," Freire said.

Freire's brother Patricio also spoke of the two families relationship.

"Gabriel Braga has already declared that he is a fan of ours," he said. "We saw him grow up, he had a very strong friendship with his father, but a fight is a fight, we have to continue the work, both he and we have to work, and the friendship continues anyway."

Both Freire's brothers posted about Diego's death when it happened.

Braga was initially scheduled to fight Aaron Pico. Pico will now fight Henry Corrales.

We hope that come Saturday we don't see a repeat of the Manfio and Schulte fight but if we do, we'll know who to blame ... PFL.


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