Here's who we think will face-off in the PFL finals for the 2023 season.
The first set of 2023 PFL season fights have finished and we're already starting to see who might be the one to beat in each division. With five of the six 2022 champions returning and a new weight class this year, it makes for a fun 2023 season.
We already saw some heavy favorites fall (both to the 2022 champion of that division) and some new stand-outs emerge.
In this article we'll break-down who we think will end up standing across the smart cage at the end of the sesaon with just one fight separating them from the $1 million prize.
PFL HEAVYWEIGHT FINAL PREDICTION
The heavyweight division is quite possibly the most wide-open of all of PFL's divisions due to the fact that the 2022 champion, Ante Delija, is out of the season due to injury. My pick for the final two could obviously change depending on the upcoming match-ups, but we wouldn't be surprised to see the former champion, Bruno Capelozza and Denis Goltsov in the final two. Currently, they are both ranked in the top two due to both getting first round finishes.
PREDICTION: Bruno Capelozza vs. Denis Goltsov
PFL LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT FINAL PREDICTION
The light heavyweight division has a new man in town with former UFC star Thiago Santos. But after he lost a decision win to last season's champion Robert Wilkinson and with the history of how UFC stars have fared in the PFL, we don't see him going very far. We wouldn't be shocked to see 2022 semi-finalist, Josh Silveira facing off with Wilkinson in the finals.
PREDICTION: Robert Wilkinso vs. Josh Silveira
PFL WELTERWEIGHT FINAL PREDICTION
The PFL welterweight division is quite possibly the most exciting of all the divisions ... so far. Three fighters earned quick six finishes with another earning a highlight reel KO in the second round. Only one of the five fights ended in a decision. That makes this prediction the hardest. I'm torn placing last season's finalist, Dilano Taylor in the final fight. My heart knows he can achieve a finals appearance again but after a first-round KO in the opening bout, he might need to build the confidence back up. So, I'll be picking 2022 champion Sadibou Sy and Magomed Magomedkermov in the finals.
PREDICTION: Sadibou Sy vs. Magomed Magomedkermov
PFL LIGHTWEIGHT FINAL PREDICTION
The first round of the lightweight season was a bit under whelming with all five fights ending in a decision. But that's ok, there are still some clear favorites. I had high hopes for Shane Burgos, and I definitly see him making it at least to the semi-finals but I don't see him in the finals this season. Instead, I see a repeat of 2022 champion Olivier Aubin-Mercier matching up with Clay Collard, but that's only if Collard can find a damn finish!
PREDICTION: Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Clay Collard
PFL FEATHERWEIGHT FINAL PREDICTION
Is it possible to even picture anyone but Brendan Loughnane in the finals again? He's a given. Not only is he the 2022 champion but he's the only fighter to finish his opponent so far. But who will be standing across from him? That's a bit murky, but my gut says we see Bubba Jenkins there again ... and double as dangerous as last season.
PREDICTION: Brendan Loughnane vs. Bubba Jenkins
PFL LIGHT WOMEN'S FEATHERWEIGHT FINAL PREDICTION
This one was tough. And I might get some clapback for this pick, but I have my reasons. Many might think that the easy choice for finals is 2022 lightweight champion Larissa Pacheco but after seeing how much she struggled to make weight, and her fight with Julia Budd (which I think she lost), I don't see her making it all the way to the finals. Instead I see Budd and the only woman to earn a quick six, Amber Leibrock in the finals.
PREDICTION: Julia Budd vs. Amber Leibrock
The next round of fights being in June and take place in Atlanta. FanSided MMA will be on-site and bringing you all the highlights and results as they happen.