Monday, May 16, 2022

HW & FW Pairings Announced For PFL 2, Khaybulaev Out Of Season

The Professional Fighters League has announced the full featherweight and heavyweight pairings for PFL 2, slated for April 28.

As it heads into its fourth season and second since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the PFL is hoping to rival the top promotions in the sport, something that was proven by the announcement of a stacked opening-season card on April 20.

The rising organization has now offered up another pair of rosters and another set of great matchups for PFL 2. However, there is one notable omission from the 145-pound roster.

Movlid Khaybulaev (19-0-1), who won the 2021 featherweight championship, will not be in action to defend his title in 2022. PFL announced that “Killer” has been ruled out of this season through injury.

With that in mind, fans are guaranteed a new featherweight champ at the end of the year, and they’ll have the chance to see him in action on April 28.

Among the favorites will undoubtedly be 2021 semifinalist Brendan Loughnane (21-4). The Englishman, who famously missed out on a UFC contract despite a stellar performance on Dana White’s Contender Series, impressed during the regular season, but fell short against eventual victor Khaybulaev via split decision. He’ll open his season against newcomer Ryoji Kudo (10-2-1).

Elsewhere at 145 pounds, a quality-looking opening matchup between Lance Palmer (22-5) and Chris Wade (20-7) is set to bring some excitement to PFL 2. Wade has impressed in 10 PFL appearances, falling just one win short of gold in 2021 following a defeat to Khaybulaev on the scorecards. The former UFC lightweight will look to go one step further in 2022 but will first need to get past fellow veteran Palmer, who’ll target a return to his unbeaten 2018 and 2019 form, which fell away through back-to-back losses last year.

Also in action will be former UFC prospect Boston Salmon (8-3). The 31-year-old earned a place in this season’s tournament with a victory on the PFL Challenger Series. He’ll open his campaign against Brazil’s Sheymon Moraes (13-5), who shared the cage with the likes of Zabit Magomedsharipov and Sodiq Yusuff during his days in the Octagon. He’ll look to carry the momentum of back-to-back wins last season, which followed a loss to eventual playoff qualifier Loughnane.

While the featherweight champ will be absent, the heavyweight king will be back to defend. In 2021, Bruno Cappelozza (14-5) returned to action for the first time since a 2018 loss to Jiří Procházka in RIZIN. With four straight wins, he won the gold and $1 million. He’ll look to repeat that feat, starting with a victory over England’s Stuart Austin (15-7) at PFL 2.

Meanwhile, former UFC light heavyweight Klidson Abreu (15-5) will be looking to make up for his debut KO loss to Jamelle Jones last year when he shares the cage with the unbeaten Ali Isaev (9-0), victor of the 2019 PFL heavyweight season.

The announced PFL 2 card is as follows:

5:30 PM ET/ESPN+

Alejandro Flores vs. Saba Bolaghi (featherweight)

Sheymon Moraes vs. Boston Salmon (featherweight)

Ali Isaev vs. Klidson Abreu (heavyweight)

Denis Goltsov vs. Sam Kei (heavyweight)

Bubba Jenkins vs. Jo Sungbin (featherweight)

Lance Palmer vs. Chris Wade (featherweight)

9 PM ET/ESPN2 & ESPN+

Renan Ferreira vs. Jamelle Jones (heavyweight)

Ante Delija vs. Matheus Scheffel (heavyweight)

Brendan Loughnane vs. Ryoji Kudo (featherweight)

Bruno Cappelozza vs. Stuart Austin (heavyweight)

Which fight are you most looking forward to seeing go down at PFL 2 on April 28?

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