The final event of the first round of the PFL knockouts will take place this Saturday, when the women’s featherweight and lightweight divisions have semi-finals at Copper Box Arena in London (ESPN and ESPN+ at 2 p.m. ET, opening on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET).
The main event will be a fight between the two-time PFL women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison and Martina Jindrova. Harrison, who is undefeated as a pro, entered the match as the 2nd seed, while Jindrova was the 3rd seed.
Also on the card, Chris Wadethe top seed in the feather class, undertakes Brendan Loughnane. Wade was runner-up in the PFL finals last season and made the lightweight semifinals the previous two seasons.
With a spot in the $1 million finals online, here’s how I see Saturday’s games play out.
Women’s lightweight: Kayla Harrison vs Martina Jindrova
Jindrova earned her way into the PFL roster with an impressive win at the Challenger Series, and she continued that with a finish in her final game. But she will face her toughest opponent to date in Harrison. If Jindrova can somehow sustain the fight, she can continue to compete, as she is the better striker. However, against Harrison, everyone was eventually defeated. The odds for Harrison are, as is customary, very high – like the 50-1 difference in some sportsbooks – so bet on her by KO or deposit to get a better result. Guess: Harrison to win by submission.
Featherweight: Chris Wade vs Brendan Loughnane
End of TKO in the first round Kyle Bochniak, Wade was the top seed but had to fight in his hometown of Loughnane. Wade has looked almost flawless this season, while Loughnane has looked less impressive in his last two games. Both men are reliable strikers with good hearts and experience. However, Wade’s wrestling prowess could give him an edge. We saw him use his wrestling to win last season in a fight with Bubba Jenkins. I think Wade continues his dominance here, using his wealth to win over the cunning Loughnane. Guess: Wade to win.
For Kolesnyk, reaching the PFL knockouts was a win in itself. Now that she’s in, she’ll be trying to avenge her loss to Pacheco last season. Kolesnyk must use head movement and keep Pacheco at a distance if she plans to deal with the sadness. Pacheco has absolutely tore the net, finishing off every single opponent she has faced this season. She seems to be in top form to continue her streak against Kolesnyk. Pacheco has enormous power in her hands and has an excellent ground fight, if she feels the need to take it there. Don’t blink, this fight may end as quickly as the last. Guess: Pacheco to win the gap.
Featherweight: Ryoji Kudo compared to Bubba Jenkins
Kudo has been a great surprise addition to the PFL this season. In his first game, he had a lot of success against Loughnane until an accidental headbutt brought the game to an early halt. In the second match, he earned a KO in the first round to qualify for the knockout round. As for Kudo, he has to keep the fighting steady and land early if he has a plan to deal with the discomfort. However, that’s easier said than done against someone as knowledgeable about wrestling as Jenkins. Jenkins has improved a lot on his feet, but there’s simply no reason for him to give that chance to Kudo. I think Jenkins will play this game safely and win. Guess: Jenkins to win by decision.