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Predicting the Outcomes of the 2023 PFL World Championship Title Bouts

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

On Friday, November 24th, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) will wrap up another memorable season with the 2023 PFL World Championship, featuring one of the most stacked finale cards in league history.

Apart from having big names and former champions such as Kayla Harrison, Ray Cooper III, Aspen Ladd, Derek Brunson, and many others, Friday’s season-ending offering also includes the traditional six world championship bouts, with the winners not only taking home bragging rights, but also a hefty million-dollar purse.

This season’s set of world title bouts are quite intriguing, with each bout potentially being a tightly-contested affair.

Ahead of “MMA’s Richest Night”, here are predictions for all six world championship bouts:

Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Clay Collard for the PFL Lightweight Championship:

Olivier Aubin

Headlining the 2023 PFL World Championship card is a lightweight title bout between last season’s champion “The Canadian Gangster” Olivier Aubin-Mercier taking on fan-favorite “Cassius” Clay Collard.

A veteran of the UFC, Aubin-Mercier has been on an impressive run since joining the PFL. Last season, “The Canadian Gangster” continued his undefeated run all the way to a PFL championship. Collard, on the other hand, has established himself as a must-see fighter in the PFL, with exciting wins over some of the biggest names in the league.

While Collard has proved to be a tough out for the PFL’s 155-pounders, Aubin-Mercier is more well-rounded, and should emerge victorious.

Prediction: Olivier Aubin-Mercier by Decision.

Denis Goltsov vs. Renan Ferreira for the PFL Heavyweight Championship

Denis Goltsov

In the co-main event, two of the PFL’s hardest hitters collide for the PFL Heavyweight Championship, as Denis “The Russian Bogatyr” Goltsov faces Renan “Problema” Ferreira.

A PFL veteran since 2019, Goltsov has recorded ten wins inside the PFL SmartCage, with six of those wins coming by way of KO or TKO. Ferreira, on the other hand, wasted little time in showing his explosive power, recording two of the fastest knockouts in PFL Heavyweight history. Four of his five PFL wins have come by KO or TKO, with three of those coming in under a minute.

With 36 stoppage wins between the two of them, it’s unlikely that Goltsov and Ferreira go the distance. While Ferreira might be the PFL’s most feared knockout artist, Goltsov has more tools in his arsenal and this should carry him to a stoppage win and the PFL Heavyweight Championship.

Prediction: Denis Goltsov by Stoppage

Larissa Pacheco vs. Marina Mokhnatkina for the PFL Women’s Featherweight Championship

Denis Goltsov

For the first time in league history, a female 145-pound titleholder will be crowned, as 2022 PFL Women’s Lightweight Champion Larissa Pacheco meets Marina Mokhnatkina for the PFL Women’s Featherweight Championship.

The PFL’s most dominant fighter not named Kayla Harrison, Pacheco finally broke through last season and captured PFL gold while also becoming the first person to defeat Harrison in the process. This season, Pacheco is on track to make history by becoming the PFL’s first two-division champion. Mokhnatkina, on the other hand, has quietly been impressive since joining the PFL in 2021, compiling a 5-1 record, including back-to-back dominant wins this season.

As impressive as Mokhnatkina has been, Pacheco will likely prove to be too vicious and too powerful, which will lead to another historic title reign.

Prediction: Larissa Pacheco by KO/TKO

Sadibou Sy vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov for the PFL Welterweight Championship

Magomed Magomedkerimov

Former titleholders collide, as 2022 champion Sadibou “The Swedish Denzel” Sy faces 2018 champion Magomed Magomedkerimov for the PFL Welterweight Championship.

One of the PFL’s longest-tenured fighters, Sy has made the playoffs in each of his five seasons in the league, including finals berths in the last two seasons, and a title run in 2022. Magomedkerimov, meanwhile, returns to the PFL finals for the third time in his career, and remains dominant inside the SmartCage, with an impressive 15-1 record including eight wins via stoppage.

Sy has been greatly impressive in the last two seasons, but could see his amazing run come to an end at the hands of the very dominant Magomedkerimov. The two 170-pounders crossed paths back in 2021, with Magomedkerimov taking the decision win. History will likely repeat itself, with Magomedkerimov emerging victorious and becoming a two-time PFL champion.

Prediction: Magomed Magomedkerimov by Decision

Joshua Silveira vs. Impa Kasanganay for the PFL Light Heavyweight Championship

Magomed Magomedkerimov

A pair of PFL up-and-comers get their chance at glory, as Joshua Silvera takes on Impa “Tshilobo” Kasaganay go head-to-head for the PFL Light Heavyweight Championship.

A graduate of the PFL Challenger Series, Silviera has been remarkable since joining the main roster, picking up five wins in six outings, including three straight stoppage wins this season. Kasanganay, who also passed through the Challenger Series, has made the most of his maiden PFL season with three impressive wins of his own, including one against former finalist Marthin Hamlet.

In one of the more evenly-matched bouts of the night, this light heavyweight title bout could go either way and should be an exciting watch. With Silveria being a little more well-rounded however, it could ultimately be enough to lead him to victory and PFL gold.

Prediction: Joshua Silveria by Decision

Gabriel Braga vs. Jesus Pinedo for the PFL Featherweight Championship

Jesus Pinedo

In the first title fight of the night, two PFL newcomers target championship gold, as Gabriel Braga meets Jesus “El Mudo” Pinedo for the PFL Featherweight Championship.

Another product of the PFL Challenger Series, Braga was able to translate his Challenger Series success into an impressive maiden PFL season, where he went undefeated with wins over Pinedo, Marlon Moraes, and Chris Wade. Pinedo, meanwhile turned in one of the most stunning seasons in PFL history, with back-to-back upset knockout wins over 2022 champion Brendan Loughnane and perennial top contender Bubba Jenkins to reach the Finals.

Braga may have a win over Pinedo from earlier in the season, but what the latter has done since then has been astounding. It would not be surprising to see Pinedo pull off another upset win to become PFL champion.

Prediction: Jesus Pinedo by KO/TKO

Don’t miss the 2023 PFL World Championship this November 24th, live on ESPN+ PPV!

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