The 2023 Professional Fighters League (PFL) playoffs roll on with a series of semi-final matchups on Friday night from the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The 2023 PFL 8 event will feature five main card bouts in the heavyweight and women’s flyweight divisions. The feature bout of the evening is a heavyweight tilt between Renan Ferreira and Maurice Greene.
The 2023 PFL 8 card has been marred by injuries, poor weight cuts, and state athletic commission drama.
The scheduled main event fight between Ferreira and Marcelo Nunes was scrapped when the No. 3 seed Nunes was forced to withdraw due to injury thus allowing Greene to step in. In the penultimate bout of the night, Olena Kolesnyk weighed in 1.8 pounds overweight for her semi-final bout against Larissa Pacheco. By New York State Athletic Commission rules, Kolesnyk must forfeit 20% of her purse to Pacheco and she will enter the contest with a one-point deduction on her scorecard. In this scenario, Pacheco could lose the fight by scorecard decision and advance to the 2023 PFL Women’s featherweight final.
Unlike the UFC which runs single event driven shows, PFL utilizes a “season system” for their events. The 2023 PFL season kicked off on April 1 in Las Vegas and will run through the mid-to-late Fall. Winners of their respective weight class will receive a $1 million prize.
Easy money! Although you won’t win much if you decide to throw a few shekels down on Larissa Pacheco, it’s likely the safest bet of the evening. In addition to the already discussed weigh-in drama with Olena Kolesnyk, the ladies have already fought twice in 2021 and 2022 with Pacheco earning first-round stoppages in each fight. Pacheco is on an eight-fight winning streak heading into Friday’s semi-final matchup, she’s won six of those fights by TKO or KO. The 2022 PFL Women’s Featherweight Tourney winner might be the closest thing to a stone cold, lead pipe lock that there is this weekend.
Renan Ferreira comes into the 2023 PFL 8 main event with an odd few fights in his recent ledger. Dating back to 2021 PFL 3, Ferreira has had three bouts changed to “no contest” due to video replay and opponents testing positive for performance enhancing substances, four wins (three by strikes), and a submission loss. Ferreira’s most recent win was a :50 KO of Mattheus Scheffel at 2023 PFL 5. And now, one step away from making it to the PFL Heavyweight Tournament Finals, Ferreira has to fight a replacement fighter.
Despite the odd circumstances of Ferreira’s last two-plus years in the sport, he should come out on top against Maurice Greene. Greene has lost four of his last six fights, including a TKO loss to former Dallas Cowboys’ DE Greg Hardy at UFC Vegas 12. Ferreira has some thunder in his hands with eight KO/TKO wins and Greene is susceptible to being stopped, he’s been KO/TKO’d in 25% of his fights.
Bet on Renan Ferreira (-375)