The Professional Fighters League (PFL) is the fastest growing sports league at the moment and is set to return tonight on ESPN. The lightweight and light heavyweight divisions will see fighters working their way to the PFL Playoffs. In the PFL, only the top four athletes in each division earn a PFL Playoff berth and a chance to fight for a 2022 PFL World Championship. The prize is a $1M winner’s purse.
Clay Collard meets Alexander Martinez in the main event of this evening. The Idaho-native and crowd favourite beat Jeremy Stephens at the start of this season. With three points, Clay is now tied with a pair of fighters, including tonight’s opponent: Martinez. They are all in third place in the division. Both Collard and Martinez need a decisive victory to secure a place in any potential postseason.
Jeremy Stephens faces Myles Price. He needs a win to secure any hopes for the postseason. Following a Fight of the Year performance with Stephens coming up just short against Collard, he must finish Price early to impress.
Antonio Carlos Jr., the 2021 PFL World Light Heavyweight Champion, is one of the favoured fighters at 205-pounds this year. He takes on 2022 PFL Challenger Series winner Bruce Souto in the co-main event.
Raush Manfio returns and looks for a second consecutive title after his underdog run to the 2021 Lightweight title. Manfio, struggled in his first fight of 2022 with Don Madge. Manfio, however, rallied in the third round, delivering a clear knockout and bringing home four points, placing him in 2nd place heading into the second half where he will duel with ”The Canadian Gangster” Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
PFL 4 airs live Friday, June 17 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ (English and Spanish) the action continues at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ESPN+
Several boxing bouts are set for the weekend. Tonight, live from Mexico, the undefeated Mexican David Cuellar (21-0) faces experienced Nicaraguan Yader Cardoza (26-17). Cardoza challenged for the WBC lightweight title in 2013 but has since had a shaky career. He comes with a recent three-win streak, so he hopes to bring the momentum into his fight in front of enemy territory.
UK heavyweight Nathan Gorman (17-1) takes on Czech Tomas Salek (15-3) in Merseyside, UK. Gorman has won 4 out of his last 5 bouts but the stats favour Salek in knockout power, with his 87% KO percentage in contrast to Gormans 65%. The Fite.tv PPV US show is expected to begin at 6:20 PM EST / 3:20 PM PST. The Channel 5 broadcast of the card is expected to start at 9:00 PM (BTS).
Tomorrow, June 18th will see a light-heavyweight bout as the main event in Madison Square Garden. In a twelve-round fight, Russian Artur Beterbiev (17-0) faces American Joe Smith Jr (28-3). The contest is for the unified light heavyweight championship of the world, with the WBC, IBF & WBO belts on the line. Beterbiev has 17 wins with 17 knockouts, giving him a 100% KO percentage! This hugely favours his power, and his record is untarnished. Smith Jr, who has more professional bouts under his belt despite being 5 years the junior of the Russian, hopes to stop the Russian powerhouse. He has the home advantage, but the Russian seems confident that he will walk away with another win. The fighters are expected to ringwalk at around 11:00 PM EST / 8:00 PM PST at Madison Square Garden Theater, New York, United States, which is around 4:00 AM BST in the UK.