Brendan Loughnane vs Movlid Khaybulaev
One of the most anticipated fights of the 2021 PFL Season is upon us in the Featherweight post season showdown between Manchester’s Brendan Loughnane and Dagestan’s Movlid Khaybulaev. Loughnane is coming off an amazing performance in his war with Tyler Diamond and has looked red hot so far in 2021. The same can be said about his opponent, Khaybulaev, who is a dominating force in the cage with one of the best knockouts in PFL history. Khaybulaev has shown that he has that same suffocating style that many other Dagestan fighters do, and the result of this fight -in my opinion- will be based on how Loughnane can deal with this. I believe the striking advantage goes to Brendan and the grappling advantage to Movlid, but both men are skilled in all disciplines. Khaybulaev is currently the slight favorite at -155, but I think there’s solid value in Loughnane at +120.
My Pick: Brendan Loughnane
Bubby Jenkins vs Chris Wade
On the other side of the featherweight playoff is a showdown between two wrestling-based fighters, Bubba Jenkins and Chris Wade. Bubba Jenkins put the PFL featherweight division on notice when he defeated his college wrestling rival and the defending Featherweight champion Lance Palmer earlier this year. Jenkins has significantly evolved as a fighter and the results are showing as he is riding a five-fight winning streak. While Chris Wade did not have the same collegiate wrestling success that Bubba Jenkins had, he is still a strong wrestler with solid striking that has helped him win fights all over the world, including in the UFC. I think Jenkins’s confidence is at an all-time high in his MMA career and as a result has the advantage in this fight. The oddsmakers agree as he is currently a -200 favorite. I’m not counting Chris Wade out has he’s a fighter and will take it where he sees best fit to win.
My Pick: Bubba Jenkins
Be sure to catch the PFL tomorrow on ESPN+!