The 2022 season of the PFL will start on Wednesday, April 20th at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That card will feature lightweight and the light heavyweight competition—two divisions that got significantly better over the past year. Guys like Robert Wilkinson and Viktor Pesta have joined the light heavyweight division, while the lightweight division has added fighters such as Jeremy Stephens and Stevie Ray. The PFL has been in a bit of trouble lately for their tape delays and sports betting controversy, but a solid season of competition may wash that unwanted media away. Looking toward the 2022 season, here are five predictions for the upcoming competition. Here is an in-depth list of betting apps, just in case these predictions do come true.
5 Things that Could Happen during 2022 PFL Competition
Natan Schulte’s Status as Top Dog of The Lightweight Division Is Over
Natan Schulte won the PFL lightweight title in both 2018 and 2019. Last year, he hit a bit of a speed bump going 1-1 in the PFL and dealing with a big-time injury. Schulte’s dominance, in major part, is to be credited to his great grappling abilities. This year he will have to fight other great grapplers such as Olivier Aubin-Mercier, who he will be fighting in his first fight. The lightweight division is full of other good grapplers such as Raush Manfio, Jeremy Stephens, and Anthony Pettis. Raush Manfio had a great run at lightweight last year. Going undefeated with decision wins over Anthony Pettis, Clay Collard, and Loik Radzhabov in the PFL finale, Manfio will undoubtedly be Schulte’s biggest challenger going into this season.
Julia Budd Will Give Kayla Harrison A Run For Her Money
Julia Budd signed with the PFL late last season and got a decision win over Kaitlin Young at PFL 2021 #10. Kayla Harrison has won the PFL women’s lightweight title in both 2019 and 2021. Harrison has great judo and is extremely good at getting the fight where she wants it to be. Julia Budd is a former Bellator champion who is 3-0 since her last loss to Cris Cyborg. Budd is just as good as Harrison in fighting her way to a decision but she also has great striking. Although these women will not be fighting on the opening card, they should definitely be matched up in the finals.
Ante Delija Will Find His Way To The Championship Once Again
Ante Delija has the best striking skills in the PFL heavyweight division. On top of that, he has smothering wrestling and is pretty good at jiu jitsu. Delija went 0-2 against Bruno Cappelozza in the last season of the PFL. Although he does have a win over Denis Goltsov. The heavyweight division seems to be led by four frontrunners. Those fighters are Ali Isaev, Ante Delija, Bruno Cappelozza, and Denis Goltsov. Delija has 15 more professional fights than Isaev and already has a win over Denis Goltsov. This likely means he is probably going to end up in the finals once again against Bruno Cappelozza.
Kyle Bochniak Will Be The Most Exciting Fighter Of The Season
View this post on Instagram
Featherweight is always one of the most exciting divisions in the PFL. This year it only got better with the additions of Kyle Bochniak, Saba Bolaghi, and Ryoji Kudo. A lot of the guys in the featherweight division specialize in the brawling aspect of MMA. That fits in perfectly for Bochniak as he goes to war almost every single time he is in the cage. His first matchup in the PFL will be on the second card against Bubba Jenkins. After his first fight, the PFL will see Bochniak sells with his fighting style and they will continue to match him up against exciting fighters throughout the season.
Magomed Umalatov Will Make A Big Splash This Year
The PFL welterweight division is made of absolute killers like Saddibou Sy, Rory MacDonald, Magomed Magomedkerimov, and Ray Cooper. Now enters undefeated phenom, Magomed Umalatov. Umalatov is 11-0 in his professional career with nine of those wins by way of knockout. He went 2-0 in the PFL last year but came into the season late and was ineligible for the finale. He will be tested in his first fight this year as he takes on two-time PFL champion, Ray Cooper. If he gets past Cooper in his first fight, the rest of the division will be all eyes on “Prince”.
Main Image via PFL.