PFL 8 Preview – Tournament Brackets

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After a blockbuster PFL 7 last weekend in New York, the promotion takes the trip across the pond to put on their first ever event in the United Kingdom. PFL 8 takes place from the Metropoint Area in Cardiff, Wales. Last week we had the light heavyweight and lightweight semi-finals and in Wales, it is the welterweights and heavyweights that take centre stage.

PFL 8 – August 13th – Cardiff

Welterweight Playoffs

The main event of PFL 8 features former UFC title challenger, Bellator champion and 2021 PFL tournament semi-finalist, Rory MacDonald taking on the undefeated Magomed Umalatov. MacDonald is seeded #1 in the tournament off the back of his impressive victory over Brett Cooper back in May. He did compete against Sadibou Sy at PFL 6 in a disappointing one-sided loss. MacDonald is 2-3 in his PFL career thus far and hasn’t been able to put on back-to-back wins since 2018. He’ll be looking to bounce back against Umalatov, however, it certainly won’t be an easy task.

Umalatov holds a 12-0 record and has finished 11 of these wins. At 3-0 in the PFL so far, ‘Prince’ has looked extremely impressive. With two finishes and a decision victory under the banner having debuted in 2021, Umalatov is looking to continue that winning run. Seeded #4 heading into the semi-finals, the Russian will be looking to upset MacDonald.

The other welterweight semi-final features PFL veteran, Sadibou Sy taking on the Brazillian, Carlos Leal. We already told you how Sy defeated MacDonald last month and he’s now enjoying a two-fight winning run, however, was defeated in the sem-finals last year by Magomed Magomedkerimov. Sy will be looking to extend his winning run to three for the first time since 2016.

His opponent, Leal, will be looking to extend his winning run to 12, having last lost back in 2014. The former LFA welterweight king is a veteran of 20 professional fights but is just three fights into his PFL career. Interestingly, Leal most recently knocked off Ray Cooper III via unanimous decision in May, handing him his first promotional loss in eight fights. Expect Leal to look to carry that momentum into PFL 8 in Cardiff.

Lightweight Tournament Winner Prediction – Magomed Umalatov

Heavyweight Playoffs

The co-main event in Cardiff will see Ante Delija face off against Renan Ferreira. Delija was the runner-up in last year’s playoffs, only losing in the final to Bruno Cappelozza via decision. Since then, during this year’s regular season, he’s gone 2-0, finishing one by TKO and one via decision. The Croatian has fought for M1-Challenge, KSW, RIZIN and was even once set for a UFC debut. He never made his UFC debut, however, following contractual issues and instead signed for the PFL. With 15 wins via finish across his 21 overall wins, Delija often doesn’t like to leave it in the hands of the judges, only going the distance in three of his eight PFL bouts.

Brazillian, Ferreira is far less experienced than Delija with just 12 professional fights. He holds a PFL record of 4-1, with his only loss coming last time out to UFC veteran, Klidson Abreu. Ferreira holds a PFL record 3-1-0-1 having gone to a no-contest in his promotional debut against former UFC champion, Fabricio Werdum. The fight was originally ruled a TKO victory for Ferreira, however, it was later ruled a no contest after it was determined that he’d tapped to a triangle choke from Werdum.

The other heavyweight semi-final features last years #2 seed Denis Goltsov, who clashes with Matheus Scheffel. Goltsov lost in last year’s semi-final to Delija but since then has bounced back, finishing Cody Goodale and beating UFC vet, Maurice Greene via decision. The Russian is the former ACB heavyweight champion and is the #1 seed heading into this year’s tournament.

The favourite will take on a replacement in Scheffel. Scheffel replaces last year’s champion, Cappelozza. It was only last week that Cappelozza pulled out and the tournament bracket image is yet to be updated. With that being said, Scheffel most recently defeated Cappelozza via decision in June. The Brazillian lost on the contender series back in 2021 but with 11 of his 16 wins coming via TKO/KO, we know he can finish the fight in an instant.

Heavyweight Tournament Winner Prediction – Denis Goltsov

Heavyweight bracket

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Frazer is a 26 year old MMA and boxing enthusiast from Coventry, England. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast which comes out every Monday.

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