PFL Challenger Series 2023: Week 8 Results

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The 2023 PFL Challenger Series returns for a final time this year on Friday night, with four fights scheduled to take place from a sound stage at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

While previous weeks have focused on a singular weight class and last year’s finale gave debuting fighters a chance to earn their way into the PFL, this year’s final week features four bonus fights for athletes who made an impression on this year’s Challenger Series but were unable to secure a PFL contract.

Fight fans can catch the eighth week of this year’s PFL Challenger Series streaming live on Fubo TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Lightweight Bout–St. Louis vs. Laia

Both Kendly St. Louis and Paulo Laia competed earlier this season, albeit in different weight classes to varying results. St. Louis, competing on the welterweight showcase, scored a second-round rear naked choke over Nick Alley in the very first fight of the season, albeit at 175 pounds. “The Highlander” is now set to drop 20 down pounds and compete in the lightweight division, though he came in less than a pound overweight. It remains to be seen how the weight miss will affect his chances of securing a PFL deal, though beating Laia will be no small feat regardless.

Laia gave a great account of himself as an underdog against Manoel Sousa, a fight that happened one month to the day of Friday’s event. Entering the fight as a +285 underdog, Laia vastly outperformed his odds and even won the fight on one judges’ scorecard. If he can take advantage of the opportunity in front of him, Laia will stand a good chance of finding his way into the PFL.

Women’s Featherweight Bout–Cataline vs. Martins

Milennia MMA’s Jackie Cataline had one of the most impressive performances of the women’s featherweight showcase back in February, but came up short of earning a PFL contract after Amanda Leve‘s masterclass against Naranjargal Tsendayush in the main event. Cataline has been on the organization’s radar for quite some time, having fought three of her four professional bouts on the Challenger Series. This year will also mark the second consecutive year she competes on the “last chance” card. In order to earn a PFL deal, Cataline will face some stiff competition in Evelyn Martins, an American Top Team fighter with a 3-0 record at just 20-years-old.

Heavyweight Bout–Freeman vs. Kovacs

Not to be outdone, the heavyweights are also scheduled to compete on the 2023 “last chance” card with Denzel Freeman set to take on Raiden Kovacs. Neither fighter has competed on the Challenger Series before, though Freeman does have some prominent regional experience as all three of his wins came in Titan FC. Freeman, who boasts big power, has bounced between heavyweight and light heavyweight, and had a decent amateur career as well. His only loss on the amateur circuit actually came to Bellator middleweight champion Johnny Eblen at 234 pounds. Kovacs, meanwhile, went 4-2 as an amateur, and his finish profile suggests he will be looking to grapple against Freeman.

Welterweight Bout–Sanon vs. Omar

A welterweight fight between Sadeck Sanon and Ali Omar will lead off the night. Both men will be looking to have their coming out party. Sanon, a Roufusport trainee, has competed for Anthony Pettis FC on two separate occasions and is a winner in three of his first four fights. He will look to channel “Showtime” against Omar, a 4-2 lightweight who could potentially settle into a new home at 170 pounds if he can beat Sanon.

PFL Challenger Series 2023: Week 8 Results

Main Card

Kendly St. Louis* def. Paulo Henrique Laia via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Evelyn Martins def. Jackie Cataline via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Denzel Freeman def. Raiden Kovacs via TKO (Head Kick and Punches) at :27 of Round 1

Ali Omar def. Sanon Sadeck via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

*-Denotes weight miss

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