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PFL 5 2023 Staff Picks

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The Professional Fighter League and our MMASucka staff picks roll on.

PFL 5 2023 will take place later tonight, June 16th from the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Regular Season fights with athletes looking for a spot in the promotional playoffs later this year contend across the preliminary card beginning at 6:30pm ET (3:30pm PT) on ESPN+ followed by the main card at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) on both ESPN and ESPN+.

Live results from PFL 5 2023 will be available here at MMASucka.

Be sure to recap our staff picks from Bellator 297: Nemkov vs. Romero in Chicago, Illinois. Also, stay tuned for our picks from Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 47 event from Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Fights

Women’s featherweights (145 pounds) and men’s heavyweights (265 pounds) will contest for points in their Regular Season matchups across three five-minute rounds.

Heavyweights will clash in the night’s featured main event between Ante Delija and Maurice Greene. 2021 tournament finalist and 2022 tournament victor Delija hopes for his fourth straight victory and his first of the calendar year after having to pull from his April pairing with Yorgan De Castro following an injury. Former UFC competitor Greene sits 1-1 through his first two PFL bouts with a knockout in his first Regular Season fight over Marcelo Nunes.

Brazilians Renan Ferreira and Matheus Scheffel will look for points on the main card. Team Nogueira’s Ferreira aims to avoid three straight defeats and his first win in nearly 14 months as last year’s runner-up Scheffel looks to bounce back after a loss in November and a loss-turned-No-Contest to Bruno Cappelozza in April.

Former ACB Heavyweight Champion Denis Goltsov headlines the preliminary card in battle with Cape Verde’s and the aforementioned De Castro.

Last year’s featherweight tournament winner, Larissa Pacheco, gets her second fight of the year in the co-main event against this year’s newcomer of Amber Leibrock. Brazil’s Pacheco made the move back to 145 pounds for this year’s divisional tourney and earned her seventh win in-a-row over Julia Budd in a close decision decision just over two months ago. Former Invicta FC and Bellator notable Leibrock found success in her April debut matchup with a first-round knockout over Martina Jindrova.

Also on the main card sees Aspen Ladd and Karolina Sobek looking for rebounds at 135 pounds. Former UFC contender Ladd saw an upset loss against her favor by majority decision to Olena Kolesnyk in the first Regular Season event, as 23-year-old Sobek lost her first professional fight by decision to Evelyn Martins.

Three additional featherweight and two heavyweight pairings taking place at PFL 5 2023 as part of our MMASucka staff picks can be found further below.

2023 Staff Picks

MMASucka staff picks are composed of five promotions: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator MMA, ONE Championship, the Professional Fighters League (PFL), and Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS). UFC and Bellator events feature picks from only main cards. PFL will feature select fights from the main and preliminary card while DWCS sees all fights counted from the event. ONE Championship returns to picks for the first time since 2020 and will feature only mixed martial arts (MMA) fights selected from cards with a minimum three matchups.

The WINNER of staff picks at the end of 2023, who picked the most victorious fighters, will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. Staff picks in 2022 was won by Wesley Riddle with a record of 264-135.

See below for our MMASucka staff picks for PFL 5 2023.


Staff Records after UFC 289:

1T. Michael DeSantis: 123-61
1T. Ben Jamieson: 123-61
3. Jeremy Brand: 119-65
4. Nate Freeman: 118-66
5. Frazer Krohn: 116-68
6. Wesley Riddle: 115-69
7. Tim Wheaton: 105-60
8. Julio Monteros Jr.: 102-66
9. Brian Knight: 94-51
10. Andrew Benjamin: 91-77
11. Jack Goodwillie: 90-53
12. Roemello Reyes: 62-34
13. Jonathan Andrade: 29-21
14. Brandon Joint: 12-9
15. Andrew Harbaugh: 10-7
16. Joshua Yule: 7-6

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*Note – Bellator 297 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*


Patrick Brady (5-0)
vs.
Jordan Heiderman (6-0)

Heavyweight Division
– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Heiderman via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Heiderman via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Heiderman via Round 2 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Brady via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Brady via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Heiderman via Round 3 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Brady via Round 2 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Heiderman via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Brady: 3
Staff picking Heiderman: 6


Olena Kolesnyk (8-5, 1 NC)
vs.
Yoko Higashi (8-3)

Women’s Featherweight Division
– 145 LBS. ~ 65.8 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Kolesnyk via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Kolesnyk via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis:Kolesnyk via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Higashi via Round 2 Submission
Frazer Krohn:Kolesnyk via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman:Kolesnyk via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie:Kolesnyk via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson:Kolesnyk via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Kolesnyk: 8
Staff picking Higashi: 1


Julia Budd (16-6)
vs.
Martina Jindrova (6-4)

Women’s Featherweight Division
– 145 LBS. ~ 65.8 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Budd via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Budd via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Budd via Split Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Budd via Split Decision
Frazer Krohn: Budd via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Budd via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Budd via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Budd via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Budd: 8
Staff picking Jindrova: 0


Danilo Marques (14-4)
vs.
Marcelo Nunes (9-2)

Heavyweight Division
– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Marques via Round 3 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Marques via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Marques via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Marques via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Nunes via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Marques via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Nunes via Round 1 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Marques via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Marques: 7
Staff picking Nunes: 1


Marina Mokhnatkina (9-3)
vs.
*Evelyn Martins (5-0)

Women’s Catchweight Fight
* Martins missed weight *

– 147 LBS. ~ 66.7 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Mokhatkina via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Mokhnatkina via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Mokhnatkina via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Mokhnatkina via Round 3 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Mokhnatkina via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Martins via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Martins via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Martins via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Mokhnatkina: 5
Staff picking Martins: 3


Denis Goltsov (30-7)
vs.
Yorgan De Castro (9-4)

Heavyweight Division
– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Goltsov via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Goltsov via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Goltsov via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Goltsov via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Goltsov via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Goltsov via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Goltsov via Round 2 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Goltsov via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Goltsov: 8
Staff picking De Castro: 0


Aspen Ladd (10-4)
vs.
Karolina Sobek (4-1)

Women’s Featherweight Division
– 145 LBS. ~ 65.8 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Ladd via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Ladd via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Ladd via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Ladd via Split Decision
Frazer Krohn: Ladd via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Ladd via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Ladd via Round 3 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Ladd via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Ladd: 8
Staff picking Sobek: 0


Renan Ferreira (9-4, 2 NC)
vs.
Matheus Scheffel (17-9, 1 NC)

Heavyweight Division
– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Ferreira via Round 2 Submission
Wesley Riddle: Ferreira via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Ferreira via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Ferreira via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Scheffel via Round 3 TKO
Nate Freeman: Ferreira via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Ferreira via Round 1 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Ferreira via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Ferreira: 7
Staff picking Scheffel: 1


Larissa Pacheco (20-4)
vs.
Amber Leibrock (7-4)

Women’s Featherweight Division
– Co-Main Event –
– 145 LBS. ~ 65.8 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Pacheco via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Pacheco via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Pacheco via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Pacheco via Round 2 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Pacheco via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Pacheco via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Pacheco via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Pacheco via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Pacheco: 8
Staff picking Leibrock: 0


Ante Delija (23-5)
vs.
Maurice Greene (11-7)

Heavyweight Division
– Main Event –

– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Delija via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Delija via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Delija via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Delija via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Delija via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Delija via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Delija via Round 1 SUB
Ben Jamieson: Delija via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Delija: 8
Staff picking Greene: 0

PFL 3 2023 FEATURED IMAGE:

PFL 5 2023

Larissa Pacheco (left) and Amber Leibrock (right) ahead of their PFL 5 2023 Regular Season fight taking place Friday, June 16th from the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Georgia (photo credits to Cooper Neill, PFL MMA).

 

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Wesley Riddle is a 29-year-old writer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina from Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has been part of the MMASucka team since the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, he serves as a writer with partner site Last Word on Motorsports.

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