PFL 8 2023 Staff Picks

Part two of three for the Professional Fighters League’s Playoffs are soon to begin.

PFL 8 2023 will take place later tonight, August 18th from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Eight fighters in their respected weight classes will fight for a spot in the promotional finals later this year for a shot at one million dollars. The preliminary card begins at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT) on ESPN+ followed by the main card at 9:00pm ET (6:00pm PT) on both ESPN+ and cable ESPN.

Live results from the PFL 8 2023 Playoffs will be available here at MMASucka.

Stay tuned this Saturday the 19th for our UFC 292: Sterling vs. O’Malley picks from Boston, Massachusetts as well as next Tuesday the 22nd for Dana White’s Contender Series: Season 7, Week 3 picks from Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Fights

The first of two heavyweight (265 pounds) semifinalists will battle in the main event between Renan Ferreira and Maurice Greene. After suffering a loss-turned-no-contest in April, 2021 and 2022 competitor Ferreira secured his opportunity with a sub-60 second knockout over Matheus Scheffel as he hopes for his first appearance in the season finale. Former UFC competitor Greene, after coming up short of the playoffs due to a decision loss in his last outing to Ante Delija, steps in for an injured #2-seed Marcelo Nunes; the very opponent he last defeated in April by knockout in the second round.

Looking for a spot against the victor of Ferreira and Greene awaits either Denis Goltsov or Jordan Heiderman. 2019 and 2021 semifinalist Goltsov enters as the top seed after back-to-back knockouts in the first round over The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil winner Cezar Ferreira and recent series competitor Yorgan De Castro. Season 30 veteran from The Ultimate Fighter, professionally undefeated Heiderman, made it count in his one PFL appearance after Patrick Brady suffered a round one knee injury just over two months ago.

 

In the co-main event, Larissa Pacheco and Olena Kolesnyk are set for three rounds in the first of two fights at featherweight (145 pounds). 2019 finalist and last year’s tournament champion Pacheco has won eight straight fights including two victories this year alone over Julia Budd in a back-and-forth decision and Amber Leibrock by first-round knockout. Looking to play spoiler sees #4-seed Kolesnyk who impressed with her decision wins over Aspen Ladd and Yoko Higashi.

Also looking for their spot in the women’s featherweight finals awaits the winner of Marina Mokhnatkina versus Amber Leibrock. Wins over Yoko Higashi and Evelyn Martins secured Russian Sambo specialist Mokhnatkina her first opportunity in the promotion’s tournament. Former Invicta FC and Bellator competitor Leibrock, despite suffering a knockout in her most recent fight to Larissa Pacheco, gets the 3rd seed after a knockout over Martina Jindrova in April.

See our picks for the PFL 8 2023 Playoffs 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 ProAmBeltsย or a chain fromย Championship Chains. Staff picks in 2022 was won by Wesley Riddle with a record of 264-135.

See our staff picks for the PFL 8 2023 Playoffs below.


Staff Records after Dana White’s Contender Series: Season 7, Week 2:

Ben Jamieson: 191-101
Michael DeSantis: 186-106
Jeremy Brand: 183-109
Nate Freeman: 181-111
Wesley Riddle: 178-114
Frazer Krohn: 175-117
Julio Monteros Jr.: 163-98
Jack Goodwillie: 139-83
Andrew Benjamin: 137-118
Brian Knight: 126-79
Tim Wheaton: 105-60
Roemello Reyes: 62-34
Jonathan Andrade: 31-24
Brandon Joint: 12-9
Andrew Harbaugh: 10-7
Joshua Yule: 7-6
Chris De Santiago: 6-6
Antwyn Jackson: 5-6

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*


Marina Mokhnatkina (10-3), -440
vs.
Amber Leibrock (7-5), +340

Women’s Featherweight Playoff Semifinals
– 145 LBS. ~ 65.8 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Mokhnatkina via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Mokhnatkina via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Mokhnatkina via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Leibrock via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Leibrock via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Mokhnatkina via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Mokhnatkina via Split Decision
Ben Jamieson: Mokhnatkina via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Mokhnatkina: 6
Staff picking Leibrock: 2


Denis Goltsov (31-7), -440
vs.
Jordan Heiderman (7-0), +340

Heavyweight Playoff Semifinals
– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Goltsov via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Goltsov via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Goltsov via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Heiderman via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Goltsov via Round 2 TKO
Brian Knight: Goltsov via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Goltsov via Round 2 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Goltsov via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Goltsov: 7
Staff picking Heiderman: 1


Larissa Pacheco (21-4), -1600
vs.
Olena Kolesnyk (9-5, 1 NC), +900

Women’s Featherweight Playoff Semifinals
– Co-Main Event –

– 145 LBS. ~ 65.8 KG. –

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

Staff picking Pacheco: 8
Staff picking Kolesnyk: 0


Renan Ferreira (10-3, 3 NC), -380
vs.
Maurice Greene (11-8), +300

Heavyweight Playoff Semifinals
– Main Event –

– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Ferreira via Round 3 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Ferreira via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Ferreira via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Greene via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Ferreira via Round 3 TKO
Brian Knight: Ferreira via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Ferreira via Round 1 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Ferreira via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Ferreira: 7
Staff picking Greene: 1

PFL 8 2023 PLAYOFFS FEATURED IMAGE:

PFL 8 2023 Playoffs
Larissa Pacheco (left) and Olena Kolesnyk (right) at the Empire State Building ahead of their PFL 8 2023 Playoffs semifinals fight taking place Friday, August 18th from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York (photo credits to PFL MMA).

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