2024 PFL 2 Main Event Breakdown

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Just six days removed from the sports world’s eyes being focused on Arizona for this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four and National Championship, the West Coast again plays host to a marquee weekend. Friday night, after the cuts are made at The Masters at Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia, Las Vegas is the focus on night one of what’s likely to be the biggest weekend in MMA history.

Last week, the PFL opened up its sixth season and its first since the purchase of Bellator MMA was finalized last year with heavyweights and women’s flyweights doing battle in San Antonio for PFL 1. This week, the action shifts from a Thursday night window to a Friday and from Texas to Nevada for PFL 2.

24 hours before UFC 300 takes place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, PFL 2 emanates from The Theater at Virgin Hotels. Friday’s card features the first regular season fights in the lightweight and light heavyweight divisions.

Live coverage kicks off at 6:30 pm ET/ 3:30 pm PT on ESPN+, continuing at 9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT on ESPN2. All told, barring any cancellations between now and the weekend, a full 12-fight card takes place.

Kasanganay Battles Polizzi in 2024 PFL 2 Main Event

At the top of the bill is an intriguing bout at 205 lbs. Former UFC fighter and 2023 PFL Light Heavyweight Champion Impa Kasanganay (15-4 MMA, 0-0 PFL 2024, zero points in the standings) faces a quick turnaround for his match against Bellator crossover Alex Polizzi (10-3 MMA, 0-0 PFL 2024, zero points in the standings) in the PFL 2 main event.

Up until the semifinals, all PFL fights, including Friday’s headliner, will be an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round.

2024 PFL 2 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the PFL 2 main event on Friday night, Alex Polizzi stands as the taller man at six feet even, compared to the 5-foot-11 frame of Impa Kasanganay. Last season’s champ owns a three-inch reach advantage (75 inches to 72 inches) over Polizzi.

Kasanganay also owns a 42-inch leg reach. with no such information accessible for Polizzi at press time. Currently, the oddsmakers have Impa Kasanganay installed as a -550 favorite on the money line, while Alex Polizzi counters as a +400 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.

Can Impa Kasanganay Rebound Quickly?

Impa Kasanganay enters the PFL 2 main event having posted a 4-1 record in his last five fights. Most recently, the 2023 titleholder saw a six-fight winning streak dating back to the summer of 2022 end at the hands of Johnny Eblen  (15-0 MMA, 10-0 Bellator) in PFL vs. Bellator in late February.

Before that fight, he discussed how the $1 million (USD) check he won on Thanksgiving weekend has been beneficial to him.

“My life’s changed a lot,” Kasanganay said. “It’s been able to help my family and help the people that I love the most and has inspired me to become better, right? It’s challenged me to not become complacent. I’m looking at it at that moment where my life, like, that’s not it, so now I don’t want to be just known as the guy who won the million dollars once, be known as the guy who got the belt once.”

With Kasanganay having just fought less than two months ago, he needs to come away victorious on Friday so he doesn’t find himself further behind the 8-ball in the run-up to his second fight of the regular season in June. Can he capitalize with a win in the PFL 2 main event?

Alex Polizzi Looking to Stop Two-Fight Skid

In the other corner, Alex Polizzi has posted a record of 3-2 in his last five fights, but he’s had trouble of late. Coming into the PFL 2 main event, he’s dropped two fights in a row.

Polizzi is on the opposite end of the equation in terms of time off. While Kasanganay is fighting for the second time in under two months, his opponent hasn’t been inside the cage in close to 10 months. Back in June of last year, he dropped a unanimous decision against Karl Moore (12-3 MMA, 4-1 Bellator) in Bellator 297.

Recently, Polizzi talked to Hyon Ko of The All-Star and likened the PFL’s season format to wrestling.

“It’s been a while, but for those unfamiliar with the wrestling season, it’s every weekend,” Polizzi recalled “and you make weight every week. You can’t take these big, long hikes. You can’t be out of camp, there’s no time to get out of shape. You have a cheat day on Monday, you get real big, you have a good time, and you’re back in the shop doing work. With the PFL, you get something similar. It’s hard for me to speak exactly to it because this is the inaugural season for me, I haven’t been in it yet, but from what I’ve seen, and from what I’ve heard [from] some of the other guys doing it, it’s similar. It’s a little more of a grind.”

Will he get back in the win column? Only time will tell.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Friday’s PFL 2 main event looks to be a toss-up. Both men can submit their opponents.

Kasanganay Can Work Quickly

Of Impa Kasanganay’s seven career wins by stoppage, four have come by submission, including his 2021 welterweight fight vs. Sasha Palatnikov. During the second round of a scheduled three, Kasanganay dropped Palatnikov and immediately took his opponent’s neck to apply a rear-naked choke in just 26 seconds.

If Kasanganay can take Polizzi down once, he’ll start his season off with a win.

Polizzi Has An Awesome Ground Game

In the other corner, Alex Polizzi’s ground game is equally as impressive. Just watch the video of his fight against Jose Augusto.

The third round saw Polizzi, who was nearly stopped by Augusto with ground and pound shots a round before, reverse an attempted takedown with a sprawl and then take back mount, before locking up the rear-naked choke almost immediately.

If Polizzi finds himself on the receiving end of a takedown, he can improve his own cause.

Final Thoughts

At the core, Friday’s PFL 2 main event is the story of two fighters on the same pathway. Which one of these men will take the first step toward a championship?

Prediction: Imps Kasanganay by Second-Round Submission. 

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.

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