PFL unveiled two more rosters for their 2021 season on Thursday, revealing their welterweight and light heavyweight lineups. The 185 and 205-pound fighters are scheduled to first appear on April 29th at PFL’s second event of the year.
PFL Reveals The First Nine Light Heavyweights
Nine fighters in PFL’s light heavyweight roster were revealed on Thursday, leaving one spot of a fighter to be announced at a later date.
PFL Light Heavyweight Champion Emeliano Sordi will compete in his third season in 2021. Sordi won his first PFL season in 2019, going on a five-win run that culminated with a finish victory over Jordan Johnson. Sordi’s previous PFL season saw him get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Bozigit Ataev. He avenged his loss in 2019 with two wins over Ataev.
Chris Camozzi will make his return to high-level MMA in the 2021 season. The former UFC fighter has spent the last few years competing on the regional MMA scene and fighting for GLORY Kickboxing.
Tom Lawlor will return to MMA in the 2021 season. Lawlor has essentially been out of the MMA spotlight since his eight-year UFC run concluded in 2018. While Lawlor has competed once in MMA since then, he has remained active on the professional wrestling scene in the meantime.
Jordan Young will take his talents from Bellator to PFL in 2021. Young enters the PFL cage with a strong record of 11 wins and one loss. He earned his first loss as a pro in his last bout, losing to Julius Anglickas on a Bellator card in 2019. The fight was Young’s seventh for the promotion.
Smealinho Rama will have his third crack at the PFL in 2021. Rama has fought in two previous PFL seasons, although he has never been able to put together a record that has carried him deep into a season. Rama is a long-time competitor for PFL, having fought for the promotion since they were formerly known as WSOF.
29-year-old Marthin Hamlet will make his PFL debut in the upcoming season. Hamlet has one of the smaller pro MMA records in the promotion, entering the season with six wins and one loss. Three of the wins in his career have come under high-level regional promotion Cage Warriors.
Dan Spohn is one of the many who will be competing in their third PFL season. Spohn’s best PFL run was in 2018, where he strung together two wins before getting eliminated in the playoffs by Sean O’Connell.
Making his first appearance since finishing his UFC stint, Cezar Ferreira was the last light heavyweight announced for the 2021 season. Ferreira had an extensive UFC career, fighting 15 times for the promotion before departing in 2019.
PFL Confirms Seven Names For Their Welterweight Field
Leaving three places vacant in their 10-man roster, PFL unveiled seven names for their welterweight lineup.
Ray Cooper III will get the chance to defend his 2019 championship, as he will return for another PFL season. Cooper III earned his first PFL championship in 2019, defeating David Michaud in the grand finals of the tournament. The win was redemption for Cooper III, who had lost in the 2018 finals to Magomed Magomedkerimov.
PFL finalist David Michaud will compete in the promotion again this year. Before his loss to Cooper III in the finals, Michaud put together a record of three wins and one loss in the 2019 season. The former UFC fighter had success before jumping to PFL, picking up wins in promotions like LFA and Combate Americas.
One of the most popular names in the entire PFL roster, Rory MacDonald, will compete in his first PFL season this year. The former UFC fighter and Bellator champion enters the promotion after over a decade of experience at a high level of MMA. MacDonald wrapped up his six-fight Bellator career in 2019, losing to Douglas Lima in the finals of the promotion’s welterweight grand prix.
Sadibou Sy and Joao Zeferino are two names in PFL’s returning cast this year. Both fighters have had success in PFL, although neither have reached the finals of a season. Sy, for example, has been eliminated in the playoffs of both previous years.
Nikolai Aleksakhin will carry a seven-fight win streak into the upcoming PFL season. Aleksakhin has won all of his fights from 2017 to 2019, with five of them coming via stoppage. Aleksakhin competed in the PFL once in 2019, defeating Jesse Ronson within a round.