Heavyweight and featherweight fighters will get their first chance to compete in the 2022 PFL Season on Thursday night.
10 bouts in those divisions are scheduled to take place at the eSports Stadium in Arlington, Texas, USA this evening. In the main event of the night, 2022 PFL Heavyweight Champion Bruno Cappelozza will return to face Stuart Austin.
Here’s a preview of the card.
Preliminary Card (6:30PM EDT / 5:30PM CDT) (ESPN+ / TSN Direct)
Bout 1: Alejandro Flores (20-3) vs. Saba Bolaghi (14-2-1) (Featherweight)
The evening will kick off with a featherweight fight between Alejandro Flores and Saba Bolaghi.
Flores has fought as a pro since 2013. He won in a non-tournament PFL bout last year, scoring a split decision over Carl Deaton III for his third consecutive victory.
Bolaghi will be making his PFL debut on Thursday night. The 33-year-old has mainly competed on the German regional scene as a pro. He is joining the PFL after scoring two victories in 2021.
Bout 2: Sheymon Moraes (13-5) vs. Boston Salmon (8-3) (Featherweight)
Former UFC fighter Boston Salmon will kick off his 2022 PFL Season on Thursday night when he faces Sheymon Moraes.
Salmon earned a PFL contract last month by defeating Lee Do Gyeom on the promotion’s “Challenger Series.” Salmon notably fought on the UFC roster in 2019, departing the promotion after suffering two first-round finish losses.
Moraes, also a former UFC fighter, is appearing in his second PFL run. He didn’t qualify for the playoffs last year after suffering a loss to Brendan Loughnane and securing a second-round submission victory over Jesse Stirn.
Bout 3: Klidson Abreu (15-5) vs. Adam Keresh (5-0) (Heavyweight)
Undefeated heavyweight Adam Keresh will face Klidson Abreu on Thursday night.
Keresh has a pro record of five wins, including three appearances in Bellator. He scored a first-round finish win on the PFL “Challenger Series” in March to earn a contract for this season.
Abreu lost his PFL debut last year, getting stopped in the first round of a bout by Jamelle Jones. On Thursday, he’ll be fighting for his first victory since 2019.
Bout 4: Kyle Bochniak (11-5) vs. Bubba Jenkins (16-5) (Featherweight)
Returning for his second PFL season, Bubba Jenkins will meet Kyle Bochniak in a featherweight bout.
Jenkins qualified for the featherweight playoffs last year after scoring two decision wins in the regular season. He was then eliminated by veteran Chris Wade in the semi-finals.
Bochniak notably had a UFC career that resulted in two wins and five losses. He is joining the PFL roster after a strong run in regional promotion XMMA, scoring three wins since early 2021. His last win was just last month, defeating Carlton Minus on scorecards.
Bout 5: Ante Delija (19-5) vs. Matheus Scheffel (15-7) (Heavyweight)
2021 PFL Heavyweight Finalist Ante Delija will return on Thursday night to face Matheus Scheffel.
Delija made it to the finals in October 2021 after scoring two wins and one loss. He lost to Bruno Cappelozza in the final, dropping a unanimous decision result after five rounds of action.
Scheffel will be making his PFL debut in the bout. He notably appeared on the latest season of “Dana White’s Contender Series,” when he lost a light heavyweight bout against Azamat Murzakanov. He has since bounced back with a finish win over Jose Rodrigo Guelke.
Bout 6: Denis Goltsov (27-7) vs. Cody Goodale (8-5) (Heavyweight)
The prelims will wrap up with a heavyweight fight between Denis Goltsov and Cody Goodale.
Goodale is a short-notice replacement for Sam Kei. He is coming off a win from November 2021, stopping winless pro Conway Beaudry in just 35 seconds. Before then, he was finished in the first round of a CFFC fight against Jamelle Jones.
Goltsov is competing in his third PFL season, starting Thursday. He previously also fought in the 2019 and 2021 seasons. He made it to the quarter-finals last year, where he was eliminated by Ante Delija.
Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 8:00PM CDT) (ESPN2 / TSN 2)
Bout 7: Renan Ferreira (8-2) vs. Jamelle Jones (12-7) (Heavyweight)
Both returning for their second PFL seasons, Renan Ferreira and Jamelle Jones will open Thursday’s main card.
Jones scored a playoff spot with just one regular season win last year, stopping Klidson Abreu in the first round of a bout to earn six points. He later lost in the playoff semi-finals, getting finished by Bruno Cappelozza.
Ferreria’s first PFL fight had some controversy attached to it. He opened the year with a big win, beating former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum in the first round with ground and pound. However, it was later discovered that Ferreira tapped earlier in the bout to a submission that Werdum had applied, and that a referee did not see the tap. Because of this, the win was overturned to a no contest, and Ferreira only earned one point in the PFL standings instead of six.
Ferreira defeated Carl Seumanutafa in his second regular season fight, but that wasn’t enough to qualify him for the playoffs. He fought in a non-tournament bout later in the year, defeating Stuart Austin in just 31 seconds.
Bout 8: Brendan Loughnane (21-4) vs. Ryoji Kudo (10-2-1) (Featherweight)
Brendan Loughnane will return to the PFL on Thursday night against Ryoji Kudo.
Loughnane had a strong regular season in 2021, stopping Sheymon Moraes in the first round of a bout and later defeating Tyler Diamond via majority decision. He was later beat in the playoffs by Movlid Khaybulaev, who won via split decision (Khaybulaev also went on to win the 2021 PFL Featherweight Championship).
Loughnane will now face Kudo, who is making his PFL debut on Thursday. Kudo is a veteran of regional scene in Japan. He is coming off a loss, having dropped a majority decision against SASUKE in a Shooto Japan title bout last year. Before then, he had seven consecutive victories from 2018 to 2020.
Bout 9: Lance Palmer (22-5) vs. Chris Wade (20-7) (Featherweight)
Two-time PFL Featherweight Champion Lance Palmer will attempt to reclaim the throne this year, and his journey will begin on Thursday against Chris Wade.
Palmer won PFL’s championship in 2018 and 2019. Then, in a major change, he lost twice in the 2021 regular season and didn’t qualify for the postseason. Now nearly an entire year later, Palmer will attempt to bring back the success he had earlier in his PFL career.
Wade has notoriously made it far in all of his PFL runs since 2018. He was a semi-finalist in both 2018 and 2019, and reached the finals last year. Wade scored three wins in 2021, then met Movlid Khaybulaev in the finals. They fought for five rounds last year, with Khaybulaev prevailing via unanimous decision in the end.
Bout 10: Bruno Cappelozza (14-5) vs. Stuart Austin (15-7) (Heavyweight)
Riding the momentum of his 2022 championship run, Bruno Cappelozza will face Stuart Austin in the main event of Thursday’s card.
Cappelozza went undefeated in 2021 through four fights. His first three appearances all came via finish, never going longer than the second round. He then faced Ante Delija for the second time that year in the grand finals of the 2021 PFL Season, defeating him via unanimous decision after five rounds.
Austin lost his sole PFL appearance last year, getting stopped in 31 seconds by Renan Ferreira. He had a two-fight winning streak as a pro before then.
Cappelozza has the chance to start his quest towards a second $1 million grand prize on Thursday, and Austin has the opportunity to play spoiler.