The PFL Playoffs continue tonight, with Welterweights and Lightweights looking to punch their ticket to the million-dollar finale later this year. You can't miss the main event at Lightweight as top seed Clay Collard +115 looks to continue his dominant season against former UFC star Shane Burgos -135. I went over the entire main card and gave my picks and bets, so let's get into it.
Odds provided by BetOnline.ag accurate as of 10:50 AM EST 8/23/2023
A fight of the year candidate could take place here in our Lightweight main event. Clay Collard is a fast-paced action fighter who has been here several times before, although he has never looked as good as he did this season with an unmatchable pace and some nice improvements to his ground game. Shane Burgos gets a chance to redeem his season here after coming in as a replacement; we know he has big power and a well-rounded game that is tested against very high-level competition.
I like Collard here as he has looked incredible this season and is much more comfortable with the format than Shane Burgos, who has had several lackluster showings in his PFL run.
Pick: Collard O/U: Over 2.5 -200
Last year's champion returns for a run at back-to-back Lightweight titles. Olivier Aubin-Mercier has been flawless since entering the PFL; he has a tremendous ground attack and has scored several knockouts recently. Bruno Miranda gets this chance after two decision wins this season, one of which he was very close to getting a finish against Ahmed Amir; he has powerful striking and good cardio to go with it.
I've got Aubin-Mercier here as he is just on another level from the opponents Miranda has faced so far and has shown no signs of slowing down.
Pick: Aubin-Mercier O/U: Under 2.5 +145
A rematch of last year's Welterweight semi-final goes down here. Sadibou Sy is a very long kickboxer with a clean style that he has developed well over the years, his grappling has been a concern, but he has worked hard to bring it up to speed of late. Carlos Leal looks to avenge his only PFL loss here; he broke onto the scene last year by upsetting heavy favorite Ray Cooper III in style and has carried that momentum since getting two knockout wins this season.
I'm expecting a similar result to last year, as Sy has continued to improve his game and had a strong season with some nice highlights. It's not that Leal hasn't looked, but I have little reason to believe he has done enough to reverse last season's result.
Pick: Sy O/U: Over 2.5 -218
The first Welterweight semi-final gets the playoff action on this card started. Magomed Magomedkerimov is a veteran of the PFL format and is red hot coming into this with two first-round knockouts this season and a previous win over last year's champion, Sadibou Sy. Solomon Renfro got this spot off a big knockout win in his only fight of the season; he is athletic with big power but has been finished by most higher-level opposition he's faced.
I'll pick Magomedkerimov here, but there is no value in this number or any of the props, in my opinion, as Renfro is dangerous and skilled despite being outmatched here.
Pick: Magomedkerimov O/U: Under 2.5 -225
Clay Collard +115