With the 2021 playoff picture set and heading into the first round, there is no better time for fighters looking to lay it all out in the cage and get one step closer to the $1 million grand prize.
PFL action is back Aug. 13, 19 and 27 for the first round of the postseason. Although there are 24 fighters who are in the playoffs, some stand out more than others. Here are four fighters to watch in the 2021 PFL playoffs!
Harrison is one of the most dominant figures in the game, not only in the PFL, but also in women’s MMA at large. She opens as a considerable favorite in just about every fight she enters, as the undefeated fighter and 2-time olympic gold medalist bodies every opponent she sees. This PFL platform has put her on notice in the MMA world.
Harrison will be headlining the PFL Playoffs 2 card against Genah Fabian on August 19. She is looking to keep the zero on the end of her record and grab the belt to solidify her PFL legacy.
In the fight game, the promotion and likeability of a fighter is crazy important. You see it with UFC fighters like Conor McGregor and Sean O’Malley. The key to a marketable fighter is a unique personality coupled with the ability to win fights. Jenkins is arguably the best example of this in the PFL.
“I think he is a star,” Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Loren Mack said. “I believe that he is one of the guys that most people are betting on to win the championship and that $1 million prize.”
MacDonald was one of the biggest PFL signings ever secured. The former UFC standout and Bellator champ found success early with a first-round finish to make a statement in his promotional debut.
In his second bout, he lost a very controversial split decision to Gleison Tibau, but, luckily for him, his six points were enough to clinch a playoff spot. After that loss, MacDonald was livid in the post-fight press conference.
“I’m very disappointed,” MacDonald said. “I think it was a clear robbery. I thought I was dominant in this fight. I believe that I clearly won that fight and it should be looked into.”
Unfortunately for him, that fight was not looked into in any significant way, so he is 1-1 with the promotion.
He will face the very dangerous Ray Cooper III in the first round. By any account, this should be his toughest test in quite some time as Cooper went 1-1 and was the 2019 welterweight champion for PFL.
Loughnane is someone who came into this season with a solid English following but has gained international stardom due to his commanding performances in 2021. In the first event of the season, Lihgnane was the only featherweight to notch additional points for a finish. In fact, his first round finish of Sheymon Moraes instantly propelled him to the top of the division.
“I am the only one to finish anybody,” Loughnane said after his first 2021 win. “What does that tell you? I just dismantled him and put him away in the first round. I am not a joker. I’m here to win this whole tournament.”
He ended the regular season in first place with nine points and will take on Movlid Khaybulaev at PFL Playoffs 3 later in the month.
The first playoff event will air on ESPN 2 and ESPN+ on August 13.