The PFL is back on Thursday, Apr. 28 with the second installment of their 2022 season. This week, it will be the heavyweights and the featherweights being showcased, including multiple former champions. In the main event, 2021 heavyweight champion Bruno Cappelozza returns to action to take on Stuart Austin.
Cappelozza looks to win his fifth straight fight since joining the PFL, whereas Austin will try to rebound from a first-round knockout loss in his lone PFL fight.
The co-main event features 2018 and 2019 featherweight champion Lance Palmer looking to get back to his winning ways after dropping both of his fights in 2021. Palmer takes on Chris Wade, the 2021 featherweight runner-up. As both men look to start 2022 on a high note, only one of these dominant wrestlers will get his hand raised.
The PFL 2022 2: Regular Season event will be held inside the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Tex. kicking off in the at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and will continue on ESPN starting at 9 p.m. ET. Let’s take a look at the preview and predictions.
Bruno Cappelozza went undefeated through the 2021 PFL season; does he start the 2022 season on a high note and defeat Stuart Austin?
Yes, Cappelozza will not only get a win, but he will get it in dominant fashion. Of his 14 professional wins, only one has gone the distance. The other 13 victories have come by knockout, and that is how this fight ends. The lone decision came against Ante Delija in the 2021 heavyweight championship and, that fight was a rematch, so it is a fair assumption that both men and their teams had learned a great deal about the other. They were both far more prepared than an opponent could be otherwise.
Stuart Austin certainly deserves respect as any professional mixed martial artist does, but, quite frankly, he is not on the same level as Cappelozza. Austin has fought just once inside the PFL, and he came up short. He lost via knockout only 31 seconds into the first round of his fight against Renan Ferreira. Expect a similar result in this fight. Though he will likely make it out of the first minute, Austin will be stopped inside the first round. This will be a one-sided affair, and the finish will live on in the future as part of Bruno Cappelozza’s highlight reel.
Two time PFL featherweight champion Lance Palmer struggled in 2021, going 0-2 in his quest for a third title; how does he fare in his 2022 debut?
Palmer will rebound nicely from a lackluster 2021 to start his 2022 campaign against Chris Wade. That prediction certainly doesn’t align with the MMA math of the matchup, as Palmer and Wade have common opponents for their last two bouts with differing results. While both men came up short against 2021 champion Movlid Khaybulaev, they also each fought Bubba Jenkins. Palmer lost via unanimous decision to Jenkins, while Wade defeated Jenkins by the same method. So, on paper, Wade should have the advantage in this clash.
However, Palmer will emerge victorious by decision in the co-main event. Both of these fighters rely heavily on their wrestling, in order to find success, and find themselves a bit uncomfortable if it is their back against the mat. Often, when two dominant wrestlers face off, the fight turns into a kickboxing match with neither fighter wanting to close the distance too aggressively or change levels in fear of winding up in bottom position. That won’t be the case in this fight, as both men have shown a willingness to try to implement an offensive wrestling game, even if their opponent is also a skilled wrestler. It will be Palmer who finds success and maintains top control as the superior MMA wrestler. Don’t expect this one to light the world on fire, as Wade will effectively limit a lot of damage, but when the final bell sounds, it will be a clear decision victory for Palmer.
Knockout artists Renan Ferreira and Jamelle Jones square off in the heavyweight division; does this fight last more than one full round?
It certainly will not. This is going to be the most exciting fight of the night, with both men landing heavy shots until one of them connects with a fight-ending strike. Both of these fighters use their hands to get the job done, as all 14 of their combined knockouts have come via punches. I lean towards Renan Ferreira getting the job done in this one, but, with guys as powerful as these two, my confidence is not high in that selection.
Which fight is the sleeper match-up on this card?
Bubba Jenkins vs. Kyle Bochniak. This will likely go the distance, not because both of these men aren’t finishers, but because they are both incredibly durable. Bochniak has won three straight fights since being released by the UFC, and he has a tough draw for his PFL debut. Jenkins has shared the cage with several elite fighters and has fared well against them. Don’t expect world-class defense to be on display in this one, but the offense will be constant as soon as the opening bell sounds!
HW: Bruno Cappelozza vs. Stuart Austin
FW: Lance Palmer vs. Chris Wade
HW: Renan Ferreira vs. Jamelle Jones
FW: Brendan Loughnane vs. Ryoji Kudo
HW: Ante Delija vs. Matheus Scheffel
FW: Bubba Jenkins vs. Kyle Bochniak
HW: Denis Goltsov vs. Sam Kei
HW: Klidson Abreu vs. Adam Keresh
FW: Sheymon Moraes vs. Boston Salmon
FW: Alejandro Flores vs. Saba Bolaghi
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