Clay Collard (L) (Eric Coleman/PFL)

PFL 5: 2024 Regular Season Preview and Predictions

The regular season marches on this Friday for the PFL as the lightweights and light heavyweights have their second of two regular season contests and the playoff picture takes shape.

In the main event, Clay Collard looks to go 2-0 and earn the top spot in the playoffs. Standing in his way is Mads Burnell, former Bellator contender who dropped his first appearance of 2024 inside the PFL Smart Cage. The co-main event features 2023 light heavyweight champion Impa Kasanganay who looks to continue his run of dominance since joining the PFL. The only loss on Kasanaganay’s record since the beginning of his PFL tenure is a split-decision he dropped to Johnny Eblen as part of the PFL vs. Bellator Champions series. His opponent this week, Jacob Nedoh, sports an 8-2 professional record but he lost his PFL debut back in April via knockout against another fighting on this card, Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov.

The preliminary card airs live on ESPN+ starting at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the main card on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET at 8 p.m. ET.


Clay Collard stormed into the 2024 season with a TKO win over Patricky Pitbull; can he score another finish and stop Mads Burnell?

Nope. Mads Burnell is going to come out of the gates like a bat out of hell in this fight. He needs a win and a stoppage in order to try and sneak into the playoffs and with his back against the wall he will steamroll Clay Collard. Burnell is a tad undersized for the lightweight division but that won’t bother him too much against a guy like Collard. Burnell will be the better grappler and Collard will probably have the striking advantage, definitely an advantage in boxing.

This fight will get to the ground quickly. Burnell isn’t going to want to mess around and strike with Collard so he will sell out early and often for the takedown. It might not come on the first attempt but after chaining a few attempts together he will eventually latch onto a single leg and find himself on top in half guard. I expect a masterclass from Burnell on how to be aggressive on top without being reckless and he will methodically work into a position where he can find an opening during a transition to secure his go to submission, the Japanese necktie. Before the end of the first round Collard will be forced to tap and Burnell will get his first victory under the PFL banner.

Impa Kasanganay looks to roll into the playoffs and defend his 2023 championship; does Jakob Nedoh have what it takes to derail the UFC veteran?

This is not a task that Jakob Nedoh will be able to complete successfully. He is going to be overmatched thoroughly in this bout. Impa Kasanganay is the class of the PFL’s light heavyweight division and Nedoh struggled mightily in his last bout against Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov. All due respect to Yagshimuradov, but he is not nearly as good as his name makes him sound. It took less than a round for Yagshimuradov to dispatch Nedoh and the same will be true for Kasanganay. While not the world’s biggest knockout artist, Kasanganay can certainly finish fights with his hands and that is exactly what he will do when he meets Nedoh. A heavy right hand will provide too much for Nedoh, wobble him and then he will be pounced upon and finished.

Patricky Pitbull has lost five of his last seven fights; can the former Bellator standout regain a little bit of momentum?

The best days are behind Patricky Pitbull. At 38 in the lighter weight classes it is getting close to hang up the gloves. This weekend will be a perfect example of that as Pitbull falls for the sixth time in eight bouts. In his prime, Patricky Pitbull would mollywhop Bruno Miranda but at this late stage in his career this one will be competitive. Miranda is slightly younger and he will basically just be able to outwork Pitbull for fifteen minutes and avoid getting hit with any big punches while picking apart the older fighter. Miranda by unanimous decision.

Which fight is the sleeper match-up on this card?

For anyone familiar with the PFL broadcasts, you’ll know that there are plenty of opportunities to fall asleep because the promotion is known for its abysmal pacing. One fight to try and stay awake for early is the Brent Primus vs. Solomon Renfro fight. Primus may have somewhat lucked into becoming Bellator champion back in the day when Michael Chandler’s foot malfunctioned but he has had a solid career and despite a reputation as a somewhat boring fighter I always enjoy his fights and his high level of technical expertise.

Fight Pick
Main Card ()
LW: Clay Collard vs. Mads Burnell Burnell
LHW: Impa Kasanganay vs. Jakob Nedoh Kasanganay
LW: Patricky Pitbull vs. Bruno Miranda Miranda
LHW: Rob Wilkinson vs. Josh Silveira Silveira
LHW: Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov vs. Simon Biyong Biyong
LHW: Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Alex Polizzi Polizzi
LW: Brent Primus vs. Solomon Renfro Primus
LHW: Sadibou Sy vs. Tom Breese Breese
LW: Gadzhi Rabadanov vs. Elvin Espinoza Espinoza
LW: Michael Dufort vs. Adam Piccolotti Piccolotti
LW: Anthony Romero vs. Sergio Cossio Romero
LHW: Andrew Sanchez vs. Karl Albrektsson Albrektsson
FW: Brahyan Zurcher vs. Julian Ruiz Ruiz