The final event of the first round of the PFL playoffs comes this Saturday when the women’s featherweight and lightweight divisions play their semi-finals at the Copper Box Arena in London (ESPN and ESPN+ at 2pm ET, prelims on ESPN+ at 1pm: 00 o’clock). .
The main event will be a match between two-time PFL Women’s Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison and Martina Jindrova. Harrison, undefeated as a pro, enters the fight as the No. 2 while Jindrova is the No. 3.
Also on the card, featherweight champion Chris Wade takes on Brendan Loughnane. Wade was runner-up in last season’s PFL Finals and reached the lightweight semifinals the previous two seasons.
With spots in the $1 million finals at stake, here’s how Saturday’s fights will play out.
Women’s Lightweight: Kayla Harrison vs. Martina Jindrova
Jindrova earned her way up the PFL list with an impressive Challenger Series win, and she followed that up with a finish in her last fight. But she will face her toughest opponent by far in Harrison. If Jindrova can somehow keep the fight going, she can stay competitive as she is the better forward. Against Harrison, however, everyone is eventually crushed. The odds on Harrison are through the roof as usual – as lopsided as 50-1 at some sportsbooks – so try to bet on her by either KO or submission to get a better line. Forecast: Harrison wins by submission.
Featherweight: Chris Wade vs. Brendan Loughnane
After a first-round TKO on Kyle Bochniak, Wade is the frontrunner but has to fight in Loughnane’s home country. Wade has looked almost flawless this season, while Loughnane hasn’t looked as impressive in his last two games. Both men are credible forwards with good cardio and experience. However, Wade’s wrestling ability could give him an edge. We saw him use his wrestling skills to secure a win in his fight with Bubba Jenkins last season. I think Wade continues his dominance here, using his wrestling to take down the wily Loughnane. Forecast: Wade to win.
For Kolesnyk, getting into the PFL playoffs was a win in itself. Now that she’s at it, she’ll look to avenge last season’s loss to Pacheco. Kolesnyk will need to use head movement and keep Pacheco at bay if she plans to end the upset. Pacheco was on an absolute rift, finishing every opponent she faced this season. She appears to be in top form to continue that streak against Kolesnyk. Pacheco has tremendous power in her hands and great groundplay when she feels the need to put it there. Don’t blink, this fight could end quickly like last time. Forecast: Pacheco wins by far.
Featherweight: Ryoji Kudo vs. Bubba Jenkins
Kudo has been a nice surprise for the PFL this season. In his first fight, he had plenty of success against Loughnane until an accidental headbutt led to an early stoppage. In his second fight, he earned a first-round KO to beat his ticket to the playoffs. For Kudo, he needs to keep the fight going and land shots early if he plans to end the upset. Easier said than done against someone with Jenkins’ wrestling background, though. Jenkins has improved tremendously on his feet, but there’s just no reason for him to give Kudo that opportunity. I think Jenkins will play it safe and fight his way to victory. Forecast: Jenkins wins by decision.
https://www.espn.com/mma/story/_/id/34408889/pfl-playoffs-breaking-featherweight-women-lightweight-matchups PFL playoffs — Breaking down the featherweight, women’s lightweight matchups