The second season of the PFL Challenger Series kicks off this week, as welterweights are up first.
In all, the season will run through March 17 on primetime via Fubo Sports Network. The fights take place from Universal Studios in Florida.
The series provides yet another opportunity for fighters to make their way into the PFL regular season. By getting there, they give themselves a chance to win $1 million and become a world champion.
Welterweights will be a very interesting season, as the series showcases two potential future winners going 1-on-1 with each other in the main event.
Lucas Barbosa, nicknamed “Hulk,” will square off with Itso Babulaidze.
Barboza holds a victor over former UFC title challenger Gilbert Burns in the grabbing arena. He is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu star that is looking to transition into mixed martial arts.
His opponent, Babulaidze, trains out of the Renzo Gracie Philly camp and already owns a PFL victory, which came via knockout.
“The 2023 PFL Challenger Series provides world class talent a path to the PFL,” said PFL President of Fighter Operations Ray Sefo. “The Challenger Series continues the PFL’s commitment to finding the best talent in MMA around the world.”
But that is far from all.
Eric Alequin, the CFFC welterweight champion who holds an unbeaten record, will meet fellow unbeaten Thad Jean. Jean also competed in both CFFC and LFA, and holds a win over Dilano Taylor.
Taylor, you might remember, used the PFL Challenger Series to reach the PFL regular season.
Quemel Ottoni and Josef Wittner will be another bout, as the two own a combined 28 career victories against just five total losses. Completing the card will be Mostafa Rashed Neda and Nick Alley.