Lightweight Match-Ups Announced for PFL Challenger Series 5 on March 18

Bruno Miranda
Bruno Miranda Credit: Lee Li /

The PFL Challenger Series kicks off this month, and runs through April, with one winner from each event earning a spot in the league’s regular season, or a developmental deal to make their way into a future season.

On Tuesday, promotion officials announced the full line-up for their PFL Challenger Series 5 card on March 18. The event has been built around the lightweight division, which recently saw the addition of former UFC star Jeremy Stephens.

Airing on Fubo TV, PFL Challenger Series 5 will consist of the following match-ups:

  • Bruno Miranda vs. Carson Frei
  • Damir Ferhatbegovic vs. BJ Bland
  • Michael Dufort vs. Arut Pogosian
  • Yanal Ashmoz vs. Dennis Hughes

Miranda (13-3) will ride a four-fight win streak into the PFL cage when he faces Frei (9-4). The Brazilian was a regular in South Korea’s ROAD FC, but has not competed since 2019. Frei most recently competed as a featherweight, under the Fierce FC banner last year. An April win over Westin Wilson marked his first fight since 2019.

Bosnian Damir Ferhatbegovic (5-2-1) is the Valor FC lightweight champion, who has previously fought for Bellator MMA as well. Ferhatbegovic shared the cage early in his career with UFC alum Luis Pena, a.k.a. “Violent Bob Ross,” and has not lost a fight in his last four appearances. Opponent BJ Bland (16-10), meanwhile, has a fair bit more experience, despite his uneven record. He trains alongside Israel Adesanya at City Kickboxing.

Michael Dufort (8-4) may be best known as a training partner of UFC alum Olivier Aubin-Mercier. The Canadian will look to make a name for himself against Armenian Arut Pogosian (9-3). And Israeli Yanal Ashmoz (6-0) will put his perfect record on the line against Dennis Hughes (7-3), who has won three straight.

PFL Challenger Series 5 takes place on March 18, 2022 at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The card airs live on Fubo Sports Network.