PFL 2022 featherweight finalist Brendan Loughnane turned some heads when he suggested his upcoming opponent in the league’s million dollar final, Bubba Jenkins, has some quit in him.
The observation was made in a media session promoting the event; Loughnane (25-4), stood by those comments in a recent one-on-one with Cageside Press.
“Yeah, I stand by it. I can only say what I see,” Loughnane told us, just over a month out from the PFL 2022 Championship. “We did a lot of research the other day, me and my coaches. We watched all his fights and stuff, and I was like ‘oh my God.’ There’s a few times I’ve seen it. And I’m like, this is a five round fight. This isn’t just a five-round fight, this a five-round war. This is everything on the line, and I know that I will come out on top.”
Wrestling vs. striking will be the talk heading into Loughnane vs. Jenkins. England’s Loughnane is best known as a stand-up fighter. Jenkins is a wrestler. But over the years, U.K. fighters have become better equipped to handle the wrestling side of the sport.
“You just have to look at Leon Edwards for example. Leon Edwards just beat Kamaru Usman, the pound-for-pound best,” Loughnane pointed out. Usman, of course, is one of the sport’s more fearsome wrestlers. “The difference between a wrestler and a striker is it will only take us one shot, one kick, one punch. With a wrestler, they’ve got to try to drag you around the cage for twenty-five minutes, which is a long time.”
Loughnane sees his fists as the “ultimate equalizer,” he added. “I’ve fought so many wrestlers in my career, this is nothing new to me. Everyone I’ve ever fought has tried to take me down, so bring it on. Let’s go.”
One of the quirks of the PFL’s season format is that there is an off-season. After coming up short in last year’s tournament, that left Loughnane with time to reflect, and he sees Jenkins as less of a threat than Movlid Khaybulaev, who eliminated Loughnane from the PFL’s 2021 season.
“Movlid was always going to be stiff competition. Bubba Jenkins, I just don’t see him on Movlid’s level. I know he’s a great fighter, don’t get me wrong, but Movlid had something about him, he had the Dagestani style which is really hard to beat,” Loughnane observed. “So I look forward to re-matching him next year. But I just think everyone’s just overestimating wrestling and underestimating my defense. So that’s what I’m looking forward to proving on the night, that’s for sure.”
So what will the headlines read on November 26, the morning after Loughnane and Jenkins throw down?
“World-class performance from the Manchester Millionaire Brendan Loughnane as he stops Bubba Jenkins and takes his belt.”
Watch our full interview with PFL 2022 Championship featherweight Brendan Loughnane above. The event takes place at the Hulu Theater in New York, NY on November 25, 2022.