Heavyweight Lineup Set for 2023 PFL Challenger Series

Khadis Ibragimov and Danilo Marques, UFC 253
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - SEPTEMBER 27: (R-L) Danilo Marques of Brazil reacts after defeating Khadis Ibragimov of Russia in their light heavyweight bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

The next piece of the puzzle in the 2023 PFL Challenger Series has been revealed.

On Thursday, Professional Fighters League officials announced the heavyweight lineup for next year’s Challenger Series, which will run from late January through to mid-March. Among the names in action, Giacomo Lemos and Danilo Marques will face off atop the four-fight card.

Both men hail from Brazil, with Lemos sporting an undefeated 8-0 record. He appeared on the Challenger Series last year, defeating Billy Swanson by TKO in the second round. Despite that success, Lemos has not fought since, and will get a second chance at cracking the regular season roster come February.

Marques (12-4) is a former UFC athlete who went 2-2 for that promotion, losing to rising prospect Jailton Almeida this past February. After exiting the promotion, he picked up a win under the Gladiator Challenge banner just weeks later.

The 37-year old has not fought since, meaning both men will have been out of action for roughly a year by the time their fight rolls around.

“As the PFL looks ahead to the new year, we are thrilled to reveal our Heavyweight division for the 2023 PFL Challenger Series, which will be held for a second straight year at Universal Studios Florida,” said PFL President of Fighter Operations, Ray Sefo, in Thursday’s press release.

The full 2023 PFL Challenger Series heavyweight lineup shapes up as follows:

  • Giacomo Lemos vs. Danilo Marques
  • Greg “The Viking King” Velasco vs. Vitor Resende
  • Abraham Bably vs. Hassan Graham
  • Louie Sutherland vs. Alton Meeks