Welterweight action kicked off the 2023 edition of the PFL Challenger Series, with the card arriving on Friday night.
With the action taking place in Orlando, FL, a spot in the PFL’s regular season was up for grabs for one lucky winner. But the card that arrived on Friday night had a very different feel than the one originally advertised. Out of action due to injury was Quemuel Ottoni, the only man to defeat UFC middleweight champion Alex Periera in MMA. Ottoni’s arrival in the Professional Fighters League had been highly anticipated; his loss a serious blow for hardcore fight fans.
In Ottoni’s place, stepping up on short notice was Zach Juusola, who as it turned out was the most experienced fighter to appear at the event, sporting a 12-9 record to start the night. He was matched up with Jozef Wittner, Ottoni’s original foe.
Also dropping off Friday night’s card was Mostafa Rashed Nada, who was not medically cleared to compete. He has been replaced by Kendly St. Louis against Nick Alley, with the fight moving to a catchweight as a result.
Full results from the PFL Challenger Series 2023 Week 1 card, which airs on Fubo Sports Network, can be found below.
PFL Challenger Series 2023 Week 1 Results
Itso Babulaidze def. Lucas Barbosa by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Thad Jean def. Eric Alequin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Zach Juusola def. Jozef Wittner by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Kendly St. Louis def. Nick Alley by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 2:17
Kendly St. Louis and Thad Jean are selected as the final two winners considered for a PFL deal, with Thad Jean getting the nod.