PFL 1’s Brendan Loughnane: “I Was Always the Man to Beat in This Organization”

Returning PFL featherweight champion Brendan Loughnane gets “Magic” Marlon Moraes out of the gate at this year’s PFL 1 card.

Loughnane (26-4), who was infamously passed over by Dana White despite a win over the Contender Series, has turned into one of the PFL’s biggest stars, with an 11-1 record since 2017.

Becoming just the fifth two-time PFL champion is the goal, and Loughnane discussed what that will take during Thursday’s PFL 1 media day.

“Just have to put on another great season, just like the last one. If anything, to go off my last two fights, then we’re in for another great season, aren’t we?”

While many now see Loughnane as the man to beat, the man with the target on his back, there’s no change for the Brit, mentally or otherwise, ahead of this season. That’s because he’s always seen himself as the man to beat.

“No, definitely not. At the end of the day, you can say there’s a target, but when has there not been a target? We’re having a fistfight in a cage. You’re obviously the target,” Loughnane told Cageside Press. “A lot of people say ‘you’re the man to beat’ now, but I was always the man to beat in this organization. So there’s nothing changed around here.”

While the PFL’s 2023 regular season will once again play out between Las Vegas and Atlanta, Loughnane is hoping the promotion will return to the U.K., as they did in the playoffs last year.

“Yeah. I mean I keep putting it out there. Me and Movlid [Khaybulaev] final, Manchester Arena.”

Khaybulaev is the lone loss on Loughnane’s record since entering the PFL — so it’s clear he’s looking for revenge. First up is Moraes, however, a fight that goes down Saturday at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, NV.

Watch the full PFL 1 media day appearance by Brendan Loughnane above.