2023 PFL 3: Carlos Leal Calls PFL Season “Like a Marathon”

Las Vegas — After watching the first fight of the night at the 2023 PFL 3 card in Las Vegas end in a “quick six,” with six points for a first-round finish, Carlos Leal knew what he had to do.

And so Brazil’s Leal (18-4) went out and secured a first-round finish of his own.

Welterweight Leal did so by putting away UFC veteran David Zawada, and admitted following the bout that seeing the success of Magomed Umalatov immediately before him was motivation.

“When you watch that first fight of the night, you feel like ‘oh, I’ve got to pick up the pace!'” Leal told media outlets including Cageside Press backstage in Vegas. “The season is like a marathon, you just can’t let someone create that much of a lead on you.”

Now neck-and-neck with Umalatov with six points, Leal isn’t any more focused on the need to go out and find another finish.

“I don’t feel like anything changes for me. I’m as focused as I was for this one for the next fight. Coming for the win, if it comes first round, second, whatever it is, but I need to win my second fight here as well,” he noted.

As to an opponent for the second half of the season, “I’ll take any one of them. All I’ll say is, I see a final where I get my revenge against Sadibou [Sy].”

Leal fell to the eventual 2022 champ Sy last August. It was his sixth fight in roughly 12 months, and led to some extended downtime. Which might have been a blessing in disguise.

“As much as I love fighting, and I missed fighting, it was important for my body to take the time. I did six camps, I cut weight six times last year. That’s no simple task. My body definitely appreciated it.”

Watch the full 2023 PFL 3 post-fight scrum with Carlos Leal above.