Here’s Why Andrey Koreshkov Prefers “Classic” Tournaments to PFL Format

Chicago, IL — Former Bellator welterweight champ Andrey Koreshkov is set to make his PFL regular season debut this Friday, as he heads into Chicago for a bout with Magomed Umalatov.

Koreshkov (27-4) is no stranger to fighting outside of Bellator, having also competed off and on on the regional circuit in Russia outside of his dates under the American promotion’s banner. But Bellator MMA was long Koreshkov’s primary stomping ground, dating back to his debut with the organization in 2012.

14 years later, Andrey Koreshkov arrives in a new home. “My first impressions are actually really good, because the organization treats fighters really well, and I feel welcomed here,” he told Cageside Press during the PFL 3 media day in Chicago this week. “So so far, I feel very, very comfortable.”

The 2023 PFL season will not be the first tournament for Koreshkov, who also fought in Bellator’s Welterweight Grand Prix, not to mention the Season 7 and Season 10 welterweight tournaments in the promotion’s early days. It’s a format switch to be sure; under the PFL, the full schedule for the year is laid out. It’s another difference that Koreshkov pointed out, however.

“To be honest with you, I prefer the classic way of holding the tournaments I used to take part in before. The reason why, is because I think that the [PFL] scoring system could play a trick on you,” he explained. That trick, he continued, is that even if you win your first two fights, if you don’t finish your opponents, one of those opponents could land in the playoffs ahead of you by virtue of having six points and a finish. “I think that could be a tricky situation, but other than that, a tournament is a tournament.”

As for fellow Russian Magomed Umalatov, “his record speaks for itself,” stated Koreshkov. “He’s undefeated, he finished, not all of his fights but he has a lot of finishes. He’s really well-trained, he has knockout power, and he thinks when he fights, so he has a high Fighter IQ. That’s what makes him really, really dangerous. And so this is a really dangerous opponent coming on Friday.”

Watch the full PFL 3 media day appearance by Andrey Koreshkov above.