Back Former Bellator Welterweight Champion Andrey Koreshkov to Teach Magomed Umalatov a Lesson at PFL 3

April 16, 2024
1 month

Magomed Umalatov has a few legitimate gripes to talk to someone about. The Russian fighter has a sparkling 14-0 record during his young career. But MMAfighting latest news shows that his 5-0 record in the Professional Fighters League has yet to yield him a $1 million prize.

During the 2023 season, Umalatov placed fourth in the welterweight regular season and was set to fight in the playoffs. However, an injury forced him out of the tournament, and Magomed Magomedkerimov would go on to win with a third-round submission over Sadibou Sy. But now Umalatov has some tougher competition to earn a way back to the postseason.

Umalatov will have to fight former Bellator champion Andrey Koreshkov this Friday in Chicago at PFL 3. Koreshkov, 33, enters this fight on a hot streak, having won five consecutive fights. He is a well-rounded fighter who is comfortable winning any type of fight.

Koreshkov has 31 professional fights under his belt. He won 14 of them by knockout and four by submission. While Umalatov is undefeated, he hasn’t yet fought the level of competition to get a gauge of where he is as a fighter. Umalatov will learn a lot from this fight.

While Umalatov could be a rising star, this feels like a better spot to back a veteran fighter to win at plus money.

Bets to consider: Koreshkov ML, Under 2.5

Brendan Loughnane Needs to Regain Pride

It’s hard to imagine 2023 being more of a disaster for Brendan Loughnane. Winning the 2022 PFL featherweight championship had people claiming he may be one of the world’s best fighters in his weight class. But that talk ended quickly last June.

In one of the biggest upsets of the year, Loughnane got knocked out in the first round by heavy underdog Jesus Pinedo. While the loss doesn’t look as bad in hindsight, as Pinedo went on to win the tournament, it was a shocking result at the time. The PFL didn’t load up Loughnane with the toughest return opponent to start off this season.

Pedro Carvalho hopes the PFL will provide him with an opportunity to hit a hard reset button on his career. The latest MMA news shows that Carvalho has lost five of his last seven fights in Bellator. Carvalho has struggled with his chin at times.

He’s been knocked out three times, including during his lone title shot against Patricio Freire at Bellator 252. Loughnane had never been knocked out before his loss to Pinedo. This seems like a favorable matchup as Loughnane looks to get back on his feet. The British fighter should deliver in this one.

Bets to consider: Loughnane by KO, Under 2.5 rounds, Parlay Loughnane ML

Logan Storley Ready to School Young Prospect

There’s little debate among the best MMA news sites for how Logan Storley is perceived. The former Bellator interim welterweight champion isn’t for everybody. Storley, a four-time All-American wrestler, likes to take his opponents down and hold them down.

Storley’s problem is that he hasn’t finished enough opponents at the highest levels of MMA to satisfy the blood lust of fans looking for fights to finish. Storley did snap his six-fight streak of seeing fights go the distance during his last contest, a TKO win over Brennan Ward at Bellator 298 last August.

Storley’s season opener will see him take on an undefeated prospect in Shamil Musaev. Musaev is 14-0 in his career but has yet to test himself in one of the world’s top promotions. He did spend some time in KSW but doesn’t have many notable wins on his resume.

This is likely a fight to avoid betting on because Musaev is unknown. He does carry some power in his hands, but he will need to keep Storley from taking him to the ground. Storley should implement his game plan in a workmanlike victory.

Bets to consider: Storley by decision, Over 2.5 rounds.

Braga Has Something to Prove

Gabriel Braga likely couldn’t imagine something worse happening to him than what happened in the PFL playoffs last season. Not only did Braga see his undefeated record fade away, but he lost via a controversial stoppage in a close fight with Pinedo. But Braga will come into this new season with a heavy heart.

Braga’s father died in January. Now, Braga, who is 12-1 in his career, will look to get back on track in the featherweight division by beating American Justin Gonzales. Gonzales is coming into this fight in a difficult period of his career.

Gonzales has lost three of his past five fights, all of which went to a decision.

Bets to consider: Braga by decision, over 2.5 rounds

Another Gracie Seeks to Defend Family’s Name

Neiman Gracie is another in a long line of Brazilian fighters looking to live up to one of the premier names in MMA. Gracie is a fourth-generation member of the Gracie family, who specialize in jiu jitsu. That skillset is more than helpful for MMA, but the sport has evolved from the early days and it takes more than just strong grappling to win fights.

Gracie has fallen apart since losing to Rory MacDonald in a challenge for the Bellator welterweight championship in June 2019. Gracie has lost three of his previous six fights. For his first fight in PFL, he will get to see an old foe in Goiti Yamauchi.

Yamauchi knocked out Gracie at Bellator 284 in August 2022. Both men will be seeking another finish. Back Yamauchi to get bonus points by knocking him out again.

Odds for the other contests weren’t posted at the time of publication. Here’s a look at a few quick picks on the other fights scheduled for PFL 3:

  • Featherweight, Bubba Jenkins over Kai Kamaka III
  • Featherweight, Ádám Borics over Enrique Barzola
  • Featherweight, Brett Johns over Timur Khizriev
  • Welterweight, Murad Ramazanov over Laureano Staropoli
  • Welterweight, Brennan Ward over Don Madge
  • Featherweight, Otto Rodrigues over Tyler Diamond

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By Dean McHugh.