Bet on Impa Kasanganay to Get Back on Track against Alex Polizzi

April 10, 2024
2 months

While Impa Kasanganay wasn’t supposed to host PFL 2 in Las Vegas this weekend, his name being on top of the card alongside his light heavyweight opponent, Alex Polizzi, feels appropriate. Kasanganay’s run over the past year has been one of the more remarkable turnaround stories in recent MMA history. 

After being released from the UFC in December 2021, he was in the wilderness for nearly two years. Kasanganay fought in several smaller promotions before earning a spot in the PFL contender series in March 2023.

Kasanganay didn’t waste his chances. He would win five fights in 2023, including the PFL light heavyweight tournament, when he beat highly-regarded prospect Josh Silveira. Kasanganay’s most recent performance was a split-decision loss to Bellator champion Johnny Eblen.

Many people thought Eblen was perhaps the best in his weight class regardless of promotion, but Kasanganay neutralizing Eblen’s wrestling brought some questions to that thought process. Kasanganay’s first step to defending his title will require him to beat Polizzi, who joined the PFL from Bellator.

Polizzi found trouble in fights. The best MMA news sites show Polizzi has lost two straight fights, including a difficult loss to former UFC title challenger Yoel Romero. This will be a good fight to judge where Kasanganay’s career goes from here. If he wins and dominates, Kasanganay may be heading for another title defense. He’s a heavy favorite and will need to handle the slumping Polizzi, a well-rounded fighter with four knockouts and four submissions in his career. 

Bets to consider: Under 2.5 rounds, Parlay Kasanganay

From Champion to Cheater

Rob Wilkinson took the PFL by storm in 2022. MMAfighting latest updates show that Wilkinson won the light heavyweight tournament that year by devastating his opponents with his heavy punches. Wilkinson won all four fights by knockout to claim the championship and $1 million dollars.

But everything went wrong for Wilkinson during the 2023 tournament. Wilkinson had his season-opening win over former UFC title challenger Thiago Santos overturned. Then the worst news came: Wilkinson tested positive for elevated t/e ratio and would be out of the season for a suspension.

Now, Wilkinson was supposed to return against former Bellator champion Phil Davis. However, an injury forced Davis out, and Wilkinson must now prepare for Tom Breese. Breese is a grappling specialist who has 12 wins by submission. Wilkinson has never been submitted in his career and is likely unafraid of finding out what happens when they hit the ground.

This should be a fun fight for both men. In this scenario, it feels better to lean on Wilkinson’s ability to stand and strike to win out.

Bets to consider: Wilkinson ML

Patricky Pitbull Wants to Make a Successful Debut

Patricky “Pitbull” Freire is only two fights removed from failing to defend his Bellator lightweight championship against Usman Nurmagomedov. Freire then entered the Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix before losing in the semifinals to Alexandr Shabliy. Freire will now enter the PFL lightweight tournament and have a unique opponent for his first fight.

Clay Collard is coming off a disastrous performance against AJ McKee from the PFL vs Bellator card. Collard was submitted in the first round by the Bellator star. Collard is a pressure fighter who never takes his foot off the gas pedal.

Freire has been effective in knocking out opponents during his career, but he is now 38 years old, and it’s fair to wonder how much he has left. Collard will try to utilize his pace and score a victory, but this is a spot where it is preferable to back a wiley old veteran at plus money.

Bets to consider: Freire +164, Freire by decision

Sy Decides to Go Up in Weight

Sadibou Sy attempted to defend his welterweight championship last year but didn’t find the same spark he did in 2022. Instead, Sy suffered a submission loss to Magomed Magomedkerimov in the welterweight fight. But it was a blessing in disguise for Sy.

Sy had been dying to go up in weight because it had been harder for him to make weight. The interesting thing will be if Sy can generate the same power and speed at a heavier weight class. Fighting Josh Silveira to open up being in a new weight class won’t be an easy challenge.

Silveira is a well-rounded fighter who was considered the top prospect the PFL had ever signed when he joined the organization. But the championship fight of the light heavyweight division didn’t go his way last year. Silveira was dominated by Kasanganay. 

Silveira was supposed to have a large grappling advantage over most of his opponents. But catching up to higher-level competition seems to have provided Silveira with a tough challenge. Sy may not be quite as dominant, but if he stays off the mat, he should be able to grab a win with his more precise striking.

Bets to consider: Sy by decision, Over 2.5 rounds

Shoeface Set for Triumphant Return to Cage

Antonio Carlos Jr. blitzed through the 2021 PFL light heavyweight tournament. It appeared like he was ready to do the same thing the next year. But before the playoffs started, Carlos suffered a torn ACL.

When Carlos was set to return, he suffered through legal trouble. But now Carlos has everything cleaned up and is ready to take on Bellator veteran Simon Biyong. Biyong has recorded seven knockouts in his nine victories. Carlos should win this fight and it will go under 1.5 rounds.

Here’s a look some quick picks for the rest of the fights on the card:

  • Lightweight, Mads Burnell (-238) vs. Michael Dufort (+195)
  • Light heavyweight, Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (+124)  vs. Jakob Nedoh (-148)
  • Lightweight, Gadzhi Rabadanov (-218) vs. Solomon Renfro (+180)
  • Lightweight, Jay Jay Wilson (-180) vs. Adam Piccolotti (+150)
  • Lightweight, Elvin Espinoza (-185) vs. Anthony Romero (+154)

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By Dean McHugh.