Major League Baseball isn’t the only sport currently in the playoffs.
Mixed martial arts, the only sport that offers harder hits than an Aaron Judge home run and more punishing blows than a Verlander fastball to the chin, is also in the postseason.
For three of the next four weeks, the playoffs of the Professional Fighters League will take place in Las Vegas.
It all begins this Friday night with PFL 7, featuring playoff bouts in the Women’s Lightweight and Welterweight brackets.
Action begins at 8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT on ESPN+, with the fights continuing at 10 p.m. EDT, 7 p.m. PDT on ESPN2 from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Vegas.
Each of the three cards in this phase of the postseason originates from this arena.
PFL 10, the championship event on New Year’s Eve, takes place at Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Note: This is the only Friday card of this phase of the postseason. PFL 8 and PFL 9 will be held on Oct. 17 and Oct. 31, both Thursdays, just as the regular season had been.
A while back, we broke down all six of the postseason brackets in the PFL.
You can take a look at the bracket breakdowns for the Women’s Lightweight and Welterweight postseason fields at:
At this point, there’s one injury-related alteration to the playoff pairings in the Women’s Lightweight bracket. No. 3 seed Genah Fabian withdrew from the playoffs, with Bobbi Jo Dalziel taking her place in the bracket vs. Kayla Harrison.
However, two showcase fights that have no bearing on the postseason have been added to the card.
Brendan Loughnane (17-3), a veteran of Dana White’s Contender Series, fights Matt Wagy (13-6) in a Featherweight showcase fight.
In short, I like Brendan Loughnane in this fight.
He has a 4-1 record in his last five fights, compared to Wagy’s 2-3 form in that span, holds a three-inch reach advantage (72 inches to 69 inches), and is the taller competitor (5-foot-9 over 5-foot-6 Wagy.)
A Welterweight showcase fight between Jesse Ronson (20-9) and Nikolay Aleksakhin (24-5) will also take place.
This one’s a bit more of a toss-up.
Both stand 5-foot-10 with the only blemish in the last five fights for either man being a loss by Jesse Ronson to Natan Schulte in PFL 5 in July.
This fight is too close to call.
PFL 7 at a Glance:
Friday, coverage begins at 8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT on ESPN+, continuing on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. EDT, 7 p.m. PDT.
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