HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Brendan Loughnane isn’t taking his 2021 PFL Playoffs 3 semifinal opponent Movlid Khaybulaev lightly.

Sure, Khaybulaev (17-0-1) perhaps doesn’t have the name recognition like the two men on the other side of the 145-pound bracket, Chris Wade and Bubba Jenkins, do. But that doesn’t matter to Loughnane (21-3) who expects a serious test when the two get in the cage Friday.

“He’s extremely dangerous and undefeated, like you said,” Loughnane told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “I feel like because he’s now got the name value to go with it, it’s dangerous for me. I’m in the main event and all eyes are on me, but I’ve got an incredibly tough opponent, the toughest guy in the whole featherweight division, in my opinion. Yeah, it’s a tough fight but I’m in it for tough fights. I want my world title to mean something. I want to beat these guys to get it. The stage is set.”

Despite the difficulties Khaybulaev presents, Loughnane thinks he’ll be victorious. If that happens, Loughnane will advance to the PFL Playoffs final in October where he’ll have the chance to notch $1 million with a victory.

Who does he expect to meet in the final? Loughnane is on the fence.

“I’m just swaying back and forth with that fight, all the time,” Loughnane said. “I really have no idea. The fact that Chris Wade got outwrestled by Anthony Dizy in his first fight it kind of shows that Bubba is probably the best wrestler in this tournament. It’s like, can he outwrestle him? But then I’ve seen Bubba getting tired in his last one in the third round. Chris Wade is a savvy vet so it’s like, will he weather it? Will he not weather it? We’ll see.”

2021 PFL Playoffs 3 takes place Friday at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The main card airs on ESPN2/ESPN+ after prelims on ESPN+.

Check out MMA Junkie’s full pre-fight interview with Loughnane above.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *