Brendan Loughnane is tired of being a betting underdog, but it’s a role he’s gotten accustomed to by now.

Loughnane (21-3) faces Movlid Khaybulaev (17-0-1) in the semifinals of 2021 PFL Playoffs 3, which takes place Friday at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. The main card airs on ESPN2 following prelims on ESPN+.

Despite having a stellar season so far with a statement knockout of Sheymon Moraes and an all-out war with Tyler Diamond, oddsmakers are favoring unbeaten Khaybulaev to make the finals, which Loughnane is having a hard time wrapping his head around.

“People are sleeping on me,” Loughnane told MMA Junkie Radio. “I am the big betting underdog yet again, so people are sleeping on me yet again. What do I have to do out there for the betting people to start putting me as favorite? I mean Jesus, I’m going out there showing everything in this tournament so far, and the English people just keep making so much money off these American bookies. Like, what’s going to happen this one?”

While it may look intimidating on paper, Loughnane isn’t really buying Khaybulaev’s undefeated record. The Russian featherweight did suffer a loss to UFC veteran Daniel Pineda in the 2019 PFL playoffs, but the TKO loss was later overturned to a no contest after Pineda was flagged for having an  elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio in his system. Though Khaybulaev was stopped by Pineda in just 29 seconds, Loughnane has taken notes from that fight.

“Taking someone’s zero at this stage is massive,” Loughnane said. “But come on, it’s not a real zero is it. There is a loss on there. I know Daniel Pineda popped for steroids, but at the end of the day he still finished him. Daniel Pineda has kinda laid a blueprint for me so I’ll be planning to do the same as he did.”

To see the full interview with Loughnane, check out the video above.


2021 PFL Playoffs 3: Make your predictions for featherweight, light heavyweight semifinals


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