KEY POINTS

  • Kayla Harrison puts Taylor Guardado to the test in the PFL season finale
  • Claressa Shields returns to action against Abigail Montes
  • Magomed Magomedkerimov is out to prove he is better than Ray Cooper III

Four weeks before the finale of their widely-successful 2021 season this coming October 27th, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) held a press conference on Wednesday, September 29th, which featured all 12 finalists from each of the six weight divisions, as well as a number of big announcements.

PFL CEO Peter Murray kicked things off with the announcement of the signing of Julia Budd, who will be making her debut against Kaitlyn Young at the PFL World Championship event.

Budd will also be joining the 2022 PFL Season.

“PFL president of fighter operations Ray Sefo and his team are developing and signing top MMA fighters year-round, and it’s a privilege for me, on behalf of Ray and the team to announce that we’ve signed Julia Budd, a champion fighter and one of the top women in the sport today,” Murray said. “Julia, Welcome to the PFL. Julia will debut on this very same card, and Julia will compete in next season’s 2022 women’s division.”

It was also announced that multi-platinum selling rapper and PFL investor Wiz Khalifa would also be gracing the PFL World Championships for a performance.

The PFL World Championship 2021 will be headlined by the women’s lightweight championship bout between division queen Kayla Harrison and impressive newcomer Taylor Guardado.

“It’s an amazing feat to have a zero in the loss column. I have seen the highest of highs and lowest of lows,” Harrison stated. “Being undefeated is not the ultimate goal; it is to grow personally and professionally. I am not afraid of a loss, some of my biggest lessons have come after losses. I don't think I will lose; but whatever happens, I will embrace the journey.”

Meanwhile, Guardado remains optimistic about her chances of walking away with her hand raised in triumph.

“I mean, I made it here for a reason, I’ve won my last three fights. I think when it comes down to it, I just need to be the best version of me that night,” Guardado stressed.

Kayla Harrison and Taylor Guardado Kayla Harrison and Taylor Guardado Photo: PFL photo release

In the co-main event, a highly-anticipated rematch between welterweight champions is set as Ray Cooper III squares off with Magomed Magomedkerimov.

“I don’t think [Ray Cooper III] is as diverse of a fighter as myself. I think there are many levels that I can out-perform him, and I’m totally looking forward to this rematch,” Magomedkerimov declared.

On the other hand, Cooper is confident that the outcome will be different this time around.

“I’m going to do the same thing I always do, [Magomed Magomedkerimov] can say what he wants. At the end of the day, I am going to punch him in the face. Finally, I get to pay him back and retain my title,” said Cooper.

In a special feature bout, three-division boxing world champion Claressa Shields returns to the PFL cage to face Abigail Montes.

“I think I’ll be a lot better than I was in my pro debut. I was a little nervous and was looking out for so many things. We’re going to continue to build off that performance and I will become a better fighter overall. I want to be at the top of the tournament in the future,” said Shields, who was victorious in her PFL debut.

Loik Radzhabov and Movlid Khaybulaev Loik Radzhabov and Movlid Khaybulaev Photo: PFL photo release

Full PFL World Championship 2021 Fight Card

Women’s Lightweight Championship

Kayla Harrison vs. Taylor Guardado

Welterweight Championship

Ray Cooper III vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov

Women’s Lightweight Bout:

Claressa Shields vs. Abigail Montes

Heavyweight Championship:

Bruno Cappelozza vs. Ante Delija

Featherweight Championship:

Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Chris Wade

Light Heavyweight Championship:

Antonio Carlos Jr. vs. Marthin Hamlet

Lightweight Championship

Loik Radzhabov vs. Raush Manfio

Light Heavyweight Bout

Omari Akhmedov vs. Jordan Young

Women’s Lightweight Bout:

Julia Budd vs. Kaitlyn Young

Lightweight Bout:

Don Madge vs. Nate Williams

The PFL World Championship 2021 happens on October 27th at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. It can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN+.

2021 PFL World Championships 2021 PFL World Championships Photo: PFL photo release

The PFL World Championship 2021 takes place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. It will be broadcasted live on ESPN2 and ESPN+.

Full PFL World Championship 2021 Fight Card:

Women’s Lightweight Championship:

Kayla Harrison vs. Taylor Guardado

Welterweight Championship:

Ray Cooper III vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov

Women’s Lightweight Bout:

Claressa Shields vs. Abigail Montes

Heavyweight Championship:

Bruno Cappelozza vs. Ante Delija

Featherweight Championship:

Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Chris Wade

Light Heavyweight Championship:

Antonio Carlos Jr. vs. Marthin Hamlet

Lightweight Championship:

Loik Radzhabov vs. Raush Manfio

Light Heavyweight Bout:

Omari Akhmedov vs. Jordan Young

Women’s Lightweight Bout:

Julia Budd vs. Kaitlyn Young

Lightweight Bout:

Don Madge vs. Nate Williams