KEY POINTS

  • Fabricio Werdum is ready to bolster his list of MMA accolades
  • Kayla Harrison gears up for new challenges in the women's lightweight division
  • PFL is set for another explosive season on Apr. 23

There is a lot to look forward to in the 2021 season of the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

The fastest-rising mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion has already proven a lot, and the only logical thing to do right now is to up the stakes.

Fabricio Werdum and Kayla Harrison are ready to do just that in the heavyweight and women’s lightweight divisions.

Set to kick off on Apr. 23, the PFL third season includes a star-studded cast who have already carved a name for themselves.

Werdum is no exception, someone who has been around in the MMA world. That includes stints in PRIDE FC, Strikeforce and the UFC.

Werdum has also faced the best in the cage. That list includes Cain Velasquez, Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Brandon Vera, and Minotauro Nogueira.

He is 24-9-1, with most of his wins coming off submission. Hence, there is reason to be excited about what the heavyweight bracket will have to offer.

Fabricio Werdum Fabricio Werdum drinks water during his UFC Heavyweight Championship Fight against Cain Velasquez in Mexico City. Photo: Getty

Out to test the mettle of Werdum are Ali Isaev, Bruno Cappelozza, Ante Delija, Renan Ferreira, Denis Goltsov, Hatef Moeil, Brandon Sayles, Justin Willis and Mohammed Usman.

“Everyone loves to see the big boys go out and sling the heavy leather. As a former heavyweight, I’m no different,” Ray Sefo, PFL president of fighter operations, stated.

The same level of excitement holds for the women’s lightweight class. Harrison is the reigning PFL women’s lightweight champion and will be out to continue her supremacy.

Familiar faces like Larissa Pacheco will have a new crack at the two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo.

Pacheco has proven to be tough for Harrison, the only fighter to have gone the distance with the highly-decorated judo practitioner.

But of course, Harrison has other fighters to worry about. That list includes Cindy Dandois, Genah Fabian, Olena Kolesnyk, Mariana Morais, Julija Pajic and Laura Sanchez.

Sefo is also explaining the high level of competition, making him anxious to see how Harrison, Pacheco and the rest will fare this coming April.

Kayla Harrison of the United States Kayla Harrison of the United States Photo: Getty Images | Harry How

“I’m also very excited to see our women’s division kick off their season. We’ve brought in the best talent in the world to challenge Kayla and Larissa, and it will be an even more challenging season for these very talented athletes,”  the PFL top brass declared.

The PFL will be broadcasted live on ESPN2 and ESPN+ in the United States. It will also be distributed to 160 additional countries around the world on premium sports networks.