NEW YORK – The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league, today announced the matchups for weeks 3 and 4 of the inaugural PFL Challenger Series. The PFL Challenger Series continues from Universal Studios in Orlando, FL on Friday, March 4 at 9 p.m. ET in the women’s lightweight division and March 11 at 9 p.m. ET with men’s featherweight action. The PFL Challenger Series airs live exclusively on Fubo Sports Network, the live TV network from sports-first live TV streaming platform fuboTV Inc. (NYSE: FUBO).
The PFL Challenger Series is a platform in which MMA fighters can earn a PFL contract and an opportunity to compete in the PFL Regular Season. The PFL continues to innovate the sport of MMA by expanding opportunities for exceptional fighters from around the globe.
The PFL Challenger Series has seen more than 500 fighters from around the world apply to compete. Out of the applicants, eight, one per week, will earn a PFL contract which will put them in the 2022 Regular Season or set them on a development path with the league in hopes of joining a future Season.
“The Professional Fighters League is a meritocracy and this merit-based system is on full display with the inaugural PFL Challenger Series on Fubo Sports Network.” said Ray Sefo, President of Fighter Operations of PFL. “We look forward to thrilling action from the women’s lightweight and men’s featherweight divisions. The PFL Challenger Series gives MMA fans a glimpse into the future of our sport.”
The women’s lightweight event will be headlined by a matchup of European kickboxers who have made the move to MMA. The Czech Republic’s Martina Jindrova (3-2) is a combat sports veteran and four-time Czech national kickboxing champion. She will be taking on a fellow kickboxer in Portugal’s Jacqueline Cavalcanti. Cavalcanti (2-0) has an extensive striking resume and is undefeated in her young MMA career.
Former United States Olympic trials wrestler Jackie Cataline will take on young Brazilian phenom Evelyn Martins in a battle of top prospects. Cataline, a former Pan American and two-time USA national wrestling champion, will be making her professional debut. She will face one of the best young prospects in women’s MMA in Martins. The 19-year-old is already 2-0 as a pro and has been training out of the prestigious American Top Team since arriving in the United States.
Germany’s Julia Dorny will take on American Jeslen Michelle and New Zealand’s Michelle Montague will face American veteran Olivia Parker to round out the card.
EFC champion Reinaldo Ekson and Mike Barnett will square off in the main event of the March 11 featherweight card. Ekson (16-5) is a well-rounded Brazilian fighter who will be making his North American debut and looking for a ticket to the 2022 PFL Season. Barnett (11-3) is a finisher who has three first round stoppages on his ledger.
Wrestling standout Edwin Cooper Jr. and Aaron Blackie matchup in a duel of high-end grapplers. Cooper Jr. (5-1) trains out of Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink camp and is a former Juco national champion who also wrestled at the University of Iowa. Blackie (8-2) is a grappling savant out of Australia who has finished all eight of his victories.
South Korea’s Do Gyeom Lee (8-4) will face American Josh Blyden (9-2) and Duke Roufus-trained Scottie Stockman (3-1) takes on Mexican prospect Brahyan Zurcher (2-0) in the night’s opening bout.
Women’s Lightweight Matchups – March 4
Martina Jindrova vs. Jacqueline Cavalcanti
Jackie Cataline vs. Evelyn Martins
Julia Dorny vs. Jeslen Mishelle
Michelle Montague vs. Olivia Parker
Featherweight Matchups – March 11
Rienaldo Ekson vs. Mike Barnett
Edwin Cooper Jr. vs. Aaron Blackie
Do Gyeom Lee vs. Josh Blyden
Scottie Stockman vs. Brahyan Zurcher
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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