The first PFL card of 2023 is official with the featherweights and light heavyweights taking center stage on April 1 with the event taking place at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.
As previously announced, the main event will see 2022 PFL featherweight champion Brendan Loughnane get started on a second run at the $1 million grand prize when he faces one-time UFC title challenger Marlon Moraes.
Loughnane went undefeated in 2022 before capping off his year with a win over Bubba Jenkins in the finals to secure the championship in the featherweight division. Meanwhile, Moraes will look to stop a five-fight losing streak that dates back to 2020 and also includes a knockout loss to Sheymon Moraes in his PFL debut this past November.
The co-main event will see 2022 PFL light heavyweight champion Rob Wilkinson take on Thiago Santos, who signed with the promotion after exiting the UFC this past year. Wilkinson put on a very impressive showcase on his way to winning the $1 million prize at 205 pounds but he’ll face one of his toughest tests to date in a veteran like Santos, who has stood toe-to-toe with the likes of Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira, Jan Blachowicz and Johnny Walker.
2021 PFL featherweight champion Movlid Khaybulaev will make his highly anticipated return after he was forced to miss the 2022 season due to injury. He will face Ryoji Kudo in his opening round matchup to start the 2023 PFL season.
Chris Wade will battle Bubba Jenkins in another featherweight matchup while Omari Akhmedov will return to face Will Fleury at light heavyweight, which rounds out the five fight main card.
The preliminary card still has a few matchups to get finalized but one interesting addition to the PFL roster is 17-fight UFC veteran Krzysztof Jotko, who joined the promotion after he was removed from the UFC roster this past October.
Here’s the full lineup as it stands for the PFL 1 card on April 1:
Brendan Loughnane vs. Marlon Moraes
Robert Wilkinson vs. Thiago Santos
Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Ryoji Kudo
Chris Wade vs. Bubba Jenkins
Omari Akhmedov vs. Will Fleury
Krzystof Jotko vs. TBA
Marthin Hamlet vs. Mohammed Fakhreddine
Joshua Silveria vs. Sam Kei
Alejandro Flores vs. Daniel Torres
Jo Sungbin vs. TBA
TBA Showcase vs. TBA Showcase