The PFL 2021 Finals are underway Wednesday, October 27th at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. This card carries six Tournament Championships and the return of boxing legend Clarrisa Shields.
Prop bets are available on every bout, and seven of ten fights contain forty cent or better payouts on both fighters.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 26, 2021
Each division champion crowned will receive a 1 million dollar payout. Fighters will be looking to win at any cost, and often, this makes a decision more likely as fighters work toward not losing above all else.
At thesportsgeek.com, we went 8-2 on the last card, calling 80% of fight picks accurately across ten fights. Let’s take you the fight stats, betting odds, and top picks for each fight on the PFL 2021 Championship card.
PFL Main Event: Kayla Harrison vs Taylor Guardado
Kayla Harrison faces her toughest opponent to date in the viscous invicta Tournament contestant, Taylor Guardado.
|Fighter||Kayla Harrison||Taylor Guardado|
|Submissions/TKO||4 submission, 5 TKO||0|
|Odds Last Three Fights||-1667, -1900, -2000||-135, -145, -105|
Harrison is a strong favorite, and gives up three inches of reach against Guardado. You’ll notice a discrepancy in skill and experience. While Kayla was a two time Olympic Judo champion, Taylor was enjoying her amatuer fight career.
Taylor has thirteen unrecorded fights that span back to 2009. She beat the UFC’s Raquel Pennington in 2010, lost a close fight to Ronda Rousey in 2011, and defeated the UFC’s Ashlee Evans-Smith in 2012.
Both Fighters have a history of favorite status.
Placing a Bet on Kayla Harrision
A bet on Harrison pays out at only $0.03 per dollar wagered. She’s blown through every opponent she’s faced, with Larissa Pacheco being the only fighter to take her to a decision. She’s a nice addition to a parlay bet. I’m going to look for the right prop bet to pick based on their collective performances.
Kayla Harrison Record and Fight History
Harrison has two TKO finishes and one submission finish in PFL. She went pro in 2018, so all eleven finishes are over the last three years.
Harrison is entirely focused on getting whatever finish comes her way. I want to be able to predict whether she’ll be submission or TKO focused, but in reality, Harrison doesn’t think that way- she’ll be looking for any finish available. Note that this is her strongest favorite status of the season, up to -3500 from -1667.
Comparing Harrison’s and Guardado’s PFL Stats
|Stats for 2021 Season||Harrison||Guardado|
|Inner Ring Takedown Percentage||19%||33%|
Harrison is out striking Guardado 2:1, primarily via ground strikes. Guardado has better takedown success, and better success at the inner ring. This means off of the fence, Guardado has better takedown outcomes on overage.
Harrison will usually bully opponents to the cage. She should double down on this strategy against Guardado.
Placing a Bet on Guardado
Guardado pays out at $14.50 per dollar wagered. Upsetting Kayla Harrison is no easy task.
Harrison Strengths and Weaknesses
She put intense cage pressure on Muay Thai champion Genah Fabian. Her last fight was one of the most refined of her career. The referee refused to stop the bout and Genah took dozens of nearly unanswered shots, where the best she could do was cup her ear in defense. Harrison is yet to display any weaknesses, except in open boxing.
She’s been training at ATT with Amanda Nunes, so we can assume her striking will improve.
Guardado Strengths and Weaknesses
Guardado is more focused on shootboxing than clinch work. She’ll look to stay out of the clinch, striking at Harrison from range. If the fight makes it late into round two or three, I won’t be surprised to see Guardado shoot a double leg attempt. She hasn’t finished since her fight with Rousey as an amatuer.
Top Prop Bet Picks for Harrison vs Guardado
If you believe in the strength of Guardado’s will, the Harrison by decision prop is seven times your money. I’m looking closely at the over and under props. They’re set at the 1 ½ rounds mark despite this being a five round fight.
Final Pick for Kayla Harrison vs Taylor Guardado
I do not think Guardado will win. She’s tough, and will come in with a good gameplan. Her history of staying alive through tough moments leads me to think she’ll be a challenge for Harrison, more so than the last three fights.
Co-Main Event: Magomed Mogmedkerimov vs Ray Cooper III
Our Welterweight Final was between PFL tournament winner Magomed and the man who upset Rory MacDonald, Ray Cooper.
|Fighter||Magomed Mogmedkerimov||Ray Cooper III|
|Submissions/TKO||9 submissions, 10 TKO||7 submissions, 14 TKO|
|Odds Last Three Fights||-835, -1200, -350||+134, +180, -649|
Cooper is a favorite of the two fights running. He stands 5’7’’ at welterweight and gives up three inches of reach. Both fighters have around 60% finishing ratios and above thirty fights.
Placing a Bet on Magomed Mogmedkerimov
Mogomed has had a flawless season, in addition to his thirteen-fight winning streak. He defeated Ray Cooper in 2018 via guillotine in the second round. Given his continued, unrivaled success it is a wonder he pays out at $0.50 per dollar wagered.
Magomed Mogmedkerimov Record and Fight Performances
Magomed’s last loss was in 2015 against Vitaly Bigdash. Each of these losses took place in Russian organizations like ProFC and S-70. His pro record spans back to when Magomed was just 18, fighting in 2008.
His style has evolved into a pressure fighter that grinds fighters out near the fence. He boxes people into the corner, and uses superior wrestling and ground striking to work toward the finish. Magomed has the ability to outpace fighters, shown in his 222 of 366 standing strikes landed in two fights this season alone.
Magomed has finished five of his ten PFL bouts.
Placing a Bet on Ray Cooper III
Cooper pays out at $1.70 per dollar wagered, and in my opinion, he should offer much more.
The Ray Cooper that lost to Magomed three years ago has since earned two decision victories over tough opponents, and finished four others. He’s still riding off two wins on an aging Jake Shields, and his performance over Rory MacDonald doesn’t convince me he’s a changed fighter.
Ray Cooper III Record and Fight Performances
Cooper’s last loss was to John Howard in 2019. He was knocked unconscious in the second round. Coopers had a great season, landing 712 of 996 thrown in just three bouts. However his high pace is indicative of his main weakness, that if the tide turns on the fight, Cooper fades.
Cooper showed improved wrestling, shooting multiple double leg takedowns on MacDonald. Rory gassed early and was unable to withstand Cooper’s pace. At one point he began to win the grappling exchanges, and if Cooper brings that level of clench fighting to Magomed, he’ll get stomped.
Top Prop Bet Picks for Magomed vs Cooper II
Considering the submissions Magomed has pulled off, the either fighter by submission prop would be the riskier, higher paying bet. The -200 moneyline on Magomed is too high to pass up for me. I could see this fight going to a decision, in which case the money lines still pay more than the Over prop.
Final Pick in Magomed Mogmedkerimov vs Ray Cooper III
Cooper is tough, but he isn’t finishing higher level fighters. Magomed is on track to be the best fighter in the PFL pound for pound.
Claressa Shields vs Abigail Montes
The boxing legend Shields takes on Abigail Montes in this lightweight bout.
|Fighter||Claressa Shields||Abigail Montes|
|Submissions/TKO||0 submissions, 1 TKO||0 submissions, 1 TKO|
|Odds Last FIght||-265||+330|
Shields is the favorite with nearly all stats the same. She has a mild four inch height advantage.
Placing a Bet on Clarrissa Shields
Shields plays out at $0.33 per dollar wager. She’s been working with Jackson-Wink in Albuquerque, developing her mma game at a rapid pace. They’ve produced quite a bit of training footage for Shields, and it looks like she’s learned grappling quickly.
Any bettor’s biggest concern should be shields submission experience, which is still very fresh.
Her first bout ended by TKO. Elkin took her down and dominated early, winning the first two rounds with relative ease. Shields clipped her with an uppercut in the third that led to a fight ending ground strikes.
Claressa Shields Boxing Experience
For those unaware, Shields is in the rankings for best pound for pound female boxer of all time. She’s 11-0 with two KOs. She won two Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016.
Her most recent boxing match was Ivana Habazin, a 20-3 contender who Shields beat on the scorecards eight rounds to two.
Shields was never a knockout artist, scoring two KOs her whole career as a boxer.
Placing a Bet on Abigail Montes
Is a fighter out of Mexico cross training at multiple facilities. Her first fight was at bantamweight, and she struggled to grapple at that weight. In 2019 she had no head movement to speak of, and while her striking has won her two bouts, she’s in another world vs Claressa Shields.
Abigail pays out at $2.50 per dollar wagered.
Top Prop Bet Picks for Montes vs Shields
Shields pays out at ⅓ of your bet despite being three natural weight classes higher than her grossly inexperienced opponent. While some of these prop bets feel like the right move if you’re looking for a bigger payout, I’ll be sticking with the money lines. We don’t have enough data on Shields in mma to predict an over/under prop.
— PFL (@PFLMMA) October 26, 2021
Final Pick for Claressa Shields vs Abigail Montes
Shields is a boxing GOAT that should make a smooth MMA transition.
Bruno Cappelozza vs Ante Delija
Two finishers entered into the PLF Heavyweight Final for the second time this season after Cappellozza knocked out Delija in 46 seconds.
|Fighter||Bruno Cappelozza||Ante Delija|
|Submissions/TKO||0 submissions, 13 TKO||6 submissions, 8 TKO|
|Odds Last FIght||-200||+285|
Ante has a better submission game, and Bruno has lost twice via submission. Bruno is a knockout artist with a slight height disadvantage. Neither fighter had an amatuer career.
Placing a Bet on Bruno Cappelozza
This is Bruno’s first season in PFL, winning all three bouts via finish in the first and second round. He lost to UFC title contender Jiri Prochazka by knockout in 2018, and before that hasn’t lost since 2015.
Bruno’s long spanning career started at Jungle Fight in 2010. He racked up both submission losses for the promotion, and his submission defense has since improved.
Bruno pays out at $0.45 per dollar wagered.
Bruno’s PLF Performances
Bruno finished all three PFL bouts with just 58 strikes. He rarely shoots for the takedown, but is 1/1 in PFL on attempts.
He came in as the underdog in his win over Delija, a fight he won with a flurry of strikes in under one minute. His most recent fight against Jamelle Jones ended with a jab.
Placing a Bet on Ante Delija
Ante pays out at $1.85 per dollar wagered. This is low considering he lost a fight to Bruno just months ago.
Ante was on a three fight winning streak before his loss to Bruno. He’s defeated a number of mid level heavyweights, and his biggest win to date is the 8-2 Chandler Cole of PFL.
Ante’s PFL Stats
Ante landed 188 of 264 strikes while standing in his last three fights. I think he’ll be shooting the takedown more often this fight, scoring 66% of his PFL attempts.
Ante can’t stand and exchange with Burno. He doesn’t have the chin for it, or the head movement.
Top Prop Bet Picks for Cappelozza vs Delija
Cappelozza is a steal at -220, but a -175 prop that matches his every win is even better. Cappelozza by TKO pays $0.57 per dollar wagered. The Under ½ Rounds prop is enticing, but I imagine Ante is going to come out aggressive for the takedown and could tie up a round or two in this way.
Final Bet for Ante Delija vs Bruno Cappelozza
Bruno is in the prime of his career, and I don’t see Ante slowing down his momentum.
Movlid Khaybulaev vs Chris Wade
UFC veteran Chris Wade is the underdog yet again for his bout with Movlid Khaybulaev.
|Fighter||Movlid Khaybulaev||Chris Wade|
|Submissions/TKO||2 submission, 6 TKO||5 submission, 1 TKO|
|Odds Last Fight||-135,-170, -140||+215, +170, +125|
This marks Chris’s fourth fight as the underdog in a row. Movlid is the favorite and has never been above -111.
Wade is taller, with more experience. His UFC run was just four years ago, spanning 2014 to 2017.
Placing a Bet on Movlid Khaybulaev
Movlid has been with the PFL for two seasons, 2019 and 2021. His 2019 run ended in a no contest after he was finished by Daniel Pineda, but Pineda was popped by NSAC for exogenous testosterone.
Movlid’s second run has been more successful, winning three decisions in a row. His split decision win over Brendan Loughanane gives some indication that this Chris Wade fight will be competitive.
Movlid’s PFL Stats
Movlid keeps a moderate pace that he holds throughout the fight, landing 636 of 814 strikes across six bouts. His main draw is his 24 of 26 takedowns landed. He lands the majority of takedowns off the fence, 86% of his work is done nner zone (meaning off the fence in PFL.)
Against Andre Harrison, he won a decision that was one of his closest to date. Movlid struggled to finish or set up takedowns. Wade will look to this bout to develop a strategy for Movlid.
Placing a Bet on Chris Wade
Wade pays out at $1.40 per dollar wager. We didn’t call his upset of Bubba Jenkins, which put him at 3-0 for the season.
This is Wade’s third PFL and his third time at the finals. He’s lost to Loik Radzhabov and Natan Schulte inside the PFL, each loss via decision.
Wade’s game has evolved a bit since his UFC days, and he’s less focused on submissions and achieving top position as he was back then.
Wade’s PFL bouts have gone to decision nine times out of eleven. He has one guillotine choke finish and one TKO, but has never been finished in PFL.
Chris Wade PFL Stats
While standing, Wade lands less often and strikes less often than Molvid, landing 549 of 708 strikes across eleven bouts. He does have solid ground striking, landing 207 shots in PFL.
Wade carries a 30% takedown percentage, though I find it unlikely he’ll look for the takedown attempt versus Movlid.
Top Prop Bet Picks for Movlid vs Wade
With Khaybulaev’s willingness to win a decision, and Wade’s ability to stop anyone from finishing him, I think we’ll see a long fight. The Over 4 ½ rounds prop gives us a little wiggle room and we don’t lose much money compared to the fight Goes to decision prop.
The Over pays $0.59 per dollar wagered.
Final Betting Pick for Movlid Khaybulaev vs Chris Wade
I’m not sure who will win this fight. I think Wade could pull it off, especially after a look at his last few performances. I’m not going to bet against Movlid’s success, and you don’t know how a fighter will withstand that kind of pressure until they’re in the cage.
Antonio Carlos Junior vs Marthin Hamlet
The Light-heavyweight final is between UFC competitor and BJJ black belt Antonio Junior versus human wrecking ball, Marthin Hamlet.
|Fighter||Antonio Carlos Junior||Marthin Hamlet|
|Record||12-5, 2 NC||8-2|
|Submissions/TKO||9 Submissions, 0 TKO||3 submissions, 3 TKO|
|Odds Last Three Fights||-158, -275,-125||-147,-265, -265|
Hamlet is younger and less experienced, but has more TKO wins. Junior takes the height and reach advantage, submitmitting half of his total opponents.
Placing a Bet on Antonio Carlos Junior
Junior pays out at $0.54 per dollar wager. Considering that Hamlet’s most recent loss was via submission, it’s easy to imagine that the much more experienced and decorated submission competitor would do the same.
Hamlet submitted mostly due to exhaustion, unable to keep his pace for three rounds. Carlos may be able to submit Hamlet early, but I imagine they’ll have a tough fight beforehand.
Antonio left the UFC for PFL this year, fighting his last fight against Brad Tavares in January. He was on a three fight losing streak, totalling a 7-3 UFC record, not counting his three wins of TUF. The former Ultimate Fighter defeated fighters like Marvin Vettori, now 185 lbs title contender, and Tim Boetsh via RNC in round 1.
Antonio’s PFL Stats
Antonio’s takedown percentage is among the most important stats here. He landed 4 of 14 takedowns across his three PFL appearances.
His guillotine win over fellow UFC alum Tom Lawler at the end of round three sported plenty of clinch fighting. Locking up with Hamlet is going to test Antonio’s strength and hopefully showcase his improved grappling.
Placing a Bet on Marthin Hamlet
Hamlet has been open in stating he feels he can grapple with Antonio in MMA and that “grappling without punches is different.” Presumably, he sees many fighters aren’t aggressive enough to put Antonio away.
Hamlet pays out +160.
Hamlet PFL Stats and Performances
Hamlet has landed 180 of 196 strikes across three fights. He defeated Dan Spohn with a second round submission, and Cezar Ferreira by hamstring injury immediately in the first round.
Most of these strikes came during his three round loss against 8-4 Cory Hendricks.
Hendricks outlasted Hamlet’s onslaught and choked him in the third round. Hendricks has been knocked out twice in his career.
Given that stat, I don’t think Hamlet will be finishing Antonio. We will see a decision or a submission.
Top Prop Bet Picks for Hamlet vs Carlos Junior
Junior’s time at ATT in Florida makes me more confident he can finish a decision win over Hamlet. Hamlet may come out firing, making the Under 2 ½ Rounds prop feel likely. I’m not convinced Hamlet is on Junior’s level, and the PFL wanted to protect him to build a star. They threw easy fighters his way, and he still lost to one of them.
I’m more convinced of a Junior submission bet than a Hamlet Moneyline.
Final Betting Pick for Mathin Hamlet vs Antonio Carlos Junior
Loik Radzhabov vs Raush Manfio
Knockout artist Raugh Manfio takes on the well rounded grappler Loik Radzhabov.
|Fighter||Loik Radzhabov||Raush Manfio|
|Submissions/TKO||4 submissions, 7 TKO||0 submissions, 7 TKO|
|Odds Last Fight||-205||+171|
Ruash has the majority of natural advantages, coming in the underdog against Loik due to Looks wins over higher caliber fighters and Raush’s near misses in each bout.
Placing a Bet on Raush Manfio
Raush pays out at $1.95 per dollar wagered. He’s won three straight at PFL in his first season, defeating the former UFC title contender Anthony Pettis. All three of his PFL bouts ended in a decision, with two wins coming by way of split decision for Raush.
Raush’s PFL Stats
Raush hasn’t attempted any takedowns in PFL. he’s landed 198 total strikes to win all three PFL fights.
Raush’s like striking makes up for ⅓ of his total strikes. Loik often looks for the takedown as a kick counter, so this may play a role.
Raush’s Fight Record and Titan FC Title
Raush was the Titan FC champion. While he has knockout power, he hasn’t demonstrated it in the cage since 2017. He joined PFL after losing his Titan FC title. It’s clear that Ruash is talented, but stopping Loik will take significant takedown defense that he hasn’t shown in PFL or in Titan FC.
Placing a Bet on Loik Radzhabov
Loik fought Alex Martinez twice this year, losing in April and winning definitively in August. His first round knockout of Akhmed Aliev took only thirty seconds. Last season Loik went 2-2 in the PFL. He’s started cross training with Sanford MMA in Florida and it’s changed his abilities drastically.
Loik pays out at $0.43 per dollar wager.
Loik’s PFL Stats and Performances
Loik is constantly going for the takedown, scoring 26 of 34 across two PFL seasons. He stays active on the feet, landing 250 of 342 strikes total.
His losses to Natan Shulte and Alex Martinez have shown that if you can stop the takedown, Loik gets desperate in the late rounds.
Top Prop Bet Picks for Loik vs Raush
There aren’t many likely props, and I see this fight going to a decision. Maybe we’ll see a new version of Loik given his time at Sanford.
The Over gives us better odds than Loik, but I’m not against the possibility of a finish in this fight.
Final Betting Pick for Loik Radzhabov vs Raush Manfio
Omari Akhmedov vs Jordan Young
Omari jumps from the UFC to Bellator import Jordan Young.
|Fighter||Omari Akhmedov||Jordan Young|
|Submissions/TKO||6 submissions, 7TKO||9 submissions, 0 TKO|
|Odds Last Fight||+135||+650|
Young has the majority of advantages except for a serious experience advantage on part of Omari. Both fighters come off of underdog losses leading up to this bout.
Young vs Omari Training Backgrounds
Both fighters come from American Top Team Florida. Omari made the switch back to Tiger Muay Thai and MMA to train for the bout in Thailand. It’s unclear whether they’ve trained together, but it’s not the first time Omari has fought a teammate, taking on Kyle Noke in 2016.
Placing a Bet on Young
Young has lost two fight’s straight to Tom Lawlor and Julius Anglickas, two fough 185 lbs fighters. His submission wins are primarily in the first round, save a third round submission over Jamal Pogues in Bellator.
Young pays out at $3.75 per dollar wager.
Placing a Bet on Omari
Omari is the favorite at -575.
He struggled toward the end of his UFC career, losing to Chris Weidman and Brad Tavaras thirteen months apart. He was submitted twice in the UFC, both times via guillotine off a takedown attempt.
Top Prop Bet Picks for Young vs Omari
Final Betting Pick for Omari Akhmedov vs Jordan Young
I see an upset. Young is a still developing athlete and Omari is open to good submission fighting. After reviewing fight tape,Young plays a frustrating game for Omari, and he’ll need to rush forward, similar to the Gunnar Nelson fight.
Julia Budd vs Kaitlin Young
The strong favorite Budd hopes to walk right through Kaitlin Young.
|Fighter||Julia Budd||Kaitlin Young|
|Submissions/TKO||1 submissions, 6 TKO||0 submission, 8 TKO|
Julia Budd is seven years older, with slightly more range and height.
Julia Budd vs Kaitlin Young’s Fight Record
Budd’s only losses come from the who’s who of women’s mma. She’s lost to Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes. No one else has even stood a chance. She’s finished two of her last five fights via TKO.
Young has lost two of her last four via decision. She had a rough run at the Invicta level and nothing about her last few performances show that she can win this fight.
Top Prop Bet Picks for Budd vs Young
Where sportsbooks are allowing it, a Budd inside the distance bet is my pick for this bout. However, that isn’t available everywhere. The Under 2 ½ Rounds prop at $2.30 per dollar wagered lines up with Budd’s last few finishes against similar caliber opponents.
Final Pick for Julia Bud vs Kaitlin Young
I pick the prop bets Under 2 ½ Rounds at +230 or Budd Inside the Distance +259
PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!
Don Madge vs Nathan Williams
|Fighter||Don Madge||Nathan Williams|
|Submissions/TKO||3 submissions, 5 TKO||4 submissions, 1 TKO|
Madge is the strong favorite, giving up three inches of reash and the experience advantage to Nathan Williams.
Madge vs Williams Records and Fight Performances
Willimas has won two decisions over his last three bouts, losing one via knockout. He has been finished four times in his career, twice by submission and twice by knockout.
Madge is on a six fight winning streak, knocking out four opponents and submission Dave Mazany at EFC,
Madge is coming off two wins at UFC in 2018 and 2019. It’s unclear if he’ll continue inside the promotion. This is a huge opportunity for Williams, but it’s likely Madge will run right through him.
Top Prop Bet Picks for Madge vs Williams
Given Madge’s last two fights were an early finish and a decision, it’s tough to be an over/under prop. Madge’s moneyline pays at $0.14 per dollar wagered. While the inside the distance prop is a significant boost, I’m tentative to bet on a fighter who’s been out for two years.
Final Bet for Don Madge vs Nathan Williams
PFL 2021 Wrap Up
Madge, Shields and Loik make a great parlay if you’re looking for more risk and a higher payout. PFL cards have been exciting while still being predictable, which is exactly what I look for as a bettor and fan. Let us know what you want to see more of in the comments below!