2022 PFL Championships: Early Preview & First Thoughts

The 2022 PFL Championships event from this weekend in New York City will be a massive test for the promotion, as it will be the first time in the company’s history that they have charged PPV prices for one of their events ($49.99 on ESPN+).

The card features twelves fights total, with the six championship fights plus Aspen Ladd vs Julia Budd making up the main card that will only be available to watch on PPV this year.

While the card features undefeated Kayla Harrison seeking to improve to 16-0 and take home another season championship and million-dollar check, it will be interesting to see how many buys the event receives since all of the previous championship cards have been free with ESPN+ in the past.

It will also be interesting to see if the promotion can capitalize on the fact that they are running the event on the night of Black Friday with no UFC events scheduled for this weekend either.

While I have seen quite a few people within the MMA community complain about the event being on PPV, the card consists of six championship fights that are all scheduled for five rounds each that will see a total of $6 million handed out to the winners.

Needless to say, we have definitely seen other promotions schedule much weaker lineups at much higher prices than the $49.99 that is being charged for the 2022 PFL Championships.

The headliner for the event will see Kayla Harrison face Larissa Pacheco for a third time in the PFL. Since falling to Harrison in their second matchup, Pacheco has won five straight fights and all of them have come via first round knockout.

It will be interesting to see if Pacheco fares any better against the undefeated Harrison this time around, who won each of their first two fights via fairly comfortable decisions.

Harrison has said this will almost certainly be her final year competing under the PFL season tournament format and has expressed interest in potentially moving down to the 145-pound women’s featherweight division beginning next year.

Such a move would allow Harrison to potentially make a smoother transition to another promotion such as the UFC or Bellator in the future since neither company currently has a 155-pound women’s division.

Harrison has long been linked to potential fights with Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg in past and this move down in weight classes would only increase the odds of at least one of those fights potentially happening in the near future.

When the PFL takes over Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater on Friday night, they’ll be doing so with plenty of former UFC talent on the card, including two fighters making their PFL debuts: Marlon Moraes and Aspen Ladd.

Moraes was originally scheduled to face fellow PFL-newcomer Shane Burgos at the event, but Burgos was forced to withdraw from the card. Marlon will now be facing Sheymon Moraes on the undercard of the event.

Speaking of PFL debuts, Biaggio Ali Walsh, the grandson of the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali, will be making his first appearance with the promotion as he takes on Tom Graesser to open the undercard.

Be sure to check back here at OddSmokerMMA closer to the event to see all of the bets that we will be running for the card once the sportsbooks start to fully open up their prop markets.

Since the betting lines for PFL fights are usually a little high for my liking, I usually prefer to target the prop bets in these situations over moneyline plays with odds often hovering north of -350.

Do you plan on paying $49.99 this weekend to watch the 2022 PFL Championships? How do you think the promotion’s PPV debut will turn out? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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