The PFL 2023 season kicks off in April, but there is no harm in looking ahead to the action now.
Set for PFL 3 on April 14 will be the final matches of the first round in the regular season. The event takes place from The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.
In the headline act, 2022 lightweight champion Olivier Aubin-Mercier begins his defense and pursuit of a second title against Shane Burgos.
Looking at this bout, we are sure to expect nothing but fireworks from the two athletes.
The 34-year-old Aubin-Mercier finished off his 2022 run as champion, knocking out Stevie Ray in the second round. The win extended his streak to six in a row and was his first finish since 2018 when he stopped Evan Dunham in the UFC.
A finalist on The Ultimate Fighter, Aubin-Mercier was right there while competing for the UFC. He went 7-5 over 12 Octagon appearances, including a four-fight win streak from 2016-18.
After losing three close decisions, including one to Gilbert Burns, Aubin-Mercier signed up with the PFL. He went 2-0 in 2021 before reeling off four wins during the 2022 season over Natan Schulte, Raush Manfio, Alex Martinez and Ray.
All in all, he is at the head of the class of his division now.
But Burgos is going to present a challenge. The New York native was one of the big free agent signings by the promotion, coming in off back-to-back UFC wins.
Burgos, who is 15-3 overall, went 8-3 with the promotion, competing in four “Fight of the Night” bouts. He holds wins over Charles Jourdain, Cub Swanson and Charles Rosa on his resume.