PFL Challenger Series Week 4 Prediction, Vegas Odds, and Picks (Feb 17)
- The 2023 PFL Challenger Series returns with Week 4.
- Four lightweight matchups are on the fight card.
- Check out our predictions for each of Friday’s fights.
Top lightweight prospects get on the stage in Week 4 of the PFL Challenger Series. The event is taking place on Friday, February 17, 2023. Four fights are to be fought that evening and we’re now going to analyze each of them.
- Elvin Espinoza vs Damir Ferhatbegovic
- Manoel Souza vs Paulo Henrique
- Tony Caruso vs Anthony Romero
- Charlie Decca vs Jose Aguayo
Elvin Espinoza vs Damir Ferhatbegovic headlines the evening, while the fight between two Brazilians – Manoel Souza vs Paulo Henrique – will serve as the co-main event. Aussie fighter Tony Caruso is taking on Canada native Anthony Romero in the third fight on the card, while there’s also a duel between Jorge Masvidal’s buddy Charlie Decca and BJJ genius Jose Aguayo.
Schedule and How to Watch
- Where: Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida
- When: Friday, February 17, 2023, at 9 p.m ET
- How to Watch: FuboTV
2023 PFL Challenger Series Week 4 Predictions
Elvin Espinoza vs Damir Ferhatbegovic
Espinoza is a 30-year-old fighter with a 7-0 record and an 86% finish rate. After fighting for years in some relatively obscure competitions, he finally got his PFL shot in 2021. He took it and won his fight on the early preliminary card of the PFL 2021 #7: Playoffs. The following year, he got promoted to the preliminary card and he won again.
This time, he gets to fight the main event of the evening, which is going to be his toughest challenge thus far. Espinoza’s opponent is Damir Ferhatbegovic who is 6-2-1 overall. His record might not be as impressive as Espinoza’s but there’s an explanation for that.
Ferhatbegovic has fought tougher opponents than Espinoza.
In fact, one of his losses happened in his Bellator MMA debut. Most of Ferhatbegovic’s other fights happened in Valor Fights, where he’s the reigning lightweight champ.
Manoel Souza vs Paulo Henrique
Even though this is the co-main event, we feel as if it’s going to be even more exciting that the headliner fight. The thing is that both Manoel Souza and Paulo Henrique are incredibly talented fighters with plenty of experience.
Souza is 9-0 with a 100% finish rate – 6 wins by KO/TKO and 3 by submission. His opponent Henrique is 14-5, with two wins in one night the last time he went inside the cage (November 11, 2022). Henrique does have five losses in his portfolio, but that actually isn’t as bad as it may seem at first.
For instance, his most recent loss happened as a result of a disqualification for an illegal elbow. Before that, he also suffered a split decision loss in 2020, which really could’ve gone either way.
Henrique is coming to Orlando really to give his utmost and money isn’t his only motivation. If he wins the PFL contract, he’s going to become the first deaf fighter in history to get signed by this promotion.
Tony Caruso vs Anthony Romero
It’s been more than two years since Tony Caruso fought a professional MMA fight the last time. It was in October 2020 when he defeated Eduard Folayang from the Philippines in a ONE Championship fight by unanimous decision.
Since then, he did fight one boxing bout but lost by a decision. The loss didn’t come as too much of a surprise as Caruso isn’t a great striker. Instead, he prefers to fight his fights on the ground.
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Meanwhile, Anthony Romero is almost the opposite. With a background in taekwondo, he’s great when it comes to punching and kicking, something which Caruso needs to be worried about.
Another problem for Caruso is that Romero also has a powerful engine in him, which allows him to land a huge number of strikes throughout every fight.
Charlie Decca vs Jose Aguayo
Charlie Decca is a personal friend of Jorge Masvidal who’s helped him raise through the MMA ranks in his native Florida. His record isn’t great (3-2-1), but he’s still in his 20s, so there’s plenty of time to improve his stats. Decca is a well-rounded fighter who likes to grind his opponents which explains why his fighting nickname is The Bull.
His opponent in Week 4 of the 2023 PFL Challenger Series is a different sort of fighter. Jose Aguayo is 5-3 overall, with 80% of his wins happening by submission.
This isn’t much of a surprise knowing that he’s an expert in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which he’s training under coach Cesar Gracie, who’s also trained such MMA legends as the Diaz brothers.