The PFL is back for the start of another season, and lightweights and light heavyweights open the 2022 campaign.
PFL 2022, Week 1 takes place Wednesday at Esports Arena in Arlington, Texas. The main card airs on ESPN/ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN+.
(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)
In the main event, longtime UFC fighter Jeremy Stephens (28-19) makes the move to the PFL for a shot at the lightweight title. He takes on Clay Collard (20-9) in the season opener. It’s the most contentious fight in the picks from our 11 editors, writers, radio hosts and videographers, who have Collard with just a 6-5 lead.
In the co-feature, 2021 lightweight winner Raush Manfio (15-3) meets Don Madge (10-3-1) in the first fight in his quest to win another season. Manfio is a near-unanimous pick at 10-1.
Also on the main card, Antonio Carlos Junior (13-5) opens the light heavyweight season against Delan Monte (8-1). Junior is the only unanimous pick from our staff members at 11-0.
And to open the main card, Olivier Aubin-Mercier (13-5) takes on two-time lightweight winner Natan Schulte (21-4-1). Schulte has a big 9-2 lead in the picks.
In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Collard (50.1 percent), Madge (54 percent), Junior (83 percent) and Schulte (52 percent) are the choices.
Check out all the picks above.