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PFL releases heavyweight and women’s lightweight rosters for 2021 season

Kayla Harrison remains the favourite to retain in the women's lightweight division

The PFL released the rosters for its heavyweight and women’s lightweight rosters today and  according to president of fighter operations Ray Sefo, it should be an even more challenging season for its champions.

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One of the new featured heavyweights is Mohammed Usman, the bigger brother of UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. Usman (7-1-0), 31, who stands 6-2 and about 245 pounds, went undefeated in four fights in the Titan FC promotion, collecting two finishes.

Usman will join newcomer and former UFC and Strikeforce heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1), who at 43 years old will attempt to run the table in yet another organization and unseat current champion Ali Isayev.

“Everyone loves to see the big boys go out and sling the heavy leather,” Sefo said in a press release. “As a former heavyweight I’m no different. I’m also very excited to see our women’s division kick off their season. We’ve brought in the best talent in the world to challenge Kayla and Larissa and it will be an even more challenging season for these very talented athletes.”

“Our fighters continue to showcase their smarts, grit and bold personalities as we get closer and closer to the season, and we are excited to support them in their journeys with the PFL,” PFL CEO Peter Murray added. “Each fighter has his or her own unique journey and we are confident the PFL will provide them and our fans with ample opportunity for exciting matchups making it a great season.”

Joining the women’s lightweights will be former Invicta FC fighter Cindy Dandois (16-5-0), 36, who has a win over former Invicta FC Featherweight champion Megan Anderson. She also briefly fought in the UFC, Bellator, and Rizin promotions.

Undefeated PFL defending women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison (8-0-0) remains the big favourite to retain the title, but the new talent should make things interesting.

There is also the previous announcement of female middleweight undisputed boxing champion Clarissa Shields joining the lightweight division in the 2022 season.

The 2021 Heavyweight (265 lbs.) roster includes:

  • Bruno Cappelozza
  • Ante Delija
  • Renan Ferreira
  • Denis Goltsov
  • Ali Isaev
  • Hatef Moeil
  • Brandon Sayles
  • Mohammed Usman
  • Justin Willis
  • Fabricio Werdum

The 2021 Women’s Lightweight (155 lbs.) roster includes:

  • Cindy Dandois
  • Genah Fabian
  • Kayla Harrison
  • Olena Kolesnyk
  • Mariana Morais
  • Larissa Pacheco
  • Julija Pajic
  • Laura Sanchez

The 2021 season begins on April 23 on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and live streamed on ESPN+ in primetime. The regular season events are scheduled for April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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