Brendan Loughnane: PFL champion from Manchester returns to the MMA cage - when his fight is & how to watch it

Manchester MMA fighter Brendan Loughnane is about to start the defence of his PFL title - here’s when the Fallowfield featherweight champion is in action.

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Manchester MMA champion Brendan Loughnane is about to return to the cage to begin the defence of the title he won four months ago on a historic night for the sport in the city.

The Fallowfield featherweight wrote his name in history and joined a select band of British belt winners when he defeated Bubba Jenkins at Madison Square Garden in New York City at the PFL World Championships in November 2022.

Now Brendan is preparing to begin the defence of his Professional Fighters League (PFL) title at the regular season opener for 2023 in Las Vegas, where he is due to face Marlon Moraes.

Here’s what you need to know about the first MMA fighter from Manchester ever to secure a global title in the sport as he begins the task of defending his crown, includng how to watch the fight.

When is Brendan Loughnane competing in the PFL in 2023?

The first step on the road to defending the featherweight championship belt is the headlining fight as the PFL’s 2023 regular season gets under way in the USA on Saturday 1 April.

Brendan became the most successful Mancunian in MMA history with a fourth-round technical knock out (TKO) victory against his American rival Bubba Jenkins at the season-ending event in NYC which saw him pick up the PFL featherweight belt and a cheque for $1m.

As the defending champion Brendan enters the 2023 PFL regular season as the number one seed in the 145lb category and his first assignment is Moraes, a 34-year-old Brazilian who has previously competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) but is embarking on his first full season in the PFL and is on a five-fight losing streak, including a TKO defeat to Sheymon Moraes at last season’s finals night. Overall Moraes has a record in MMA of 23 wins, 11 losses and one draw.

Brendan Loughnane is the PFL featherweight champion. Photo: Cooper Neill/PFLBrendan Loughnane is the PFL featherweight champion. Photo: Cooper Neill/PFL
Brendan Loughnane is the PFL featherweight champion. Photo: Cooper Neill/PFL

Brendan, meanwhile, now boasts a record of 26 wins and four losses, with 13 knockout victories and two by submission.

The 33-year-old’s challengers in the featherweight category for 2023 include Jenkins and Chris Wade, who Brendan beat in the final and playoffs stages last year respectively but are returning for another go, as well as the 2021 weight class winner Movlid Khaybulaev.

PFL 1 takes place in The Theatre at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and features the regular season opening bouts in the featherweight and light-heavyweight categories.

The PFL is different to most MMA organisations in that it is run in a season format, with a regular season being followed by playoffs for the most successful fighters. The final two in each of the six weight categories then meet on the finals night, with the winner in each class taking home $1m.

How can I watch Brendan Loughnane’s fight in the PFL?

For 2023 the PFL has signed a broadcast deal with sports platform DAZN, which is where fight fans will have to head if they want to catch the action from Nevada live. It can be accessed on Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic smart TVs, on games consoles including Playstations and Xboxes, on Sky channel 429, on Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast and Apple TV and through the app.

PFL 1 coverage begins at 11.30pm on Saturday 1 April, which means Brendan will be in the cage in the early hours of Sunday morning. You can subscribe to DAZN on a monthly or annual basis and more information is available on the DAZN website here.

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