The PFL 1 Main Card will continue with this exciting matchup in the Featherweight (145 lb) Division. Russia's Movlid Khaybulaev will put his undefeated record on the line against Japan's Ryoji Kudo. This is an interesting matchup between differing styles, check out our PFL odds series for our Khaybulaev-Kudo prediction and pick.
Movlid Khaybulaev is undefeated at 19-0-1 in his professional career and has gone a perfect 5-0 in the PFL with a no contest. He's a fearsome grappler from Russia and has been imposing his suffocating style on this division for quite some time. With wins against the division's best like Brendan Loughnane and Chris Wade, Khaybulaev will look to add another dominant performance over Kudo. He stands 5'6″ with a 70-inch reach.
Ryoji Kudo is 11-4-1 as a mixed martial artist and has gone 1-2 since joining the PFL. He lost his debut to Brendan Loughnane, but rebounded well by notching a win against Alejandro Flores in his next fight. Coming off a loss to Bubba Jenkins in his last fight, Kudo will look to bounce back once again and get back in the winning column against Khaybulaev. Kudo stands 5'7″ with a 71-inch reach.
Here are the PFL Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
PFL 1 Odds: Movlid Khaybulaev-Ryoji Kudo Odds
Movlid Khaybulaev: -700
Ryoji Kudo: +440
How to Watch Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Ryoji Kudo
Stream: ESPN App, fuboTV
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT (Main Card)
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Why Movlid Khaybulaev Will Win
Movlid Kaybulaev has a suffocating wrestling style that is familiar with other fighters from the Dagestani region. He's quick to shoot for a takedown and will wear opponents against the cage. On the ground, he's great with controlling wrists and landing damaging ground-and-pound. If he can take his opponent's back, it could be a quick night as Kaybulaev has a great squeeze when chasing submissions.
Khaybulaev will have a significant advantage on the ground in this fight and should look to land the takedown if he wants to come away with a win. Kudo is a dangerous striker on the feet, but has struggled against strong grapplers in the past. As the heavy favorite, Khaybulaev shouldn't wait too long to employ his game plan and try to get this one finished early. The longer he lets Kudo stay in this one, the more dangerous it'll become.
Why Ryoji Kudo Will Win
Ryoji Kudo has shown flashes of devastating KO power in his hands. He landed a huge knockout over Alejandro Flores in the first round of their fight and proved how dangerous of a striker he can be if his opponent gets lazy. Kudo is very active with his kicks and is willing to take a shot. His grappling is still coming along, and he'll certainly have to play some defense on the ground in this one.
Kudo will have the slight advantage on the feet here if he can manage the distance with his kicking. Against a strong grappler in Bubba Jenkins, Kudo failed to defend the takedowns and got caught with a submission quickly. Facing another strong wrestler, Kudo will have to be mindful of the takedown and protect himself from submissions. If he can stuff the takedowns and keep this one on the feet, it'll favor him as the fight goes on.
Final Movlid Khaybulaev-Ryoji Kudo Prediction & Pick
Movlid Khaybulaev comes in as the heavy favorite due to the differing styles. Kudo has a ton of trouble against the best parts of Khaybulaev's game, so it'll come down to whether Kudo can defend himself from Khaybulaev's grappling offense. If Khaybulaev can land the first few takedowns, this may be a quick finish. Let's go with the heavy favorite to win this fight behind his wrestling.
Final Movlid Khaybulaev-Ryoji Kudo Prediction & Pick: Movlid Khaybulaev (-700)