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Sean O’Connell: Gigantic PFL free agent signings are now no longer shoe-ins to personal it all


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Sean O’Connell thinks PFL’s mainstays are being closely underestimated.

Heading into its third season, PFL has signed primary names such as frail WEC and UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, frail Bellator welterweight champ Rory MacDonald and frail UFC heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum.

A degree of curiosity heading into the yr has been about their quests as a diagram to add extra gold to their collections, but O’Connell – a PFL play-by-play commentator and 2018 gentle heavyweight champion – thinks the likes of reigning match winners Natan Schulte and Ray Cooper III aren’t being talked about adequate.

“Natan Schulte at 155 kilos has proven unbelievable resilience. He has proven an completely smartly rounded skillset. He’s obtained again-to-again titles, two million-dollar tournaments, and every person appears to be like to be talking about Anthony Pettis,” O’Connell informed MMA Junkie. “That’s crazy, because Natan Schulte is a again-to-again champion. The identical ingredient at 170 kilos: Now we possess Season 1 champ Magomed Magomedkerimov, our Season 2 champ Ray Cooper, (and) those two guys fought every different in the Season 1 championship. So true sustained excellence from those folk at 170 kilos, but every person appears to be like to be talking in regards to the debut for Rory MacDonald.

“So it’s in actuality charming, because our champions, even dominant champions, are being overpassed as a result of the title cost of assorted guys. That, to me, affords a in actuality attention-grabbing dynamic for our storytelling clearly, but after we look eventual matchups between Natan Schulte and Anthony Pettis, how mad is Natan Schulte that the different guy is getting the total consideration? Or if we look Ray Cooper or Magomed Magomedkerimov battle towards Rory MacDonald, are we gonna look – this might perhaps be a man in Rory MacDonald who’s been on the tip of the heap at 170 for a decade, or are we seeing what I mediate could occur, one in all these different two form of taking their region on the tip of the mountain and getting extra consideration because they at final beat a title every person in the mixed martial arts world acknowledges as being a high guy.”

While O’Connell understands the associated payment that big names like Pettis, MacDonald and Werdum suppose to the promotion, he thinks it obtained’t be that easy for them to live noteworthy longer than the competitors in their brackets.

“I take care of that the free agent signings are bringing so noteworthy consideration to what we’re doing in PFL Season 3,” O’Connell added. “However the crazy ingredient about it is, I don’t know that I’m confident that any of those three astronomical free brokers are like shoe-ins for a championship appearance.”

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