Last year, Bubba Jenkins came close to winning the PFL Featherweight World Championship but was stopped by Brendan Loughnane in the final bout. This year, it’s safe to say Jenkins came back with a vengeance, focused on the prize at hand. Jenkins, a wrestling expert who is 7-2 in the PFL thus far, earned the top featherweight seed through a unanimous decision win over Chris Wade and a first-round submission of Jo Sungbin this season. With all this in mind and no Loughnane to deal with in the postseason, this may be Jenkins’ best chance at a PFL world title and $1 million.
Pinedo is a highly experienced MMA veteran, coming into tonight’s bout with a record of 21-6 with 16 finishes, including 12 by KO/TKO. Pinedo’s journey into MMA began with Luta Livre, a style of Brazilian freestyle fighting before his transition to MMA. Pinedo may have lost his first regular-season fight this season — a split decision against fellow semifinalist Gabriel Braga — but he earned his playoff spot in a big way. Facing defending PFL featherweight champion Brendan Loughnane, Pinedo pulled off a stunning, first-round TKO. Can he ride the momentum of that win over Loughnane to a first PFL title fight?
Who will advance to take on Gabriel Braga for the 2023 PFL Featherweight World Championship and $1 million?
Note: Pinedo starts this fight automatically down one point on the judges’ scorecards due to missing weight.
Low kick from Jenkins starts the fight. Jenkins briefly slips after a kick attempt. Jenkins throws another low kick and level changes, bringing Pinedo to the fence before he breaks free. Jenkins, however, gets a hold of the leg again and brings Pinedo to the fence once more. The struggle lasts for a while, with Pinedo defending well and landing a couple of shots to Jenkins’ head.
Pinedo lands a knee and a combination that wobbles Jenkins and backs him up. Pinedo lands a couple of more jabs and pressures. Pinedo drops Jenkins with a right hand! Jenkins grabs a leg and pins Pinedo against the fence, while Pinedo lands some hammer fists as Jenkins tries to recover. With about 90 seconds left, Jenkins’ level-changing succeeds and he scores another takedown. Pinedo briefly gets up but Jenkins brings him right back down. Pinedo frees himself with 60 seconds left in the round and Pinedo rocks him again. With about 30 seconds left, Pinedo lands another big combination. Jenkins lands again, but Pinedo lands a big knee. Pinedo drops Jenkins with a big left hand, but Jenkins’ wrestling saves him and lets him see the bell!
High kick from Pinedo is blocked. Low kick by Jenkins. Right hand by Jenkins. A couple of more jabs land for Jenkins. Pinedo cuts off the cage, however, and he wobbles Jenkins with another flurry! Jenkins fires back, but Pinedo wobbles him again! Jenkins tries to wrestle his way out of it, but Pinedo drops some ground-and-pound! Jenkins tries to get a single leg, but Pinedo easily stuffs it and lands body shots. Pinedo reaches around for a choke, but he ends up putting himself in bottom position, as Jenkins escapes and ends up in Pinedo’s guard.
Jenkins landing some shots to the body and head, but they don’t seem to be doing much. Pinedo asks the referee to stand them up, and the crowd seems to be on Pinedo’s side. The referee obliges with about 90 seconds left, but Jenkins struggles to get to his feet. The referee calls for time as the doctor briefly checks the cut around Jenkins’ eye. We get the signal that Jenkins is good to go. A couple of more jabs from Pinedo stuns Jenkins, followed by a couple of knees. Pinedo
Despite coming in down a point due to the weight miss, Jesus Pinedo dominates his way into the 2023 PFL Featherweight World Championship!
Jesus Pinedo def. Bubba Jenkins via second-round TKO (punches, 4:40)