PFL Europe 2 in Berlin, Germany features the final round of regular-season matchups as the bantamweight and lightweight hopefuls look to book their place in the PFL Europe Playoffs, which take place in Paris, France, in September.
But, while those involved in the PFL season get set for head-to-head action, English prospect Lewis McGrillen gets a second chance to shine in a bantamweight matchup.
McGrillen takes on Tajikistan’s Amrali Saydoshurov in a 135-pound matchup that gives the Manchester fighter the opportunity to make another big statement inside the PFL SmartCage.
Speaking on The DAZN MMA Show ahead of the event in Berlin, PFL Europe’s Head of Athlete Development Dan Hardy waxed lyrical about the undefeated 22-year-old, but warned that his opponent will provide a stern test on fight night.
“Amrali is no pushover at all. He is a very, very tough stalwart of a fighter, is my favorite word to use about him,” said Hardy.
“He’s not going to be bullied or pushed around, he’s going to stand there and he’s going to take shots to give shots.”
But, as Hardy explained, McGrillen carries a rare level of confidence into the cage, and that air of invincibility helped carry him to a spectacular one-punch knockout victory over Salih Kulucan in his showcase appearance at PFL Europe 1.
Now McGrillen has another spot under the bright lights, and Hardy is intrigued to see if McGrillen can continue that same confident progress into his upcoming matchup.
“McGrillen, who as an amateur was was a good wrestler, ground-and-pound fighter, has now developed as a pro into this one-punch knockout artist,” he said.
“Kulucan was determined in that fight, but as soon as he stepped in there with McGrillen, it’s almost like McGrillen’s presence took over the SmartCage.
“I can only liken it to one performance, and it’s a little bit cliche, but I was Octagonside when (Conor) McGregor fought (Diego) Brandao in Dublin, and as soon as he stepped into the cage you just felt like he was in total control.
“That’s what it felt like, and it’s special, because we don’t feel it very often, especially sitting cageside. It’s something that we recognize when it’s in front of us. And I feel like (McGrillen’s) performance spoke volumes.”
McGrillen’s display in Newcastle was good enough to earn him a multi-fight contract with the PFL, who signed him to their fledgling bantamweight roster.
Though not involved in the 2023 PFL Europe season, Hardy thinks it’s only a matter of time before McGrillen is thrust into the cut and thrust of a PFL season, and he’s excited to see how the Mancunian prospect fares when he does.
“He’s signed on to the PFL roster, now we need to see what his potential is,” Hardy said.
“The guy in front of him is going to stand his ground, he’s going to be able to wrestle, he’s going to be able to trade punch-for-punch.
“McGrillen will tell you otherwise, of course, and we’ll be hearing all about it during fight week. But I’m excited for this. It’s a tough test for a young man. And, if he proves that he’s ready, then he’s going to be looking at the bantamweight bracket next year for the $100,000 running, I think.”