The men’s featherweight division was on show in the sixth week of action in the PFL Challenger Series, the promotion’s talent-finding show that aims to identify the top up-and-coming prospects to join their fighter stable.

On Friday, March 3 at Universal Studios in Orlando, a host of 145-pounders took to the PFL SmartCage in a bid to earn a PFL contract, with Brahyan Zurcher walking away with a PFL deal after claiming an inside-the-distance victory in the night’s main event.

Zurcher finished fellow American David Evans via second-round rear-naked choke to improve his undefeated record to 5-0, while Irish hopeful Nate Kelly pulled off an arm-triangle submission to earn a first-round finish of Zachary Hicks in the co-main event.

Undefeated Brazilian Gabriel Alves Braga improved to 9-0 with a unanimous decision victory over Bosnian-American Ago Huskic and, in the opening bout of the night, James Gonzalez picked up a first-round ground-and-pound TKO finish of India’s Vikas Singh Ruhil.

After all of the fighters had competed, the PFL judging panel of Megan Anderson, Tyron Woodley and Tim Kennedy assessed the performances and decided that Zurcher’s performance was the most deserving of the PFL contract on offer.

It means Zurcher joins Desiree Yanez, Abraham Bably, Elvin Espinoza, Amanda Leve, and Thad Jean as PFL Challenger Series contract winners in 2023.

PFL Challenger Series: Week 6 results

  • Brahyan Zurcher def. David Evans via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:37
  • Nathan Kelly def. Zachary Hicks via submission (arm triangle) – Round 1, 2:30
  • Gabriel Braga def. Ago Huskic via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 29-28)
  • James Gonzalez def. Vikas Singh Ruhil via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:20