Ranking the PFL Fighters: Featherweights

Luis Rafael Laurentino

By Keith Shillan May 22, 2019

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The Professional Fighters League will make the second stop on its 2019 schedule on Thursday at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, where the promotion plans to showcase two loaded weight classes: featherweight and lightweight.

The two divisions are rich in talent, with several fighters appearing to have the potential to emerge as a Season 2 winners and instant millionaires. Ahead of the PFL’s latest offering, the time has come to examine each fighter’s strengths and weaknesses while ranking them 1-12, with one being the best bet and 12 being the longest shot.

The featherweights are up first. The 12-man field at 145 pounds features the 2018 winner and runner-up, three former World Series of Fighting titleholders, an undefeated Russian prospect, a streaking veteran, a fighter with one of the best records in MMA, two graduates of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, two Ultimate Fighting Championship alums and several Brazilin jiu-jitsu black belts. Of all the weight classes in the PFL, featherweight may be the best one of them all.

12. Luis Rafael Laurentino

Though he is only 26 years old, Laurentino enters the PFL season with an amazing 33-1 professional record. Despite the mark, naysayers will point out that he has been feed low-level fodder throughout the majority of his career. If he can win this season, there will not be much room left for criticism. The Brazilian southpaw is a well-rounded fighter and light on his feet, using constant movement to create different angles for attacks. The Astra Fight Team member relies heavily on kicks and loves spinning attacks. “Japa” can be drawn into a brawl in the pocket, a trait which makes him quite hittable. Laurentino will look for takedowns and has slick back takes when he sees the opportunity. Sometimes he shoots for the takedowns and finds himself on the bottom after a sloppy scramble, though he usually finds a way to work back to his feet. It is difficult to fully grasp Laurentino’s skills due to his competing on a much lower level than the rest of the PFL field. Considering his lack of experience, he has to be looked as the biggest underdog in the competition.

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