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Pedro Carvalho Sees Upside to Professional Fighters League Ruleset Change


While Pedro Carvalho believes one aspect of the Professional Fighters League ruleset will take some adjusting to, he also sees an upside to it.

The former Bellator MMA featherweight is scheduled to make his PFL debut against former champ Brendan Loughnane (26-5) in the co-main event at PFL 3 on April 19 (Tune into ESPN and ESPN+ at 9:30 p.m. ET for the main card.) Along with its unique season format, PFL also follows the unified rules of mixed martial arts, with some exceptions. PFL doesn’t allow any elbow strikes, significantly affecting ground and clinch exchanges. While Carvalho is mostly concerned about adapting to elbows being banned, he also sees an upside in not standing the threat of getting elbowed himself.

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“Well, clearly the biggest one that I have to mention is the elbows, you know, we can’t elbow,” the 28-year-old said during PFL Chicago media day. “But I prefer to think that I’m not going to get elbowed, you know, I prefer to think the positive way. Not like I cannot hit with elbows I prefer to think I’m not getting hit by elbows.

“And that's the main one, the rest is a fight, a fight is a fight, doesn't matter if he's on [in] the hallway of the hotel or [in] the cage a fight is a fight in [at] the end of the day.”

“The Game” also believes the PFL is on the mark with the elbow ban given the frequency with which the season format requires its fighters to compete.

“The rule set is there, it’s the same, the only thing there [that] differentiates it’s the elbows, which I think is smart. Because especially when you have the seasoned guys fighting so many times in such a short period of time you have to protect them as much as you want.”

Carvalho is currently on a two-fight slump and is 1-3 in his last four. Meanwhile, winner of the PFL 2022 featherweight championship, Loughnane kicked off his 2023 journey with a knockout win over Marlon Moraes. He then faced Jesus Pinedo, who needed a first-round stoppage win to qualify for the playoffs. Pinedo, who later went on to win the season, knocked the Brit out in under two minutes in a shocking upset, snapping a five-fight winning streak.
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