Raush Manfio will step in for the injured Mikhail Odintsov and face American Top Team stablemate Natan Schulte at PFL 4 on Thursday.
The promotion announced the new lightweight pairing on Monday. PFL 4 takes place at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., and is headlined by boxing champion Claressa Shield’s MMA debut against Brittney Elkin. The main card airs on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, while the prelims stream on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
According to a PFL release, Manfio and Schulte are close friends, and the defending PFL lightweight champ is the godfather of Manfio’s daughter. The nature of Odintsov’s injury was not disclosed.
Manfio earned three points with a split-decision triumph against Joilton Lutterbach at PFL 1 on April 23. The former Titan FC title holder has won four of his last five professional outings and is 12-3 as a professional overall.
Schulte, who won the PFL 155-pound championship in both 2018 and 2019, dropped a unanimous verdict to Marcin Held at PFL 1 and could be on the verge of missing the postseason. The setback to held snapped a 10-bout unbeaten streak for “Russo.”
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