- Former UFC title challenger and Bellator champ, Rory MacDonald makes his PFL debut on Thursday, April 29th, 2021
- Several UFC veterans make their promotional debut on the card
- See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full 2021 PFL 2 main card, below
The Professional Fighters League is set for their second event of 2021 and is back to their usual Thursday night timeslots. The promotion sees another big signing in Rory MacDonald make his debut against short-notice replacement in UFC and Bellator veteran Curtis Millender. The co-main event sees reigning welterweight champ Ray Cooper III take on Jason Ponet.
For those that might not know, PFL is a regular-season and playoff format like stick and ball sports. A decision win nets you three points, a first-round finish gets you six, a second-round finish gets you five, and a third-round finish nets you four. The winner also gets $1 million at the end of the year.
PFL 2 main card airs live on ESPN2 at 9 PM EST on Thursday, April 29th, 2021, from Atlantic City, New Jersey. The table below shows odds for the main card at DraftKings followed by best bets.
PFL 2 Odds
|Fighter||Odds at DraftKings|
|Ray Cooper III||-590|
All odds as of April 27
|Promo: $1,500 Risk-Free Bet||Learn More|
|Promo: Up to $1,050 Free!||Learn More|
|Promo: $250 First Bet Match||Learn More|
How Does MacDonald Look In His Debut?
Rory MacDonald was a prized free-agent signing back in 2016 when he went to Bellator, in 2020, it wasn’t the same draw when he signed with PFL, but it’s still a big signing for the promotion. However, he does have a tough test in his debut against Curtis Millener.
MacDonald & Millender Recent Fights
|Douglas Lima, loss by decision (title fight)||Fight 1||Sabah Homasi, loss by decision|
|Neiman Gracie, win by decision (title fight)||Fight 2||Moses Murrieta, win by decision|
|Jon Fitch, draw (title fight)||Fight 3||Belal Muhammad, loss by decision|
|Gegard Mousasi, loss by TKO (middleweight title fight)||Fight 4||Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, loss by submission|
MacDonald has not looked like himself since the absolute war he had against Robbie Lawler back at UFC 189 for the UFC’s welterweight title. He has mentioned that he doesn’t like violence anymore as he is trying to become a pastor. In his last couple of fights, he has struggled to pull the trigger which is why he lost his belt to Lima last time out.
Yet, there is a clear path to victory against Curtis Millender and that is using his wrestling.
MacDonald & Millender Stats
If MacDonald fights the way he did against Jon Fitch and Douglas Lima he could very well be upset in this fight. Millender is a striker who will be in the Canadians face right when the bell rings. However, the problem for the UFC veteran has been his takedown defense as that is how he lost his last two UFC fights and his most recent bout.
In the fight, I do expect MacDonald to use his wrestling to take Millender down at will and ground and pound him as he looks for a stoppage or submission. Yet, Millender is durable enough to survive, but I don’t see him being able to get off his back and keep MacDonald from taking him. Ultimately, MacDonald should win the fight by decision.
Pick: Rory MacDonald (-530)
Can Ponet Pull Off the Upset?
Ray Cooper III is looking to repeat as champ, while Jason Ponet is looking to become a household name.
Cooper III & Ponet Recent Fights
|David Michaud, win by TKO||Fight 1||Ahmed Labban, win by split decision|
|Chris Curtis, win by KO||Fight 2||Rafael de Vilhena Costa, win by submission|
|Sadibou Sy, draw||Fight 3||B.J. Bland, win by TKO|
|John Howard, loss by KO||Fight 4||Joilton Lutterbach, loss by decision|
Ponet is a career lightweight who is moving up to welterweight for the tournament and has his hands full in Ray Cooper III. The Hawaiian is an excellent boxer with legit KO power but his grappling has been a weakness of his.
Ultimately, I don’t expect Ponet to be able to take Cooper III down, and the Hawaiian will eventually find the knockout punch in the second round. Cooper’s line in the PFL 2 odds doesn’t hold much value, but parlaying Cooper III and MacDonald to win isn’t a terrible option.
Pick: Ray Cooper III (-590)
Other PFL 2 Picks:
- Gleison Tibau (-305): Tibau should use his grappling to win the fight and parlaying him with Cooper III is a bet I like to get much better odds.
- Emiliano Sordi (-400): Sordi is the reigning champ and is legit. He should be able to use his grappling to win the fight.