Will Fleury to face Omari Akhmedov in PFL Million-Dollar Tournament

Image credit: PFL MMA

Irishman Will Fleury (11-3) is set to face UFC veteran and 2022 PFL finalist Omari Akhmedov (24-8-1) in the Regular Season opening round of the 2023 PFL Light Heavyweight Tournament. Sources confirmed the matchup—which will take place on Saturday 1st April at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas—to SevereMMA.com on Thursday afternoon.

SBG Ireland’s Fleury made his PFL debut last August in Cardiff against Anthony Salamone. Historically a middleweight, the Tipperary man impressed at 205lbs, dominating Salamone in a one-sided affair en route to a Unanimous Decision victory. While it seemed at the time of the win that Fleury was to be included in PFL’s European series, the performance was enough to impress the PFL brass and earn “The Raw Bastard” a spot in the PFL tournament, which not only offers the opportunity to win the PFL championship, but also the $1M prize.

Prior to entering the PFL fray, Fleury claimed the UAE Warriors middleweight title with a comprehensive beating of Tarek Suleiman. Unbeaten since June 2020, Fleury enters the PFL season riding a four-fight win streak.

Omari Akhmedov will be looking for redemption this season, after stumbling at the final hurdle in last year’s tournament. The Dagestani fighter suffered a 2nd-round stoppage at the hands of 2022 PFL Light Heavyweight World Champion Rob Wilkinson, with the doctor waving the fight off in between rounds.

Akhmedov, who trains out of DagFighter in the Dagestani capital, Makhachkala, is a 15-fight UFC veteran, amassing a 9-5-1 record in the promotion over a span of 8 years. The 35 year old joined the PFL ranks in 2021, losing his promotional debut to Jordan Young.

“Wolverine” rebounded tremendously entering the 2022 season, ferociously knocking out Viktor Pesta in the opening round of the regular season in Arlington, Texas.

Akhmedov followed up his destruction of Pesta with another finish against Teodoras Aukstuolis, putting the Lithuanian to sleep with a head-and-arm choke to book his spot in the playoffs. Akhmedov subsequently notched his third win on the bounce, defeating Josh Silveira in the playoffs to punch his ticket to the million-dollar final, where he ultimately to succumbed to Rob Wilkinson.

Will Fleury vs Omari Akhmedov joins a growing 2023 PFL 1 card, which is the first of three consecutive Regular Season events hosted at the venue. It will be headlined by 2022 PFL Featherweight World Champion Brendan Loughnane, who will face “Magic” Marlon Moraes. In the co-main event, PFL Light Heavyweight Champion Rob Wilkinson battles Thiago “Marreta” Santos.

Andy is a multimedia reporter, interviewer, writer, with a strong focus on Irish MMA. Co-host of The Auld Triangle podcast. Follow Andy on Twitter (@andyste123) and Instagram (@andystevensonMMA).

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