PFL 2 takes place today (Thursday, June 21, 2018) at the Chicago Theater in Chicago, Illinois. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the odds for the entire card, and here they are.
PFL 2 Opening Odds
Will Brooks -425
Luiz Firmino +305
Kayla Harrison -305
Brittney Elkin +225
Brian Foster -185
Ramsey Nijem +145
Ronny Markes -260
Sean O’Connell +180
Jason High -180
Efrain Escudero +140
Here are my initial thoughts on the PFL 2 opening odds:
– The odds are heavy in the main event and for good reason. Brooks (18-4) may have flamed out of the UFC with a 1-3 record, but he remains a talented lightweight in his prime. The UFC may have been too much for Brooks but I believe he is the favorite to win the PFL lightweight tournament. In this opening match across from Brooks stands Firmino (20-8) who is coming off of a TKO win over Eddy Ellis in PFL. He has a ton of experience but generally has lost when he’s stepped up in competition. Brooks should be able to take Firmino down and use his wrestling to win a decision. The odds are pretty steep for a guy coming off of three losses but I think Brooks wins.
– One of the top female prospects in MMA is Harrison, who wil make her pro debut her against Elkin. Harrison (0-0) is a former Olympic gold medalist judoka and will be looking to follow in Ronda Rousey’s footsteps in MMA, although in the featherweight division. Elkin (3-4) is coming off of a knockout loss to Amanda Bell in Bellator and has no notable wins in her MMA career, albeit she does have more MMA experience than Harrison. Harrison should win this fight due to her grappling advantage and also the fact Elkin is an overmatched opponent, but I’m not sure I’d want to make a bet on her until we see how she actually looks in MMA.
– Headed over to the light heavyweight bracket, the Markes vs. O’Connell fight should be a fun one. Markes (18-5) has won two-straight fights and is 4-2 overall since leaving the UFC. O’Connell (17-9) lost three-straight fights and retired from the sport only to be lured back by PFL. Although Markes is the younger fighter and has more momentum right now, I wouldn’t be laying that kind of juice on a guy as flaky as he is. I’m not confident in O’Connnell by any means, but at these odds I don’t blame anyone for playing the dog.
– One of the better fights on the card is a lightweight fight between Foster and Nijem. Foster (27-10) went 4-4 in WSOF/PFL but all four of his wins came by stoppage and his losses came to elite fighters such as Jon Fitch, Jake Shields and Justin Gaethje. I believe Foster is one of the most underrated lightweights in the sport. Nijem (9-6) hasn’t competed as a pro since 2015, when he lost back-to-back fights to Andrew Holbrook and Carlos Diego Ferreira to get cut by the UFC. He re-emerged on TUF, but lost on the show as well. I’m glad Nijem is getting a shot in PFL but I really like Foster and believe he can finish Nijem.
– In another lightweight bout, High should be able to beat Escudero. High (21-6) went 3-1 in WSOF/PFL and is one of the other favorites to win the PFL lightweight tournament. Realistically, High is a guy who should have never been cut by the UFC and even at 36-years-old I still believe he’s a solid fighter. Escudero (29-13) is 5-2 since leaving the UFC and is coming off of a submission win over Jorge Lopez on the Mexican regional circuit. He is somehow only 32, but has a ton of experience for his age. However, he missed weight for this fight after taking it on short notice, and I don’t like that. I already favored High to win, but after seeing Escudero’s weigh-in I like High even more, and fully expect the line to grow larger by fight time.