Brendan Loughnane on 2022 PFL World Championship fight: ‘That money can change your whole family’s life in one night’


Brendan Loughnane is ready to become a millionaire.

At the PFL Championships on Friday, Loughnane faces Bubba Jenkins in the featherweight tournament finals with the title of 2022 PFL champion and $1 million on the line. He said that he is fully prepared to win against the former NCAA champion to secure his financial security and life-changing cash.

“This is $1 million on the line,” Loughnane told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “This is change your family’s life type of [stuff]. People are going to fight their ass off. Chris Wade was a prime example of how I can negate and deal with wrestlers, and I think Bubba knows that. He knows he’s in for the toughest fight of his life on Friday. Wade and my skills, as well as the eight-weeks of experience I have, I knew it would be possible. I was skeptical that it would even be possible, but it has been done again and it is something I am excited to share with everyone.

Loughnane joined the PFL in 2019 but didn’t make his first tournament run until 2021, where he lost in the semifinals to eventual 2021 winner Movlid Khaybulaev. The Manchester native turned things around this year, though, going 2-0 in the regular season and following that up with a dominant win over Chris Wade in the semifinals. He said that fight, which took place in London, prepared him for his meeting with Jenkins.

“It was extreme pressure – it was the most pressure I’ve ever felt,” Loughnane said. “We had a guy in Chris Wade — who did really well in the UFC, gave Islam [Makhachev] his toughest fight in the UFC — and he’s talking all this, he’s been a season finalist, x, y, z, and then he’s coming over and sitting as close as we are saying, ‘I’m going to hold you down and beat you up in front of 6,000 of your friends and family!’ I’m like, s***, if I don’t show up, he will actually do that. …

” I feel so much more confident going into this one.” So I just feel so much more confident coming into this one.”

While Jenkins may share a similar style to Wade, nearly everything else is different. Loughnane was dissatisfied with Wade, and Wade was the only exception to the change of venue. Loughnane & Jenkins don’t have that problem; both featherweight finalist were in great spirits leading up to the million-dollar fight.

While that may not exactly be a promoter’s ideal scenario, Loughnane insists the fans have nothing to worry about when the cage closes – both men will still give their absolute best.

“Bubba is cool…I like his,” Loughnane stated. People are trying to get some [beef].. He’s cool. Don’t forget, when we did lockdown fights, we were locked in a bubble for 17 days together, and we couldn’t leave. He had his coach, I had my coach, you’d be at breakfast, dinner together, all that, and he was one of the guys that I got on with. Everyone gets along, his coach and mine.

” We knew that we would fight. It’s inevitable. But then, when it happened, it was like ***. We try to be hateful of each other during the staredowns but it’s just what it is. You don’t have to hate somebody to fight your ass off, and that’s what we’re going to do. …

“Do you need any more motivation than $1 million? Three people are needed to put anyone into that room. $1 million. That money can change your whole family’s life in one night.”

Loughnane intends to do just that. Loughnane, who once fought in the Contenders Series to get an entry-level contract in the UFC, is on the verge of becoming a champion.

“I think I stop Bubba, I really do,” Loughnane said. “I really think I stop him. He’s likely to become tired. I keep saying it to him. He’ll get tired, I think. That ‘three-round fighter’ thing is really hurting him. He hears it every single time. He’s brought it up in every interview, so there’s got to be some truth to it. It’s a 5-round fight for me, and I have always been. I just think it’s deep water time, and that’s what’s going to happen.”

The PFL Championships take place on Friday at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City.