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PFL Last-Minute Predictions: PFL 5: Rory MacDonald vs Gleison Tibau

Gleison Tibau (left); Rory MacDonald (right)
Gleison Tibau (left); Rory MacDonald (right)
Bhavesh Purohit

Former UFC stars Rory MacDonald and Gleison Tibau are set to headline PFL 5, which takes place later tonight. The event will be held at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States.

The PFL 5 card will see a host of welterweights and light heavyweights battle it out to cruise into the play-offs of their respective divisions.

Currently, Cezar Ferreira sits comfortably at the top of the light heavyweight table, whereas the welterweight division is spearheaded by MacDonald. Both fighters will be competing at PFL 5.

Here are Sportskeeda's last-minute predictions for PFL 5: Rory MacDonald vs. Gleison Tibau.


#1 PFL welterweight division: Rory MacDonald vs. Gleison Tibau

Rory MacDonald made a successful promotional debut at PFL 2
Rory MacDonald made a successful promotional debut at PFL 2

Rory MacDonald was one of the PFL's biggest signings this season. The former UFC title contender made his promotional debut in April 2021 at PFL 2. He challenged Curtis Millender and submitted him in the first round.

With six points already in the bag, MacDonald has almost secured his spot in the division's top four. However, 'Red King' will have to breeze past a seasoned veteran in Gleison Tibau at PFL 5 to lock down his position in the play-offs.

Tibau's PFL journey got off to a bumpy start when he lost to Joao Zeferino on his debut. At PFL 5, the Brazilian fighter can't possibly settle for anything less than a finish if he is to survive in the tournament.

Tibau is well known for his wrestling pedigree and will most likely try to score takedowns only to unleash some heavy ground and pound on his Canadian opponent.

Meanwhile, MacDonald is well aware that a win could seal him a play-off spot. Thus, we may see the 31-year-old using his poise and precision with the aim of weathering down Tibau and stretching the fight to a distance. Plus, McDonald boasts great form heading into the fight, unlike Tibau.

Prediction: MacDonald via unanimous decision


#2 PFL welterweight division: Ray Cooper III vs. Nikolay Aleksakhin

PFL welterweight Ray Cooper III (Image credit: @raycooperiii via Instagram)
PFL welterweight Ray Cooper III (Image credit: @raycooperiii via Instagram)

Ray Cooper III continued his winning momentum in the 2021 PFL season with a fantastic win over Jason Ponet in April. The defending champion sits second in the welterweight table with five points under his belt. At PFL 5, he will go up against a gritty Nikolay Aleksakhin.

Aleksakhin's last fight was ruled no contest due to an accidental eye poke, which halted his impressive seven-fight win streak. While Cooper - much like Rory MacDonald - could climb his way into the top four with just a decision win, Aleksakhin will be hoping to secure a finish.

However, considering the knockout power and submission game of both men, this fight will most likely not involve the judges. Cooper and Aleksakhin are expected to exchange heavy leather and one of them will probably fold to the canvas.

Taking Cooper's finishing rate into account, he could very well see his hand getting raised at PFL 5.

Prediction: Cooper via TKO


#3 PFL light heavyweight division: Emiliano Sordi vs. Dan Spohn

Emiliano Sordi is riding high on a six-fight PFL win streak (Image credits: @emiliano.sordi via Instagram)
Emiliano Sordi is riding high on a six-fight PFL win streak (Image credits: @emiliano.sordi via Instagram)

Emiliano Sordi is a massive favorite in his light heavyweight bout opposite Dan Spohn. He last fought Chris Camozzi at PFL 2, whom he defeated via unanimous decision.

Sordi won the light heavyweight championship in the 2019 season and is undefeated in his last six PFL fights. 'He-Man' is known for his nasty ground and pound that could be on display against Dan Spohn at PFL 5.

Spohn is on a three-fight losing streak. He challenged Marthin Hamlet in his last fight and got submitted in the second round. Spohn will have to deal with Sordi's immense pressure if he is to cause an upset.

Prediction: Sordi via TKO


#4 PFL light heavyweight division: Cezar Ferreira vs. Chris Camozzi

Chris Camozzi didn't have a great start to his PFL journey (Image credits: @chriscamozzimma via Instagram)
Chris Camozzi didn't have a great start to his PFL journey (Image credits: @chriscamozzimma via Instagram)

Chris Camozzi succumbed to defeat in his PFL debut against Emiliano Sordi at PFL 2. Having lost five of his last six fights, the American will have to look for a finish if he intends to survive in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Cezar Ferreira made a stunning promotional debut when he knocked out Nick Roehrick at PFL 2. 'Mutante' signed with the PFL after he was released from the UFC following consecutive losses to Ian Heinisch and Marvin Vettori.

Considering Camozzi's durability and chin, he may give Ferreira a run for his money. Plus, he also has a size advantage over Ferreira, who once competed in the welterweight division.

However, Ferreira looked flawless in his previous fight, while Camozzi's last few performances have been lackluster.

Prediction: Ferreira via unanimous decision


#5 PFL 5 preliminary bouts

Picks in bold

Light heavyweight: Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Vinny Magalhães

Light heavyweight: Marthin Hamlet vs. Cory Hendricks

Welterweight: Joao Zeferino vs. Jason Ponet

Welterweight: Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Curtis Millender

Light heavyweight: Tom Lawlor vs. Jordan Young

Welterweight: Sadibou Sy vs. Alexey Kunchenko


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Edited by James McGlade

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