Don Madge wants to make a statement early in the 2022 PFL season.
On Wednesday, Madge (10-3-1) tackles 2021 PFL lightweight champion Raush Manfio in the co-main event at Esports Arena in Arlington, Texas. Given the format of the PFL season, someone has to face last year’s champion at the first event, and Madge fully welcomes the challenge.
“I wanted to face Raush first,” Madge said on Monday’s media day before the fight. “I first wanted to get the champion out of the way and test myself against the guys who have already been through it and have already achieved what I am trying to achieve. To be the only South African on the map and to represent my country is a big deal for me. ”
After retiring from the UFC after two fights and two wins, Madge made his debut in the opening game of the 2021 PFL Championship, where he defeated Nathan Williams by submission in the second round. This year he is part of the lightweight tournament and has plans to compete on the championship card this year, but this time for the title and the grand prize of $ 1 million.
Manfio (15-3) entered all four of its 2021 season matches as an underdog, which provided an incredible story to overcome the odds. This season, however, things have changed after winning the championship, and now Madge will have an opportunity to create an early season upset by taking out last year’s champion.
“I always come in with an underdog mentality anyway,” Madge said. “I first wanted to face the champion, because he is the guy who has already done it, he has already climbed the mountain, and I want to take his place on the top of that mountain. Chance and good, and statistics, it’s all on paper. Fights are not won on paper. I’m not really paying too much attention to it and I’m just going to get in there and do my thing. I believe I will win, and I will be the champion this year. ”