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PFL 1 tips: Movlid Khaybulaev looks to reclaim his throne beginning with Ryoji Kudo bout

Unbeaten Russian destroyer Movlid “Killer” Khaybulaev returns to the PFL cage to reclaim the title he never lost, as he faces Japanese knockout artist Ryoji Kudo.

"Killer" has been out of competition since 2021 where he defeated Chris Wade for that season's featherweight prize.

Now back in the PFL cage, he looks to make up for lost time by putting on a clinic against Kudo. 

Victories over Wade, Lance Palmer and Brendan Loughnane sit atop the Russians record, with the Brit being the only one to force a split decision.

The judges are a staple of Khaybulaev's fights considering his only finish in the PFL came when he defeated Damon Jackson via a jump knee just 10 seconds into the opening round.

Japan's Ryoji Kudo is the clear underdog though he still has some bite, boasting a career record of seven knockouts in eleven victories.

Kudo needed to make a statement last season after dropping his opening bout to Brendan Loughnane. He delivered in sickening style, shutting Alejandro Flores' lights off with a brutal right hook to secure his place in the post-season.

This fight could see Kudo's biggest weakness tested. His grappling does not match his striking meaning he is vulnerable to a takedown, something Bubba Jenkins took full advantage of by submitting him in the opening round.

The question remains will the eight months between fights be enough for Kudo to improve his grappling enough to stop Khaybulaev?

The Russians own 18 month absence could see him suffer ring rust and be susceptible to Kudo's deadly right hand.

Key Stats

Khaybulaev has gone to the judges' scorecards in four straight bouts, he has never gone five fights without a finish.
Kudo has remained active in his career prior to the PFL, his longest layoff being prior to this fight being between his last fight outside the PFL and his debut, where he lost by technical decision.

Suggested Bet

Movlid Khaybulaev to win and the fight to not go the distance.
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