Kasanganay vs Eblen Prediction: Two Champions Collide



Kasanganay vs Eblen Prediction: Two Champions Collide

In a weekend that is full of incredibly intriguing MMA fights, the PFL vs Bellator card in Saudi Arabia features two champion vs champion matchups — and our Kasanganay vs Eblen prediction will make it clear why this bout takes the cake for top fight.

Both of these fighters are champions of their respective promotions. Yet, each of them got to this point in completely different ways. While Johnny Eblen has had the mark of a champion throughout his entire professional career, it took Impa Kasanganay exiting the UFC for him to find his championship form.

But the past doesn't matter anymore, and our Impa Kasanganay vs Johnny Eblen prediction deems the winner of this fight as the future face of PFL.

PFL vs Bellator: Kasanganay vs Eblen Prediction

While most UFC fans would best remember Impa “Tshilobo” Kasanganay — an American fighter with a 15-3 professional record, which includes three knockout and four submission victories — for the absolutely brutal knockout he suffered at the hands (or should I say foot) of Joaquin Buckley back in 2020, Kasanganay has rebounded from his up and down UFC career to find a new home with the PFL.

In fact, Kasanganay has sustained so much success with his new promotion that he earned a $1 million check as a result of him winning the PFL's light heavyweight world championship last year — making him one of the best paid men on this weekend's PFL vs Bellator card.

Although Kasanganay has cultivated a well-rounded skillset in recent years, there's no question that striking is his specialty — which his brutal knockout of Marthin Hamlet should convey.

Kasanganay is going to be at a wrestling disadvantage against Eblen. For that reason, our Kasanganay vs Eblen prediction is that “Tshilobo” is going to do everything in his power to keep this champion vs champion fight on the feet.

While Eblen isn't a bad striker by any means, he places more of an emphasis on punches and elbows than he does kicks. For that reason, Kasanganay should be trying to keep Eblen at bay by throwing kicks constantly.

All it would take is for one kick to land clean in order for Kasanganay to put Eblen's lights out.

Johnny Eblen Preview

Johnny “Pressure” Eblen — an American fighter with an undefeated 14-0 record, which includes three KO and four submission victories — might be the best middleweight fighter on the planet.

While many MMA fans wouldn't believe that the world's best fight fighter in a given weight class isn't fighting in the UFC, Eblen's undefeated record and sustained dominance makes him a bona fide top 185-pound talent on the planet.

And Eblen would not have gotten to that place — nor would he be such a big favorite against another champion — without being extremely well rounded.

That being said, there's no question that Eblen's biggest strength — at least as it pertains to him fighting against Kasanganay — is his wrestling ability. Eblen has elite wrestling credentials, and has learned to incorporate that prior wrestling success into his MMA game seamlessly.

A Kasanganay vs Eblen prediction we feel comfortable about is that Eblen's clearest path to victory in this fight is by taking Kasanganay to the ground and utilizing his ground and pound.

While Kasanganay has proven throughout his career that he has excellent submission defense, that doesn't Eblen won't be able to tire him out on the ground — which will have a serious effect on Kasanganay's striking.

Although this fight being only three rounds likely plays to Kasanganay's favor, Eblen may be able to overwhelm his opponent enough for that to not matter.

Impa Kasanganay vs Johnny Eblen: Eblen Asserts His Case

Our official Kasanganay vs Eblen prediction is that Johnny Eblen — currently a -500 favorite — is going to win the fight. 

While we do have a ton of respect for Kasanganay, we believe that Eblen will prove that he's the better fighter in all facets of the game. And considering the wrestling advantage that Eblen will bring into this (and every other) fight, it's hard to imagine that Kasanganay will be able to keep this fight on the feet.

Yet, because we do rate Kasanganay's ground defense highly, we don't think Eblen will manage a finish. For that reason, we think taking this fight to go Over 2.5 rounds — which you can currently get for -170 — is a bet you should strongly consider.

What's for certain is that this entire PFV vs Bellator card is loaded with some of the best talent that exists outside of the UFC. And if the PFL wants to be viewed as an equal to the UFC — which we know they do — they'll need their champions to look like can beat anybody in the world.

Impa Kasanganay and Johnny Eblen can certainly do that for them — and will look to prove it this weekend.

Grant Young is a sports writer from San Francisco. He has had two professional Muay Thai fights: he got knocked out in one, and got a knockout in the other. When it comes to his favorite fighters, it's Israel Adesanya, and then it's everyone else.