LAS VEGAS – Sadibou Sy is looking at the 2023 PFL season as a new chapter.
Sy (13-6-2) won the 2022 PFL welterweight title by going 4-0 last year, defeating Nikolay Aleksakhin, Rory MacDonald, Carlos Leal, and finally Dilano Taylor to win gold and the $1 million prize.
Despite his successful season, Sy isn’t going in with the mentality of a defending champion.
“I fought three seasons to get up to where I’m actually gonna fight for the belt and winning the belt,” Sy told MMA Junkie and other reporters during a PFL media day at Xtreme Couture. “So I believe that I became better, and I improved, and I worked on what I needed to work on to be able to get this belt. But by no means am I thinking that I’m going into this season as champion or nothing like that. I’m going in more hungry than I was last season, because now I know that I found the path, and I’m actually going to try and make a statement this season.”
Sy meets Jarrah Al-Silawi (18-4) in the season opener at 2023 PFL 3 on April 14 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas. While he respects Al-Silawi, he thinks he’ll be too much for him on the night.
“I believe stylistically it’s a good matchup for me,” Sy said. “I’m taller, he’s primarily a striker, as well. I believe he wants to do things that I want to do, and his style of not being that aggressive is not the best way to fight me. So on paper, I believe that this matchup is very good.
“Having said all of that, I believe he’s gonna come more motivated than ever. That’s what I’m training for, so I have to be ready from the get-go, and my goal is to put a statement on. He had a bad showing in his last fight, so I don’t want him to gain any confidence. So, look for a quick start this season.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s even hub for 2023 PFL 3.