Natan Schulte finds himself in a bit of a quandary heading into his second PFL bout of the season.

Originally scheduled to face Mikhail Odintsov at 2021 PFL 4 on Thursday, Schulte (20-4-1) now will meet American Top Team teammate and good friend Raush Manfio (12-3) instead.

Not only is Schulte facing his teammate, but he’s taking on one of his primary training partners, which makes the situation that much more difficult.

“My camp was good. It was very, very good,” Schulte told reporters at PFL 4 media day. “I’m training hard for this fight. I was supposed to fight against the other Russian guy (Odintsov), but I don’t know what happened with him, but now I’m gonna fight against my friend, Raush Manfio. This is a very tough decision for me because I’ve trained a long, long time with him.”

He continued, “Raush is my good friend, and we’ve been training since 2013, and he’s my very, very good friend. I was training my whole camp with him, and this is a very tough decision for me fighting him. This is not normal to fight against your best friend. This is a very tough decision for me, for him, but it is what it is.”

Schulte finds himself in unfamiliar territory heading into Thursday. The 2019 PFL champion was upset by Marcin Held in his past outing and knows he needs a definitive win for a chance to advance to the playoffs.

“Yes, I need to finish this fight very quick because I need points,” Schulte said. “Six or five or four to go to the playoffs, and this is very important for me because I was the champion in the last two seasons at the PFL.”

PFL 4 takes place Thursday at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. The main card airs on ESPN2 following prelims on ESPN+.

News, PFL, Breaking, Natan Schulte, PFL 4, Raush ManfioMMA JunkieRead More

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