Let me start by saying that I love what Professional Fighters League has done with these first two events. PFL1 delivered in every way for me, especially with all the highlight real finishes. PFL2 was just a tad below that bar but only because we saw of a couple of bizarre finishes. I think this format is better for the fighters, it keeps them happy and hungry, which make for good fights. I also praise the commentary team, especially Yves Edwards, he’s extremely knowledgeable on the mic and that makes it easier for the viewer to watch.
Below, I’ve picked out a few of the fights and performances which stood out for me.
Lightweight Bout: Natan Schulte def Chris Wade via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-29)
The PFL2 prelims kicked off with Chris Wade, who unhappy with how his UFC relationship was going, wanted out of his contract and got his wish. Wade signed with the PFL in March and was ready to put the lightweight division on notice. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he discovered that the grass isn’t always greener as he found himself out wrestled in his PFL debut by Brazil’s Natan Schulte.
Lightweight Bout: Robert Watley def Thiago Tavares via TKO (accidental low blow) (R2, 0:35)
In the first of a few bizarre finishes, UFC veteran Thiago Tavares was rendered unable to continue after being on the receiving end of an accidental kick below the belt. As a result, LFA lightweight champion Robert Watley picked up the TKO win. I’m interested to see if this will be overturned since Tavares has indicated that he is going to appeal.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Vinny Magalhaes def Jamie Abdallah via submission (rear-naked choke) (R1, 1:37)
Vinny Magalhaes did Vinny Magalhaes things and after opening him up, took the back of Australia’s Jamie Abdallah, sinking in the rear-naked choke in under two minutes to pick up the win.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Brandon Halsey def Smealinho Rama via TKO (injury) (R3, 0:01)
In the final fight on the prelims, former Bellator middleweight champion Brandon Halsey and former WSOF heavyweight champion Smealinho Rama had a war. Rama controlled the majority of the first round, almost submitting Halsey before he was saved by the bell. In the second round, Rama dropped Halsey early, but Halsey was able to recover and gain full mount, spending the rest of the round raining down punches that eventually opened Rama up and stopped the fight in the beginning of the third.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Sean O’Connell def Ronny Markes via TKO (punches) (R2, 0:41)
The main card kicked off with two UFC vets in Ronny Markes and Sean O’Connell. O’Connell coming pretty much from the broadcasting booth during the prelims straight to the cage was dominated in the first round by Markes. The second round started with an attempt at a flying knee from Markes before O’Connell landed a crushing left hand that crumpled Markes and made him cover up before the fight was stopped due to strikes. Talk about a comeback.
Lightweight Bout: Efrain Escudero def Jason High via submission (guillotine choke) (R3, 0:35)
In another unfortunate stoppage, another set of UFC vets faced off as lightweights Jason High and Ultimate Fighter 8 winner Efrain Escudero (who missed weight) made it to the third round before the referee stopped the fight thinking High tapped to Escudero’s guillotine, which he didn’t, he was just trying to reposition himself. High left the cage, knocking over chairs around in the process. We know about High’s temper, dating back to his exit from the UFC due to pushing a referee. Curious to see if this fight is also changed to a no contest and what will come of High’s outburst post-fight. Below is the tap in question.
Women’s Lightweight Bout: Kayla Harrison def Brittney Elkin via submission (armbar) (R1, 3:18)
Kayla Harrison’s much anticipated MMA debut lived up to the hype. Against the 3-4 Brittney Elkin, Harrison took control almost immediately and kept the pace for the whole 3:18 of the fight. After securing a takedown, Harrison took Elkin’s back before transitioning to an armbar, shades of Ronda Rousey. I wonder where she goes from here.
Lightweight Bout: Brian Foster def Ramsey Nijem via TKO (flying knee and punches) (R3, 0:23)
In the co-main event, former title challenger Brian Foster took on fellow UFC vet Ramsey Nijem, who hadn’t fought since July 2015. The first two rounds were fairly close, but at the start of the third, Foster clipped Nijem with a flying knee before putting him away with punches.
Lightweight Bout: Will Brooks def Luiz Firmino via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Will Brooks returned to his winning ways after suffering the first losing streak of his career. After losing three straight in the UFC, Will opted to sign with PFL and get back on track, that’s what he did against Luiz Firmino. After a close first round, Will used his takedowns and quickness to outstrike and outwrestle Firmino to a unanimous decision victory.
You can see the full results here.