The PFL inaugural regular season ended last night, and if you’re a fan of 1st round finishes, this was the card for you. The fighter showcase bouts previewed some new talent for next season and the newcomers looking to score a finish to get in the playoffs didn’t disappoint. Here’s some of the fights that stood out.
Heavyweight bout: Muhammed Dereese def. Leroy Johnson via KO (knee) (R1, 2:25)
Let’s start out with the first fight of the night, after some feeling out, Muhammed Dereese wrapped up Johnson in the clinch and landed a knee from hell to the head that knocked Johnson out cold. It was brutal, Johnson was taken out on the stretcher, let’s hope he’s okay. What a way to start the night.
Catchweight bout: Omar Nurmagomedov def. Saidyokub Kakharamonovo via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
The cousin of Khabib didn’t disappoint for his first fight in the states. Omar Nurmagomedov put a relentless pace on Saidyokub Kakharamonov for the entire fight. Nurmagomedov mixed it up between strikes and kicks (a lot of question mark kicks were thrown) and got the fight to the mat a couple times, ultimately cruising to a unanimous decision victory.
Light Heavyweight bout: Emiliano Sordi (6 points) def. Jason Butcher (0 points) via KO (uppercut) (R1, 0:16)
Another fight that was finished right when it started, Butcher was pressuring Sordi up against the cage, until Sordi landed an uppercut from hell that put Butcher out and propelled Sordi into the playoffs.
Middleweight bout: Sadibou Sy (6 points) def. Caio Magalhaes (0 points) via KO (punches) (R1, 2:06)
The trend continued in the next bout. After some body kicks from Sy, he somewhat landed a question mark kick that wobbled Magalhaes and then put him out with some punches. Sy punches his ticket to the playoffs.
Featherweight bout: Alexandre Bezerra (6 points) def. Magomed Idrisov (0 points) via KO (flying knee) (R1, 3:24)
After a feeling out process for the first two minutes of the bout, Bezzera put the pressure on and caught Idrisov with a flying knee up against the cage, following up with some punches but he was already out. Bezzera is now in the playoffs.
Light Heavyweight bout: Bozigit Ataev (6 points) def. Sean O’Connell (5 points) via TKO (spinning back kick and punches) (R1, 3:30)
Bozigit Ataev started off the round dropping O’Connell early, but O’Connell recovered and got it back to the feet. O’Connell was bloodied up and the doctor had to come in to check the cut. Once the doctor was out of the cage, Ataev landed a spinning back kick to the liver which stopped O’Connell in his tracks and finished him off with punches, putting himself in the playoffs.
Light Heavyweight bout: Smealinho Rama (5 points) def. Jamie Abdallah (0 points) via TKO (doctor stoppage) (R2, 5:00)
Both fighters started the bout off trading heavy leather, with Rama getting bloodied early. The second round started with a slip from Abdallah, Rama jumped on him and controlled the back before getting full mount. Abdallah survived and got back to his feet, but Rama took the fight back to the ground and nearly had a rear-naked choke locked in before Abdallah somehow got dominant position and landed some knees before finishing the round on the feet. Unfortunately, the doctor called the fight due to the cut sustained by Abdallah and Smealinho Rama will advance to the playoffs.
The featherweights and heavyweights will kick off the playoffs on October 5th.