The PFL 4 was all that the Professional Fighters League was hoping for when it set its format for the playoffs. On Thursday, six out of eight fights ended before the final round, with five first-round finishes drastically altering the standings for the playoffs in the welterweight and lightweight divisions.
Pre-season favorites Magomed Magomedkerimov and Kayla Harrison have qualified for second place in their respective divisions, and the playoff games are full of intriguing battles.
Here's how the second night of light welterweight fights went on for women in Atlantic City, New Jersey:
Magomed Magomedkerimov still seems to be the hardest competitor at 170 pounds in the PFL welterweight division and a strong contender to defend his league title (and the $ 1 million prize that l? accompanied). Magomedkerimov used a variety of leg kicks to control the distance against Chris Curtis, a boxer who shocked the field with a victory over veteran Bellator Andre Fialho at PFL 1. Magomedkerimov beat his opponent everywhere, en route to a decisive victory unanimously.
On the feet, he hit free kicks and hurtful kicks. In the field, he also controlled the action. Towards the end of the third round, Magomedkerimov seemed to tire after spending the second round tackling a throttle. Curtis felt it and went to get a guillotine, but Magomedkerimov turned around and survived the sequence. In total, Magomedkerimov managed 79 strikes against 22 on Curtis. But both will face in a rematch in the quarter-finals. Hard to imagine another result, the scores being 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
@ Judo_Kayla Fake steamrolls in the first
– ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 12, 2019
Kayla Harrison (9 points) def. Morgan Frier (0 points) via the submission of the first round (key lock) (light weight woman)
After Kayla Harrison's victory over Larissa Pacheco at PFL 1, she cried because she was disappointed with her performance. The PFL built a 155-pound women's division around Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, and the talented grappler wanted to improve her performance. She preached "perfection".
She clearly had a different mindset during her second fight against Morgan Frier on Thursday. Harrison was violent. She took Frier and hit her with 28 ground strikes. And then, when she saw any opening, she went to get a lock and won a bid by late in the first round. More than anything, Harrison has proven that once she has knocked you down, you do not get up.
The win marks a semi-final against Muay Thai specialist Genah Fabian and a possible title fight against UFC veteran Sarah Kaufman, who did not fight on Thursday but won three points and the No. 1 seed after her anticipated opponent, Roberta Samad, lost weight.
"Sarah and I are going to meet in the final," Harrison said after the fight. "It's going to be the PFL's dream, and I'm going to be a millionaire!" Kaufman then went into the cage and challenged this idea: "This million dollars is going to be mine," said Kaufman.
Joao Zeferino (3 points) def. Bojan Velickovic (0 points) by unanimous decision (welterweight)
It was an elimination bout, but after David Michaud and John Howard (who were both scoreless before PFL 4) had big wins, Joao Zeferino and Bojan Velickovic were eliminated. Zeferino won a unanimous decision in a botched fight against Velickovic, who was competitive throughout the match.
Zeferino 's was qualified for last year' s playoffs but was injured before the quarterfinals. He was injured when he missed the PFL 1 and qualified for the PFL 4 only because of the injury of another fighter. He used his wrestling skills to control Velickovic, but failed to get the stop he needed at the final horn to secure a playoff spot. It was the first victory decision at PFL 4, six fights in the night.
– ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 12, 2019
John Howard (6 points) def. Ray Cooper III (5 points) via TKO in the first round (punches) (welterweight)
Oh my! What are you doing right now, PFL 4? At this point of the night, PFL 4 is legitimately one of the best MMA cards of 2019. A desperate John Howard, 0-1 in PFL this season, committed Thursday night with a fight against Ray Cooper III, defeated fight for the middle-middleweight title against Magomed Magomedkerimov after four consecutive knockouts. Howard is a veteran with a UFC experience that has added some weight to the field. Few have chosen to advance against these young monsters from the welterweight division, however.
But Howard had other plans.
As Cooper showed up early in the fight on Thursday, Howard tackled him with a powerful left hook. He knocked out the crowd. Howard fired a few shots while Cooper was trying to recover on the floor, but after the second welterweight rider from last year, Howard hit his opponent with another huge left hook before finishing with a few other shots on the ground. This was the most amazing result of the season in the PFL. Howard now qualifies for the playoffs, and he may well be seeing Cooper once again, depending on what happens next.
In everyone's view, Sadibou Sy versus Glaico Franca seemed to be a likely candidate to extend the enthusiasm of PFL 4, which had started with three consecutive stops in the first round. Sy, who defeated David Michaud at PFL 1 after a fierce kick at the start of the battle, and Franca, who also earned a PFL 1 first-round place, took part in the tied battle. with welterweight with Magomed Magomedkerimov, reigning welterweight champion.
In the end, Sy started early, but could not stop Franca, who forced her opponent to fight back in the second and third rounds, before her ground positions and pounding cause a stop of the last moments of the fight. It was not the exciting fight that many were waiting for, but it allowed Franca to demonstrate her fighting skills against an elite contender. "We are very happy with this result," Franca said afterwards.
While both fighters had already locked their positions for the playoffs, Franca is prepared to occupy one of the top spots in the standings.
The PFL 4 card started with two first-round stops in the lightweight division. And then it's even better. The clash between David Michaud and Handesson Ferreira was marked by a kick in the groin, a look and raging exchanges. All of this happened before Michaud reached a left-right combo that knocked out Ferreira, who lost to Ray Cooper III in the semifinal of the PFL welterweight tournament last year.
While Ferreira controlled the action throughout the round, Michaud's camp protested after his fighter injured his groin with a kick, a few minutes after being stung at the ###########################################>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 39; eye. But Michaud, who needed a quick stop to take part in the playoffs, accelerated the pace after absorbing these mistakes. Once he injured Ferreira with the combo, Michaud finished in crucifix position, where he hit several times before the match was stopped by the referee. "It was only about playing in the playoffs," said Michaud after the win, which followed his 17-second loss to No. 1 seed Sadibou Sy through the middle. a shot at the liver in PFL 1. At present, Ferreira has to wait to see if he can slip into the playoffs. with three points.
Fights like this are why the PFL has assembled a collection of some of MMA's most fascinating rules and structures. The league wanted his fighters to reach that stage, with a place for the playoffs and a step closer to a million dollars on the line – fighting with urgency and passion. That's what Larissa Pacheco, barely 24 years old, did when she sealed a first-round finish via a brewer against Bobbi Jo Dalziel, who suffered her first professional MMA defeat.
Dalziel had a considerable size and advantage, and kicking the boxer's elite leg controlled the action during his victory in PFL 1 against Genah Fabian. But Pacheco did not give Dalziel the opportunity to use these tools because she got an early withdrawal and never allowed Dalziel to get up again. Pacheco established her mounting position after softening Dalziel early – then she went to get the arm. At 2 minutes 31 seconds of the first round, Pacheco was found with six points and a playoff spot, which caused trouble to Kayla Harrison during her bout in the PFL 1 after she was beaten to the last minute. Pacheco is a sleeper in this division.
Genah Fabian started his fight against Moriel Charneski knowing that she needed a stop in the first round (before the score of 2:21) to secure a spot in the lightweight women's playoffs . She fought with a sense of urgency and finally let Charneski fall with a clenched left hand. Fabian followed Charneski and finished the fight with a ground and pound attack that forced the referee stop at 1:42 into the first lap.
Fabian is a former world champion in Muay Thai, but she is still new to the MMA scene. She showed a lot of heart, pushing a broken nose against Bobbi Jo Dalziel to PFL 1 in a loss of decision. Against Charneski, she was cold-blooded and immediately dictated action in the fight by avoiding Charneski's withdrawal. The heavy left punch that she used to win the victory is a weapon that she could use to shock the world now that she is in the playoffs. It is clear to the eye that Fabian is improving rapidly.