Infographic: Professional Fighters League Season 1 Light Heavyweight Playoff Standings Update

By Ben Duffy Aug 13, 2018
The inaugural Professional Fighters League light heavyweight division does not pack quite the same level of star power as its 145- or 155-pound classes, but it has had no shortage of entertaining fights, including some electrifying finishes. In any event, the season has shown that casual-fan name recognition is no guarantee of success, as some of the best-known fighters in the division have experienced mixed results.

The story -- and surprise -- of the season so far has been Vinny Magalhaes. While the “TUF 8” runner-up came into the season with name value and world-class grappling credentials, he had spent nearly a year away from the sport on the heels of two straight losses. However, “Pezao” has shown up appearing to be in the best shape of his career and steamrolled his way to the top of the standings in barely three minutes of cage time. While his first-round rear-naked choke victory over Jamie Abdallah was nothing more than one would expect of a Mundials and ADCC champion taking on an unheralded 2-2 fighter, his TKO of Brandon Halsey at Professional Fighters League 5 raised some eyebrows. After a high kick that knocked his opponent off balance, Magalhaes pounced and, rather than look for a submission, sunk his hooks and pounded Halsey out against the fence. Halsey, a former Bellator MMA middleweight champ and one of the favorites going into the PFL season, was done in 94 seconds.

Russia’s Maxim Grishin clinched his own playoff spot, and moved into a close second place behind Magalhaes, with a second-round submission of Rakim Cleveland. While Grishin and Magalhaes are among the four who have secured playoff berths, none of the fighters have been eliminated yet. This likely means more fireworks at the Aug. 30 PFL event, as most of the light heavyweights on that card will be fighting for their shot at the tournament and its $1 million prize.

The PFL regular season continues through August, with the playoffs scheduled to begin in October.

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Sherdog.com Professional Fighters League Vinny Magalhaes Maxim Grishin Dan Spohn Sean O'Connell Ronny Markes Smealinho Rama Brandon Halsey Jamie Abdallah Rakim Cleveland Rashid Yusupov Jason Butcher Bozigit Ataev Sherdog.com

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