Professional Fighters League has successfully created a niche identity for itself amidst a mixed martial arts promotion industry dominated by a corporate titan.
The PFL hasn’t tried to compete with the Ultimate Fighting Championship since their first event; the NBC Sports-based promotion is a strictly a playoffs-based format, with the eventual divisional champs winning a $1 million prize. The PFL doesn’t hold their events on Saturday nights like the UFC or even Friday nights like Bellator usually does. PFL events are on Thursdays, and there’s nothing better than MMA on a Thursday night.
Thursday’s PFL 6, which is a part of the 2018 regular season, features the quick return of Ray Cooper III, who avenged his father’s loss to Jake Shields by knocking Shields out last month. That is a distinction Cooper III (14-4) shares with just two other fighters throughout Shields’ 43-fight career.
“Bradda Boy” faces Pavel Kusch, who himself advanced in PFL’s welterweight tournament on the back of a huge upset victory. Kusch (23-5) was little more than cannon fodder for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin, Abubakar (14-2), when Kusch stunned the MMA world with a second round submission win.
Elsewhere on the card, Magomed Magomedkerimov takes on UFC veteran Bojan Velickovic, while other familiar names such as Shields, Judo standout Kayla Harrison, Eddie Gordon, John Howard and Rick Story help to round out the rest of the card.
PFL 6 airs live on NBC Sports from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
PFL 6 Weigh-In Results:Ray Cooper III (169.4) vs. Pavel Kusch (169.8)
Magomed Magomedkerimov (170.2) vs. Bojan Velickovic (170.2)
Kayla Harrison (155.8) vs. Jozette Cotton (155.2)
Abubakar Nurmagomedov (170.4) vs. Jonatan Westin (170.2)
Joao Zeferino (170.4) vs. Yuri Villefort (171)
Rick Story (171) vs. Carlton Minus (170)
Jake Shields (170.8) vs. Herman Terrado (170.8)
John Howard (185.8) vs. Bruno Santos (185.4)
Abusupiyan Magomedov (185.6) vs. Anderson Goncalves (185.6)
Shamil Gamzatov (185.8) vs. Rex Harris (185.2)
Louis Taylor (185.4) vs. Andre Luis Leal Lobato (185.4)
Gasan Umalatov (186) vs. Eddie Gordon (185.4)