Fight Facts: PFL 2: 2021 Regular Season

By Jay Pettry May 3, 2021

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Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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The Professional Fighters League maintained a steady course with its second event of the 2021 season, trotting out welterweights and light heavyweights that displayed a far higher finish rate than last week. PFL 2: 2021 Regular Season featured a whole slate of chalk, one of the quickest finishes in a PFL tournament and the first in-cage no contest in years.

Chalky Aftertaste: All seven betting favorites won their bouts, not counting the no contest between Sadibou Sy and Nikolay Aleksakhin. This is not a unique occurrence for the PFL, as it has happened in past tournament events of PFLs 5 and 6 of the 2018 Regular Season, as well as at the PFL 2019 Championships.

Picking Up Where They Left Off: Unlike last week’s event, both champs from the 2019 season in Ray Cooper III and Emiliano Sordi ended the night getting their hand raised. At PFL 1: 2021 Regular Season, both featherweight champ Lance Palmer and lightweight king Natan Schulte fell short.

Seeing Red: Rory MacDonald needed less than four minutes to put Curtis Millender away with a rear-naked choke. It is the first time that a fight for “The Red King” has ended in the first round since he punched out Mike Pyle in 2011, a span of 15 bouts.

Coopertown: By tapping Jason Ponet with an arm-triangle choke in 83 seconds and earning his 15th first-round stoppage victory, Cooper kept his 100 percent finish rate intact.

Chasing Palmer: Cooper earned his ninth win inside the PFL cage, tying Schulte and former foe Magomed Magomedkerimov for the fifth-most in company history. The only fighter on the active roster with more is Palmer (15).

Busy Hawaiian: The appearance was Cooper’s 11th on the PFL roster, putting him in a tie for third place with the most fights in World Series of Fighting-PFL history. Only Schulte (12) and Palmer (19) have fought more times under the company banner.

Brazil on Brazil Violence: In a successful short-notice effort against Gleison Tibau, Joao Zeferino got the nod on the scorecards. The bout was Zeferino’s 10th with the company, making him the 12th fighter in WSOF-PFL history to compete at least 10 times.

Shoe Choke: Hitting a guillotine choke in the first round and snapping a three-fight skid, Antonio Carlos Jr. submitted Tom Lawlor. Nine of 11 career wins for “Cara de Sapato” have come by tapout, with six of those taking place in the opening frame.

Mutante Powers: It took Cezar Ferreira just 37 seconds to knock Nick Roehrick out. The knockout win for “Mutante” is his first since he scorched Chaun Sims at a Ring of Fire event just over a decade ago. At that time, seven of the other 15 fighters on the card had yet to make their pro debuts, including his opponent.

But How Many MPH Was It? The 37-second knockout for Ferreira clocked in as the second-quickest in WSOF-PFL history. The only man to knock a foe out quicker at 205 pounds is Sordi, who dispatched Jason Butcher in 16 seconds at PFL 7 in 2018.

I Award You One Point, and May God Have Mercy on Your Soul: Sy landed an eye poke in the second round, and Aleksakhin was unable to continue. The no contest ruling is the first to come inside the PFL cage, and both men were awarded one playoff point. A previous no contest for the company as a whole came at WSOF 18 in 2015, when Matt Baker and Ali Mokdad clashed heads.

Oh Hamlet Hamlet Hamlet Hamlet Hamlet: In the card opener, Marthin Hamlet landed a technical submission from an arm-triangle choke, putting Dan Spohn to sleep in the second round. It is the second technical submission in WSOF-PFL light heavyweight history, after David Branch’s brabo choke of Jesse McElligott in 2015.

The Vampire Army Has Taken the City! Hamlet’s move is also the second arm-triangle choke to render a PFL fighter unconscious. Schulte first pulled this off in the lightweight semifinals of 2019 against Akhmed Aliev.

Othello, I Will Avenge You: Still young in his career at 7-1, Hamlet’s preferred method of victory is submission. All of those subs have come by arm-triangle choke.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into PFL 2: 2021 Regular Season, Ponet had never succumbed to an arm-triangle choke (10 submission losses), Sordi had never won on the scorecards (22 wins) and Carlos Jr. had never performed a guillotine choke (eight submissions).

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