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2023 PFL 3 Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

The 2023 Professional Fighters League marches on with 2023 PFL 3 at 7 p.m. ET. The action airs live on ESPN and then continues on ESPN+ at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Discuss this evening’s card with the world’s largest combat sports community here.

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Magomed Umalatov (170.4) vs. Dilano Taylor (169)

Round 1

The final PFL card for this first leg of the 2023 regular season will take place in a split card where the PFL lists not one but two main events. The evening’s hostilities commence on the ESPN airwaves for five fights, before shifting over to ESPN+ for the postlims for another seven matches. The opening encounter will see 2022 playoff qualifier Umalatov (12-0, 3-0 PFL) try to make good in his third year with the league. He takes on the unsuccessful finalist in last year’s season, Taylor (10-3, 3-2 PFL), who famously punched out Rory MacDonald in the first round back in August. This welterweight contest will draw officiating from referee Jacob Montalvo, and it begins without either man offering a glove touch. Taylor sprints out of his corner, but stops before he walks into an overhand right from the Russian. The two are tentative to engage early on, with neither willing to commit to any strike of note. Taylor tosses up a head kick that glances off the guard, and Umalatov responds with a blistering overhand right for a counter. “The Postman” is suddenly on baby deer legs, as he wobbles back to the cage wall barely still on his feet, and Umalatov gives chase with malice in his eyes. As Taylor keeps himself upright with the fence behind him, “Prince Magomed” unleashes a vicious left hand and a right that drills Taylor behind the ear. Taylor crumples to the mat, face-first, and Montalvo dives in between them to wave off the match. Although Taylor leaps back to his feet and briefly protests the stoppage, he might not realize the flash knockdown he suffered or that his head collided with the mat moments ago. That is one heck of a way to start off this card and the welterweight bracket, as Umalatov has just earned himself a crisp six points for his knockout in about 90 seconds.

The Official Result

Magomed Umalatov def. Dilano Taylor R1 1:31 via KO (Punches)

Carlos Leal Miranda (168) vs. David Zawada (170.6)

Round 1

Next up is another 170-pound matchup, when 2022 Challenger Series pickup Leal (17-4, 3-1 PFL) aims for successful 2023 season at the expense of former UFC fighter and PFL newcomer Zawada (18-7, 0-0 PFL). The strikers meet in the center of the cage but do not touch ‘em up as referee Kerry Hatley watches on, and instead Leal introduces himself with a sweeping calf kick. Leal strikes again, forcing an early stance switch. “Sagat” strikes back, blitzing forward with a few punches to back the Brazilian off, but few land of note. Leal digs another kick to the low calf, and Zawada frowns and returns the favor. Leal slowly works his way forward, and he connects with a straight right and a left hook to follow. Zawada backs him off after taking a flush body shot by firing off a swift left, and Leal is not amused. Zawada gets a right hand over the top, and they trade quick punches. Zawada circles on the outside of the cage, and Leal loads up on a powerful body kick. Zawada comes forward with two punches, and Leal stays composed and accurate with a straight left. “The Lion” surges into action with a counter overhand right, catching the German square on the jaw and sending him backpedaling. Leal knows he has his man in the danger zone, and he rushes towards Zawada and releases a pair of punches that hurt Zawada badly. With nowhere for Zawada to go, Leal detonates a bomb of a right hand right on Zawada’s chin. Like a puppet whose strings had been cut, Zawada falls lifelessly to the canvas, and Hatley needs to see no more to halt the action. The welterweight division is certainly off to a hot start this year, with two fights both ending by first-round knockout thus far. Leal picks up six points for his knockout that clocked in before the midpoint of Round 1, although he trails Umalatov, since the Russian got things done quicker in the last bout.

The Official Result

Carlos Leal Miranda def. David Zawada R1 2:25 via TKO (Punches)

Denis Goltsov (245.8) vs. Cezar Ferreira (215.8)

Round 1

After some unfortunate cancelations and fight switching, there is one heavyweight contest on this event otherwise composed of lightweights and welterweights. The big men that enter the cage will combine for just 462 pounds, making this on the lighter end of the scale. 2019 finalist Goltsov (29-7, 7-2 PFL) hunts for the $1 million check in his fourth attempt to climb the PFL ladder, and standing in his way is former welterweight Ferreira (14-10, 1-2 PFL). The latter is stepping up on short notice, having never competed this heavy (216 pounds) as a pro. The lone heavyweight affair tonight will receive oversight from referee Mark Smith, who clocks them in right before they touch gloves. Goltsov takes the center of the cage and moves forward, and he ignores a low kick on the way in. Ferreira darts forward with a few punches, and Goltsov swats them away and takes another leg kick. Ferreira aims a kick to the body, and Goltsov responds with a front kick to the midsection with his toes extended. Goltsov punches his way into a clinch, and when Ferreira escapes him, he fires off a body kick. Ferreira stuns his man with a left hand, and the Russian wades forward and grabs a body lock to trip Ferreira to the mat. Goltsov moves into half guard and fights off a potential Ezekiel choke setup, and he starts pounding on the Brazilian with ferocious strikes. Goltsov does not simply attack recklessly, and instead holds his arm up and hammers it down without forming a pattern. The openings grow wider every time “The Russian Bogatyr” blasts Ferreira in the face, and Ferreira turns to his side in big trouble after taking the methodically brutal beating. Goltsov does not need more than few pulverizing punches before Ferreira goes out and snaps back into consciousness as Smith waves off this beatdown. Goltsov’s quick finish of Ferreira not only claims him six points on the heavyweight bracket, but it places him in the top spot as it occurred eight seconds faster than Bruno Cappelozza’s 2:15 wipeout of Matheus Scheffel last week.

The Official Result

Denis Goltsov def. Cezar Ferreira R1 2:07 via KO (Punches)

Clay Collard (154.4) vs. Yamato Nishikawa (153.4)

Round 1

The co-main event of this initial card will be the season opener for the lightweight division, as ex-boxing standout Collard (21-10, 1 NC; 3-2 PFL) battles 20-year-old PFL debutant Nishikawa (21-3-6, 0-0 PFL). While “Cassius Clay” entered the boxing ring 18 times from 2017 to 2021 – plus eight MMA fights – the Japanese fighter was also ultra-active, with 21 MMA bouts in that same time span. A fist bump from the two starts off the action, and referee Chris Tognoni is keeping a watchful eye on what happens next. Nishikawa whips a quick leg kick down low early, and Collard responds with a short combination and a front kick. Nishikawa kicks Collard’s legs out when Collard advances, and Collard jumps back up and takes another heavy kick. Collard drives his foe back to the wall with a powerful right hand, and the youngster shakes it out and gets back in his rhythm of attacking the ex-boxer’s lead wheel. Nishikawa tries to dip back as Collard throws hands, and “Cassius Clay” gets off some solid body shots. Collard ducks down to throw a punch to the body, and Nishikawa throws an inside low kick that bounces off Collard’s cup. Collard, at the same time, has a left hand pound into the midsection, and it is Nishikawa who signals he took an illegal blow. Tognoni allows them to recover for the good part of a minute, and they resume and get right back to it. Collard is relentless with body work, and he rarely punches in single bursts and instead strings multiple combinations together. Collard considers a level change as he bangs it out, and Nishikawa sets it his leg down and takes two punches on the chin. Collar is not letting the younger man get in his rhythm, ripping the body at every opportunity. Nishikawa works on his foe’s lead leg, and a left hand over the top rips open a cut on the corner of the American’s right eye. Collard uses quick movement and high volume to keep the 20-year-old guessing, and he hammers Nishikawa to the body and head indiscriminately. Nishikawa shells up and tries to counter with knees, and he has a kick caught. Collard slams his fist on the jaw and liver, and he releases a kick to the same spot. Nishikawa is backed up against the cage, taking shots, and Collard sweeps the leg and lets him to stand to punch him again and again. Nishikawa fires off a body kick, and Collard grabs it and closes in to target the body several more times. Nishikawa stings his opponent with a clean left hand, and Collard slings a few punches above the beltline to frustrate Nishikawa. The round ends as Nishikawa pushes forward.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Collard
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Collard
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Collard

Round 2

The lightweights bump fists before re-engaging, and Collard is the initial aggressor with a few pawing leg kicks. Collard reaches a right around the guard and straight left, and he pushes out a front kick to follow. Nishikawa loads up on a head kick, and Collard blocks it and lets Nishikawa fall off-balance to move into top position. After some ground-and-pound, the American elects to stand back up, and Nishikawa promptly follows him. On his feet, Nishikawa takes a few more punches to the body but he does score a couple leg kicks and one to the ribcage. Collard steps in with a knee and a few punches, and he grabs an outstretched leg and slugs Nishikawa in the face with his left. Nishikawa falls to his back, but he climbs back up as it was more about balance than damage. Collard bullies him against the wire with body punches and a few up top, and Nishikawa retaliates with chopping leg kicks. Nishikawa retreats, and he complains that Collard grabbed his glove. When Tognoni acknowledges it, Collard keeps plowing forward, and he digs a left to the body and then a left to the head. Collard chains a salvo of punches together, including an uppercut that snaps the head back and a four-piece of punches to the side. Nishikawa gets in a few more kicks to the lead leg, and Collard appears compromised from the kicks as he staggers back and shakes his left leg out. Collard tries to take the fight down, and Nishikawa fights it off and backs away to let Collard walk him down. Nishikawa connects with a few more slapping kicks, and Collard falls to his knees and slowly stands back up and changes stances. The incredibly tough Nishikawa keeps battering the front leg of his opponent, and when Collard fights out of southpaw, Nishikawa attacks that too. Collard tries to crowd his man, and he remains active with body shots, but Nishikawa kicks him down once more. The round ends as Collard works his way back up again.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Collard
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Nishikawa
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Collard

Round 3

Hands collide for the two lightweights to start off the final frame, and Nishikawa is eager to pick up where he left off with unending leg kicks. Collard takes one, turns around and walks away, and Nishikawa does not chase him as he is somewhat confused by it. Collard returns to engage, and Nishikawa meets him with one on each leg, and Collard winces in pain but lashes out. Collard throws caution to the wind, slinging punches in bunches, and Nishikawa counters with a takedown attempt. Collard sprawls and pushes the Japanese fighter against the wall, where he does not clinch and instead pocket boxes him with ample body work. Nishikawa gets just enough space to land additional leg kicks, and he shoots for a takedown. Collard staves it off and pushes Nishikawa over to his back, but Nishikawa is ready as he traps Collard with a triangle choke. Collard slides out of it and the subsequent armbar setup, and he pushes his right arm on Nishikawa’s throat and is warned to not squeeze the trachea. Collard postures up in the guard to rain down punches, and when he slows, Nishikawa latches on with another triangle choke. Nishikawa switches his leg lock to the other side on the triangle, and Collard stands up to stack him up and break out of it. Collard pounds on the 20-year-old, eventually standing up and delivering stand-to-ground punches. When Nishikawa explodes to his feet, Collard threatens with a front choke. Before it materializes, he instead latches on to a guillotine choke and pulls guard. Nishikawa escapes it and falls to his back, and he sets up another triangle choke. Collard stands up in the guard and fights it off, and he lowers himself to belt Nishikawa in the face with a few more punches. Nishikawa lands a foot sweep to trip Collard to his seat, and they both work upright again. Collard connects with a few punches, and when Nishikawa slams his shin into Collard’s lead leg, Collard shoots in for a double-leg takedown. The entry pushes Nishikawa back to the fencing, where Collard fires off a knee that glances off the cup and inner thigh to draw another pause. With 30 seconds left in the fight, Nishikawa falls to his knees in pain, and Tognoni recognizes this and allows him all the time he needs to get back his wind. The fighters resume after the break, and Collard whips out a head kick out of nowhere. Nishikawa blocks it and kicks Collard so hard he nearly falls over. Collard gathers his thoughts, hammers his opponent’s midsection with another salvo, and he backs up to take a chopping leg kick. As Collard is staggered from the umpteenth damaging kick, the final bell sounds, and this three-round banger now resides in the hands of the judges.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Collard (30-27 Collard)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Collard (29-28 Collard)
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Collard (30-27 Collard)

The Official Result

Clay Collard def. Yamato Nishikawa via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Olivier Aubin-Mercier (155.4) vs. Shane Burgos (156)

Round 1

The first of two main events is now upon us, as last year’s lightweight king Aubin-Mercier (17-5, 6-0 PFL) welcomes fellow UFC expat Burgos (15-3, 0-0 PFL) to the PFL cage. A place among the top 15 at lightweight might loom for the victor, depending on how it all plays out in the next 15 minutes or less. Referee Jacob Montalvo will serve as the cage commander for this final ESPN bout tonight, and there is ample respect as the two clap hands. Burgos leads the dance with a calf kick, and he strikes on the outside as they hand-fight. Aubin-Mercier flicks out a jab, and Burgos responds with a heavy overhand right. Aubin-Mercier presses forward to block a big punch and keep his jab going, and he checks a low kick. Burgos darts in to throw a haymaker, only to get slipped by the 2022 champ. Aubin-Mercier drives three leg kicks home as Burgos pressures him, and Burgos swipes out with a pair of hooks. Aubin-Mercier slams his shin on Burgos’ shin with a loud clacking sound, and they both need a moment to reset. The Canadian slips a kick to the ribcage under the guard, and Burgos ducks a looping right had as he comes forward. Burgos kicks high as it glances off the guard, and he steps in with a fierce left hand that connects on the temple. They continue to hand-fight, with Aubin-Mercier physically grabbing his hand, and he catches Burgos with an uppercut that dislodges his mouthpiece. Burgos goes to pick it up without issue, and he gets off an uppercut of his own. Burgos tactically attacks both sides of Aubin-Mercier’s leg and shrugs off a right hand. Absorbing a flush body kick, Burgos sits down on a right hand counter. Burgos chains a few punches together into a leg kick, and Aubin-Mercier calmly works behind his jab. Burgos meets one such jab with a surprisingly effective kick, and Aubin-Mercier scores a straight right hand on the chest. They trade leg kicks, and Burgos loads up on a few power punches with his ready right hand. Aubin-Mercier sinks in one more kick to the body as Burgos wades forward, and he gets on his bike and evades the brunt of the offense coming at him. Burgos does get off a solid right hand, and they trade single strikes one after the other. The striking match of Round 1 ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aubin-Mercier
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Aubin-Mercier
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Aubin-Mercier

Round 2

Gloves are tentatively touched, and Burgos would rather throw hands. He does just that, with a swiping left hand over the guard. Chants for “USA” rain down in support of Burgos as he tags the Canadian, but Aubin-Mercier stands his ground and sticks out several effective jabs. Burgos counters one with an overhand right, and he strings a few punches together on the inside to get around the guard. Aubin-Mercier tries for a kick to the ribs up close, and Burgos stops it from landing flush and belts Aubin-Mercier in the face with a left. “The Canadian Gangster” responds with a similar blow, and the two take turns punishing one another in rapid succession. Burgos pops his man with a right, and he gets stung from a check right hook when coming in. Burgos digs a punch to the body and hops back to defend against a takedown. Aubin-Mercier attempts a double, and he switches to a single-leg and aims to lift Burgos’ right leg off the ground. Burgos smacks him on the side of the head a few times, and Aubin-Mercier lifts his leg up and sweeps him but cannot keep him down. Burgos deftly gets back to his feet, and Aubin-Mercier grabs him from behind and imposes his weight to suck some of the energy out of the PFL newcomer. Aubin-Mercier jumps on the back and sets up a body triangle, and he attempts to wriggle his trapped left arm free. Burgos keeps his left arm tight to his side to not let Aubin-Mercier choke him, and he fights off the lock around his waist and turns to his back against the cage. Aubin-Mercier times a sweep to dump Burgos on the mat, and Burgos looks to wall-walk as soon as he hits the floor. Burgos gets to a knee and upright, and Aubin-Mercier jams him up as seconds tick off the clock. Aubin-Mercier breaks, and he backpedals until the round concludes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aubin-Mercier
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Aubin-Mercier
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Aubin-Mercier

Round 3

The last round kicks off with Burgos rushing to the center of the cage, and Aubin-Mercier flashing out jabs immediately. Burgos appears to have a fire lit under his belly, as he is throwing with bad intentions and catching the Canadian. Aubin-Mercier gets popped and shoots in for a single, and he pushes “Hurricane Shane” from one side of the cage back to the fencing. Although Burgos gets dragged down briefly, he jumps back up. Aubin-Mercier drags him to a knee again, and he knees Burgos in the posterior a few times until Burgos stands. Aubin-Mercier pursues a single, and he completes it to set the PFL debutant down. Burgos, with Aubin-Mercier’s arms clasped around his waist, tries to stand, but Aubin-Mercier is making his life miserable with the pressure and grappling. Burgos stands up once more, and he motions to Montalvo that Aubin-Mercier is just stalling. Burgos grabs the fence as he pulls himself up, and Aubin-Mercier transforms himself into a Canadian backpack by leaping on Burgos. Burgos leans himself against the fence to not let Aubin-Mercier have the leverage to go for anything, and he again shrugs to Montalvo about relative inaction. The crowd is similarly disappointed in the grappling, and Aubin-Mercier answers those by wrapping his arm briefly around the chest of his opponent for a rear-naked choke try. Burgos is well aware of it and does not let it come close to materializing, but is otherwise nullified and yelling aloud to separate them. Aubin-Mercier loses the body triangle and gloms onto his foe, and Burgos gains enough space to hammer the body with a few knees. A furious Burgos unloads with everything he has, and a right hand or a knee busts open a cut on the corner of Aubin-Mercier’s eye. Burgos throws strikes, stinging Aubin-Mercier, but Aubin-Mercier grabs hold of him and clinches up until the final bell rings. It might not have been what Burgos wanted, but it was an effective display for the 2022 PFL champ at stifling a tough, fresh adversary. Given the completion of the main event, this would generally be where we mention the next event and issue a signoff. However, there are still seven more fights on the docket, so strap in, fight fans. There ain't no gettin' offa this train we on.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Aubin-Mercier (30-27 Aubin-Mercier)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Aubin-Mercier (30-27 Aubin-Mercier)
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Aubin-Mercier (30-27 Aubin-Mercier)

The Official Result

Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Shane Burgos via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Natan Schulte (155.6) vs. Steven Ray (155.8)

Round 1

Before the ESPN+ portion of the fight card can begin, for the postliminary coverage of PFL 3: 2023 Regular Season, the PFL squeezes in one more fight on the ESPN broadcast. In one corner is former two-time champ Schulte (23-5-1, 12-3-1 PFL), who did not reach the playoffs in either of the last two iterations of PFL seasons. He squares off with UFC vet Ray (25-11, 2-2 PFL), whose two victories over Anthony Pettis last year were bookended by unsuccessful matchups with Alex Martinez and future champ Aubin-Mercier. The lightweights bump fists as referee Kerry Hatley watches on, and Schulte starts off fearlessly. The Brazilian lands a few punches as he strides forward, backing Ray up to the wall and getting off a leg kick in the process. Ray backs him away with a one-two, and Schulte slams a few more leg kicks home. Ray dives down low for a single, and Schulte shuts it down without batting an eye. Schulte lunges with two looping hooks, and he walks through a Ray right hand to push him against the fencing. Ray aims to drop a knee on the chin, and Schulte backs off and resets. Ray takes two to land one, and Schulte continues to pound on the lead wheel. Ray gets caught with a right hand as he bounces off the fence, and he ducks down to catch a leg kick but cannot reach it before Schulte recoils it. Schulte ignores the offense flying at his face so that he can land his own, and he keeps busy with calf kicks. Ray connects with a clean body kick, and he gets countered with an overhand right and tripped to his back. Schulte lands in the guard that closes around his waist, and Ray locks him down and begins to set up a rubber guard with his right leg. Schulte laughs this off and passes to half guard, where he slows things down significantly and begins to grind. A few punches from Schulte cut the right side of Ray’s right eye, and blood trickles down his face and collects beneath his head on the mat. Schulte slowly, methodically lands ground punches, and Ray keeps both of his legs trapping Schulte to prevent any further guard passes. Ray again attempts to curl his right leg up and around the shoulder, but he pulls it back when the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Schulte
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Schulte
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Schulte

Round 2

The lightweights clap hands to open up the second frame, and Ray gets off a single kick to the body before Schulte darts in for a takedown. Using Ray’s raised leg, the Brazilian succeeds in snatching up a single. Ray scrambles, and in the process, Schulte takes his back and gets one hook in. Ray turns over and falls to his back, and Schulte advances into the half guard to hold him down again. A few short punches are all it takes for Schulte to open the cut up again, and blood pools from the seemingly small cut. Ray moves, but ultimately cannot get Schulte off of him, so he settles back down and closes his guard laying on his back. Schulte steps over to half again like a hot knife through butter, and he frustrates Ray with ground-and-pound. Schulte shuts down an escape attempt from the Scotsman, embracing the grind with no fear until an arm-triangle choke presents itself. Schulte advances to full mount when the submission comes up, only for Ray to kick off and escape back to his full guard. Seconds later, Schulte once more is back in half guard, and Ray looks for a butterfly sweep but only has one leg to push off so he bails on it. Ray slithers his legs back around the body to recover guard, and he even flirts with a guillotine choke so that he can sit up. Schulte does not bite, and remains comfortably in top position with occasional punches until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Schulte
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Schulte
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Schulte

Round 3

Respect is shown as the two clap hands to start off the final frame, and they both get off one single punch to follow. Ray chips at the lead leg, and he takes one back immediately. Ray settles for a body kick, and he pulls it back faster than Schulte can do something about it. “Braveheart” goes to the well with another such kick, and this time, Schulte is prepared to catch it and dump Ray down to his seat. Ray tries to set up a shoulder lock off his back before Schulte can move into top position like before, but the Brazilian sees it coming from a mile away and works his way to pass to half guard. Ray eventually pushes off the hip to gain a little space, and he even smacks Schulte in the face with a hammerfist. Schulte wrestles with heavy top pressure, shutting down any potential submission setups and staying calm with his chest squeezing on Ray’s chest. Schulte takes mount for a matter of seconds, and Ray bucks him off and even threatens with a leglock. Schulte turns all the way around, lowering himself back down, and he tries to pass again. Ray hooks his right leg around the shoulder for an omoplata, but he does not have the leverage or wherewithal to pull it off. Try as he might, Ray cannot sweep his heavy opponent, who lays on him as seconds tick off the clock. Schulte gets off four punches from above at the sound of the 10-second clapper, and he rides out the grueling contest on top. Barring an extreme miscarriage of justice, Schulte has snagged three points in the lightweight standings.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Schulte (30-27 Schulte)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Schulte (30-27 Schulte)
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Schulte (30-27 Schulte)

The Official Result

Natan Schulte def. Steven Ray via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Zach Juusola (170.8) vs. Brandon Jenkins (170.6)

Round 1

To now kick off the ESPN+ section of this evening’s matchups, fans are treated to a non-tournament welterweight scrap. Juusola (13-9, 1-0 PFL) may not have earned a tourney contract for his victory in January at the Challenger Series, but he did get a spot on this billing against action fighter Jenkins (16-9, 1-0 PFL). This all-Minnesota clash will proceed under the authority of referee Mark Smith, and one of these two competitors will likely suffer their 10th professional defeat when the dust settles. Before then, they tap fists, and the fight is on. Juusola strikes first with a leg kick, but Jenkins is quick to respond with a head kick and one down low as well. Juusola gets off a sharp jab early, and Jenkins swarms him with two punches. Jenkins digs a kick to the body and lands a right hand to the same side with a thud. Jenkins tries and fails with two flying knee attempts, and Juusola begins to do with his jab. Juusola walks into a body kick, but he does fire off a few leg kicks and a jab that marks up Jenkins’ nose. They kick at the same time, and Jenkins loads up on three low kicks and a right hand. Juusola stings his man with another right, and Jenkins backs up to the fence and shells up, but he circles away before the follow-up onslaught comes together. Juusola steps in with a knee to the body, and two punches shake Jenkins up again. “The Human Highlight Reel” gathers himself and attacks with a flying knee, but Juusola sees it coming, lets him have it with a few punches, and knocks Jenkins back to the fencing again. Jenkins is hurt badly from a combination, and a head kick from Juusola adds insult to injury. Jenkins wobbles, and he recovers to strike the body several times. Juusola slows himself down and connects with jabs, and he follows them with right hands and uppercuts. Jenkins spins with a back fist as Juusola is on him, and he gets off a head kick on the left side and a right hand to the body. Juusola pushes the pace, throwing a few punches to force Jenkins to fight off his back foot, and Jenkins answers with a reverse crescent kick that surprises his opponent. They trade leather until they both move to the center of the cage and slow down, where they alternate with leg kicks. Jenkins sneaks up a head kick, and Juusola greets him with a vicious right hand. Juusola pours it on with a ferocious salvo of punches, and he ends the round with three powerful knees on the chin. Jenkins falls to the wall at the bell, and his left eye is swelling fast. Smith is keeping a close on Jenkins, who seems to have survived to reach the second round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Juusola
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Juusola
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-8 Juusola

Round 2

Jenkins’ legs have returned to him to start off the second round, and he is the initial aggressor as well. Swinging with right hands to the body, leg kicks and solid punch combinations, Jenkins gets Juusola’s attention early. Jenkins gets off kicks to body legs and even mixes up head kicks, but it is a right had that shocks Juusola. “Juice” grits his teeth and belts Jenkins in the face with a right hand, and he rocks Jenkins with a combination. Jenkins responds with a desperation takedown, and Juusola stuffs it and throws his arms around the neck for a brabo choke. Jenkins escapes, at least in part to the blood flowing from his face, and he scrambles to get to a knee against the wall and eventually up. Jenkins leads off with two punches and a leg kick, and Juusola freezes him with a jab. Juusola’s pace begins to slow, and Jenkins walks him down and knees him in the face. Juusola blinks it out and retreats, with Jenkins following him throwing hands. Juusola flails wildly in response, and Jenkins cracks him with a right hand to put “Juice” on rubber legs. They collide with punches and kicks, and this leads to Jenkins tying him up and kneeing him in the body. Jenkins takes three punches flush on the jaw, and his hands are down as he swings back with a right hand. Juusola practically falls over after getting stung with the overhand right, and Jenkins pushes him up to the wall and spins with a back fist. When Jenkins pursues a flying knee, Juusola ducks down to take him down. The takedown fails, but Jenkins is the one fired up when they stand. Jenkins blasts a spent Juusola with a barrage of punches and a knee, and Juusola is barely on his feet. Jenkins measures up a head kick that glances off the shoulder, and Juusola strikes back with a few body shots. A failed takedown from Juusola leads to him nailing Jenkins with a three-punch combination, and the momentum of this fight is all over the place. Juusola absorbs a knee, shoots in for a takedown, gets stuffed, and ends the round with the two tied up.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Jenkins
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Jenkins
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Jenkins

Round 3

Both fighters are battered, bloodied and bruised after 10 minutes of combat, but they are ready for Round 3. It’s anyone’s guess whose gas tank is stronger, and Juusola makes sure to work on it right after touching gloves, With two body kicks, Juusola looks to slow Jenkins down, and Jenkins answers by snapping his head back with a one-two. Jenkins pushes off and jumps with a knee, but the knee misses the mark by a wide margin. Juusola stays composed with a pair of punches down the pipe, and Jenkins replies with a spinning back fist that partially gest through. Jenkins chops at the lead leg a few times, and he stands Juusola up with a right hand. Not to be outdone, Juusola rocks his foe with a right hook, and the two are standing right in front of one another and banging. Juusola lands four vicious punches, and Jenkins is almost out on his feet as he ambles forward. Jenkins kicks, but the foot does not get high enough and connects with the cup to draw a pause from the exhausted by eager fighters. Jenkins slips a punch, rips the body with a right, and gets a clean right hand. This big right hand happens twice more, and he fires a head kick over the top that shakes Juusola to his core. Juusola somehow keeps his wits about him to throw back, possibly on autopilot, and he lands with a punch. Jenkins is so excited as he throws everything and the kitchen sink, that includes a standing elbow up close, and Smith issues him a hard warning and pauses the round at exactly 2:30. Smith lets Juusola recover, and the two get back to it with reckless aggression. Jenkins throws three low kicks and one to the head, and a flying knee that follows is inaccurate. Jenkins pushes out with his fingers outstretched, and one jams into Juusola’s eye to force another stoppage. Smith recognizes it was inadvertent and Juusola takes the time he needs to clear his vision. Smith tells Jenkins to keep things clean, and they get back to it. Jenkins is amped up, with four punches landing before Juusola gets one off. Jenkins chops at him with low kicks, and he is warned for outstretched fingers as Juusola comes at him swinging. Jenkins backs him away with short punches, and Juusola flings several back. Jenkins lowers his hands to swing with everything he has, and Juusola takes them on the chin and bulldozes Jenkins over to his back. Juusola lands in a half guard, and Jenkins turns to the side to escape but ends up getting flattened out taking left hands to the ribs. Juusola punishes the same spot with punches while trapping Jenkins’ right arm, and Juusola ends the fight as Jenkins move to his knees with a series of left hands. The round ends, and scorecards could be wild for this equally wild contest.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Juusola (29-27 Juusola)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Juusola (29-27 Juusola)
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Jenkins (28-28)

The Official Result

Zach Juusola def. Brandon Jenkins via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)

Bruno Miranda (156) vs. Ahmed Amir (155)

Round 1

On episode 5 of the Challenger Series, Miranda (14-3, 1-0 PFL) faceplanted Caron Frei to earn a contract despite missing weight. With a 79% stoppage rate in tow and no losses by decision in his career, he will toe the line against Egyptian import Amir (12-3-1, 0-0 PFL). The two lightweights will put one another to the test, and referee Chris Tognoni is prepped and ready for the action to come. A calm touch of gloves opens things up, and neither fighter commits to any strike for the first 30 seconds of the match. Amir half-heartedly tosses out a left, and Miranda ducks in with an overhand right. Amir punches and shoots in low for a takedown effort, but Miranda is well out of the way and makes him pay with a slapping leg kick. Amir fires off a left and a right, Miranda slows things down as he walks forward, threatening with kicks that miss. Amir is one-and-done with a lunging right hand, and Miranda catches the calf with a quick strike. Miranda walks him down but does not release anything, and Amir backs him away with a jump knee. Miranda swings with a huge right hand, and Amir shoots in and smashes his forehead into the hip and rocks himself. Miranda lets him stand up and swings big right hands, and he fights off another takedown try. Miranda knocks “The Butcher” clean off his feet with a left and a right, and Amir shakily stands back up and defeatedly shoots for a takedown. Miranda walks out of the way, and he advances to throw bombs. Amir is in big trouble as he goes for another failed takedown, and he gets blasted by a left hand. Amir circles on the outside as Miranda does not bear down on him, and Amir appears to recover as he darts out with an overhand left. Miranda gets off a solid kick that draws a physical reaction out of his opponent, and a right hand on the temple sets Amir down again. The Egyptian fighter desperately goes after a takedown, and Miranda stops it and pummels him with a barrage of punches until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Miranda
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Miranda
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Miranda

Round 2

The fighters greet in the center of the cage to tap fists to start off the round, and one errant kick from Amir allows Miranda to counter him with a blistering right hand. Amir staggers, takes a few funny steps, and gathers himself before falling over. Amir cannot even try for another takedown before Miranda belts him in the face to sent him stumbling and tripping to the mat. Amir pursues any kind of takedown he can find, and Miranda lets him do it to wear himself out so he can stand back and measure him with strikes. Miranda lashes out with a combination of punches to knock Amir’s head around, and Amir’s offense is relegated to single inaccurate punches or telegraphed takedown tries. Miranda sprawls on one such takedown when Amir shoots from a mile away, and he makes Amir pay with a few body shots and a right hand over the top. Amir dives into a takedown, and Miranda steps out of it without a care in the world. Miranda dips a punch to aim one to the ribs, and he stuns Amir again with a power right hand. Amir tries to turn a potential knockdown into a takedown, and Miranda is a brick wall. Miranda times a leaping Amir with an accurate left, and Amir drops to his knees but is not close enough to come close to a takedown. Amir lands his shin on the inner thigh of his opponent, and Miranda gets fired up and charges like a bull. Amir survives the blows and tries to take the fight down, and Miranda tags him and puts Amir on ice skates once more. Amir doggedly pursues a single, and Miranda is not having it, as he wrenches his legs out. Amir lands two punches and gets nailed with a few more, and Miranda raises his arms to ask Tognoni what he has to do to finish this fight. Amir pops back up, but his legs are still not beneath him as he gets rocked in practically every exchange. Amir eats a right hand and wobbles back to bounce off the cage wall, and he gets in one single uppercut before the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Miranda
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Miranda
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Miranda

Round 3

Perhaps to the surprise of some, the third round has been reached, and some 10-8 scores could very well have been issued after the one-sided action thus far. Amir starts off the round aggressively, and one single jab comes out before Miranda busts him in the face. Amir flails with his arms up, and Miranda times a left hand to knock him clean off his feet. Amir tries to change position or move for his own takedown as he appears to have hits wits about him, and Miranda stands up and gest his foe to stand. Amir lands a solid leg kick to make Miranda grimace, and he backs off when the Brazilian swings for the bleachers. Amir’s lunging strikes hit nothing but air, and Miranda looks to make him pay every time that happens. “Robusto” checks a leg kick and nails Amir with one of his own, and Amir falls over and still manages to land a right hand. Flopping all over the cage, with little to no balance and an undetermined number of official knockdowns suffered, Amir is still quick enough to stand after going down. Amir times a takedown when Miranda blitzes him, and he finally manages to get the Brazilian down for a second. Miranda sits up against the cage wall, and Amir is singularly focused on keeping Miranda down at all costs. Amir unveils practically no additional offense of his own when he gets on top, and he threatens to take the back when Miranda looks to stand up. Miranda still works his way to his feet, and Amir clasps his hands around the waist and secures a mat return with Miranda landing on his face. Amir slithers to attempt another back take, and he gets both hooks in while Miranda is on a knee and sitting up. Miranda pulls off both hooks, and he gets up and is leaned over while Amir holds on from behind. Amir cannot keep him, and Miranda releases haymakers and a flying knee to shake Amir up once more. Amir swings even as he falls to a knee, and Miranda tags him again before the final bell rings.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Miranda (30-27 Miranda)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Miranda (30-27 Miranda)
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Miranda (30-27 Miranda)

The Official Result

Bruno Miranda def. Ahmed Amir via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Shane Mitchell (171) vs. Nayib Lopez Miranda (170.4)

Round 1

This international welterweight collision will see a rarity for two competitors on the major stage: neither has competed outside of their native country of Australia and Mexico, respectively. The Adelaide native Mitchell (13-4, 0-0 PFL) will be taking an away game, while Lopez (15-0, 0-0 PFL) out of Mexico City is the geographically closer man of the two. The match begins as referee Jacob Montalvo checks them in, and they opt to touch ‘em up before throwing down. They both start off with jabs, and Lopez rushes forward swinging his left hand and clinching up. Mitchell stands him up before a level change occurs, and Lopez knees him in the chest. Lopez lands a knee to the thigh and drops down to snatch up the same leg for a single, and he takes Mitchell for a ride. The Aussie defends with a kimura off his back, and this fails miserably as Lopez slides over on top of him into half guard. Lopez opens up with a few punches, and when Mitchell turns to a knee to try to stand, Lopez illegally smashes his knee into Mitchell’s face. Mitchell still very clearly grounded with his right knee down, Montalvo sees this and pauses the fight for the foul. Montalvo deducts one point for the flagrant foul, and he resets the position to start them off standing. Lopez offers an apologetic glove touch, and Mitchell is incensed, who loads up on a fierce right hand that rocks the unbeaten fighter. Lopez ducks down to go for a double, and he secures his grips and drops “AAA” to the floor. Mitchell stands up, and he gives up his back on the way up. Lopez snatches up an unorthodox standing rear-naked choke turned arm-triangle choke, and Mitchell struggles and wriggles his neck out. With a successful reversal, Mitchell thwarts a Lopez takedown try and puts Lopez on his face. Not wanting to play on the mat, Mitchell lets him back up, and Lopez thanks him with a left hook. Mitchell answers with a right hand, and he makes Lopez smile by landing a second. Lopez gets tagged again with a right, and he tries to throw back but is not nearly as effective. Lopez leads with his head, and they may clash heads as he ducks down. This allows Lopez to slug his man in the face, and he gets clipped right back. Lopez is stung from a straight right, and he level changes and drives Mitchell down to the canvas. Mitchell calmly works his way back up to his seat, and Lopez tries to trip him down again. Mitchell works his way up, and they trade punches right to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Mitchell
Brian Knapp scores the round: 9-9
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 9-9

Round 2

Hands are clapped to start off Round 2, and they trade immediate punches. Lopez loops out left hooks, and Mitchell sits down on the counter straight right. This exchange happens three times in a row, until Lopez realizes he should stop throwing the naked strike. Instead, he changes his mind and takes Mitchell down with relative ease, with Mitchell swinging too hard at him. Mitchell remains seated with his back on the post, as Lopez does little from on top besides control. Mitchell threatens with an unexpected guillotine choke, and he uses it to flip Lopez to his back. Mitchell turns to his side and goes after a scarf hold headlock, and he squeezes it while Lopez pushes off his face and smacks him with short hammerfists. Mitchell leans down to keep the heavy shoulder and chest pressure to stifle Lopez, and he abandons it to stand back up. Lopez follows him and ends up taking Mitchell from behind, until he drops down for a double. Mitchell defends with his right arm under the neck, but there is nothing there as Lopez chains into a single. Lopez lifts Mitchell up, who in turn tries a kimura sweep to allow them both to roll and stand back up. Lopez remains pinned to his opponent, leaning on him and landing a single knee on the beard. Lopez knees the thigh a few times, and he makes Mitchell’s life miserable by hunting for another takedown. Mitchell gets his legs stripped out beneath him, and Lopez lands on top of him. Lopez lands in a fairly decent position, seated on top of both of his foe’s legs while landing punches. Lopez traps him to the mat and gets off a few more short shots until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Lopez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Lopez
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Lopez

Round 3

There is a double clap of hands and an eventual hug to start off the final round. The two fighters are not eager to throw at one another, as they cautiously engage with single strikes. Mitchell pushes out a jab, and Lopez digs a left to the body. The unbeaten fighter punches his way to a takedown, which he hits calmly and methodically. Mitchell stands, and Lopez keeps his hands around Mitchell’s waist to knee him in the backside a few times. Lopez manages to drag his man to his knees, and cannot keep him there for long. He changes levels all the way down to attempt a single, and he lifts the Aussie’s left leg up but does not ground him. Mitchell looks to fight his way out, and Lopez deposits him to the ground. Lopez hooks his legs around both of his opponent’s to leave him stuck with no way up, until Mitchell slides them back out and gets to his knees. Lopez looks to take the back, and Mitchell turns him around during a failed choke attempt with 90 seconds remaining in the fight. “AAA” sits in half guard until Lopez scrambles back to his feet, and he is quick to attempt a single again. Mitchell keeps a two-on-one wrist grip to try to throw Lopez to his back, but this time, he does not have the juice to do anything but fall over. Lopez moves to side control and starts to set up a crucifix position, and he drops a few punches and shoulder strikes until settling down for an arm-triangle choke. Lopez lets Mitchell turn to his side and bell so he can slug him in the chops, and the slow fight concludes. The Mexican fighter should still retain his undefeated record after this smothering effort, but the result of a victory or even scorecard hinges on the first round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Lopez (28-28)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Lopez (29-27 Lopez)
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Lopez (29-27 Lopez)

The Official Result

Nayib Lopez Miranda def. Shane Mitchell via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)

Raush Manfio (155.8) vs. Alex Martinez (155.2)

Round 1

Keeping things trucking, 2021 champ Manfio (16-4, 5-1 PFL) would like nothing more than to reach the top of the mountain again. To start the climb, he must push past fired up Paraguayan Martinez (10-3, 1 NC; 3-3 PFL), who has gone to decision in all six of his PFL appearances to date. Neither man has ever been finished, so referee Kerry Hatley may be in this one for the long haul. The 155ers clap hands, and away they go. Manfio meanders forward to keep Martinez skirting around the outer edge of the cage, but he does not engage for a whole minute. The first strike is eventually a body kick from Manfio, and Martinez grabs it and takes Manfio from one side of the cage to the other to jam him up against the wall. Martinez sneaks in a knee, and Manfio answers with one that is much harder and a right hand on the break. Manfio times a counter right when Martinez tosses out a low kick, so Martinez attempts a side kick. Manfio connects with a solid right as Martinez chambers a high kick, and he drills the Paraguay native with a pair of punches. Another one-two comes from Manfio, who intercepts Martinez’ kicks repeatedly and catches him when Martinez tries a head kick again. Manfio steps through a leg kick to split the guard with a right hand, and he walks Martinez down slowly but surely. Martinez reaches him with a body kick while off-balance, and he keeps circling on the outside while Manfio chases. Manfio loads up on a right hand, and Martinez absorbs part of it and runs away. Manfio goes after him, and Martinez plants two heavy calf kicks on the sweet spot. Manfio lands a combination of punches when Martinez chops at his lead leg again, and he jumps forward with a left. Martinez leans down and fires off a hook kick, and Manfio ducks it and backs Martinez up against the wall with a short burst of punches. Martinez flicks a kick up high and off the guard, and Manfio follows his man around. Manfio reaches him with a right as Martinez tries to loop up a kick, and he walks through a side kick and towards his opponent until the bell sounds. The crowd showers the fighters with boos.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Manfio
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Manfio
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Manfio

Round 2

The round begins right where the two left off, and Manfio crowds Martinez but the latter escapes. Martinez changes things up with a charging takedown, and Manfio fights it off and breaks off. Manfio counters a leg kick with two hooks, and he does this same thing again when Martinez attacks the lead leg. Manfio chases and Martinez backpedals, and Manfio corners him momentarily to land a few punches, but not before Martinez gest one to the calf. Manfio catches a body kick and trips Martinez down to the floor, and Martinez closes his guard in a hurry. Manfio opens up with occasional ground-and-pound, and Martinez looks for a triangle choke setup from his back. Manfio abandons ship to stand back up when this happens, and he lets Martinez stand and belts him in the face with three punches. Martinez rebounds off the cage wall, and is met once again with two punches and a knee. Another body kick from Martinez leads to Manfio catching it, sweeping him and dumping him to the floor, just like a minute ago. Martinez tries to push off the fence, and he is quicker to set up a triangle, but this opens him up for a few more punches. Manfio looks to take the back, and he grabs the fence as Martinez stands back up. Martinez rolls in the guard instead of separating, and Manfio takes his back gladly and gets one hook in. Threatening with a face crank, Manfio holds onto his opponent, all while Martinez looks for an escape route. The Tristar-trained Martinez manages to get away, and when he does, it is Manfio who is hacking at him with calf kicks. Martinez tries to let go with few of his own, and Manfio steps in with a knee and a left hand. Martinez blasts the calf a couple more times, and Manfio grits his teeth and shakes his leg out a few times. Martinez goes after a head kick in the waning seconds, and like before, Manfio grabs it and dumps him to the mat. The round ends when Manfio lands on top.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Manfio
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Manfio
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Manfio

Round 3

The lightweights touch forearms to get started, as Manfio has rushed out a little too hot. Manfio races towards his adversary and drives a knee on the chin, and Martinez eats it without batting an eye. Martinez lands a push kick to the body and one to the calf, and Manfio steels himself and swings hard. Martinez takes a right hand, retaliates with a head kick, and his leg is caught. This time, Manfio cannot ground him, so Manfio attempts a double as well and that is stopped too. Martinez tries to keep Manfio trapped against the cage when he spins him around, but Manfio breaks out and plods forward. Martinez keeps moving, keeps chopping, keeps dodging, all while Manfio chases him like a Brazilian Terminator. Manfio weathers a kick to keep lumbering forward, and Martinez crashes forward and gets tripped and planted on the mat. They both jump back up before settling for ground time, and the same pattern as before rears its head. Manfio walks Martinez down, Martinez circles, and the two do laps around the cage. Manfio swings with heavy punches, and only a few find their mark, while Martinez’ best success is the sporadic low kick. Manfio works his way into a tie-up, where he gloms on the Tristar fighter until Martinez frantically breaks away. Manfio cracks his man with a right hand, and Martinez wears it well and keeps moving. Manfio chains a few punches together and attempts a knee, and Martinez dodges the latter strike. Martinez lands a kick to the head, one to the body and one to the calf, but none of them have any mustard on them. Manfio pressures, Martinez backs away, and Martinez swings a wheel kick that misses by a wide margin. For every lightweight match on the card, the fighters have gone the distance, so there will be a five-way tie with three points for all the victors at 155 pounds tonight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Manfio (30-27 Manfio)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Manfio (30-27 Manfio)
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Manfio (30-27 Manfio)

The Official Result

Raush Manfio def. Alex Martinez via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Magomed Magomedkerimov (171) vs. Ben Egli (170.2)

Round 1

The dominant force that is Magomedkerimov (30-6, 13-1 PFL) has been relatively dormant the past few years, thanks to visa issues, injury and an unexpected defeat to rival Ray Cooper III. He receives a choice matchup in Egli (14-4, 0-0 PFL), who is 2-2 in his last four outings and will be making his company debut. Referee Chris Tognoni will do the honors of overseeing this welterweight pairing, and the competitors decide to touch gloves before getting down to business. Egli leads off with a busy jab, looking for his range. Magomedkerimov swings wrecking balls of fists with a right and a left, and Egli takes them and rebounds off the cage wall in a hurry. Magomedkerimov is seemingly interested in breaking this consecutive decision streak the event has treated fans, as he busts Egli in the face with vicious overhand rights. Magomedkerimov does not respect the power coming back at him one iota, as he is singularly focused in destroying his opponent with haymakers. Egli tries to shell up, but a few get through, and they hurt him badly. Egli tries to retreat, and he gets caught with an uppercut. As Egli circles away to get his bearings, Magomedkerimov punches his way into launching a head kick that wraps around Egli’s raised guard and cracks him behind the ear. Egli does not realize he is done until his legs give out beneath him, and he falls to the mat with nothing left to offer. Magomedkerimov recognizes that his work is done tonight, and he walks off instead of trying to pound the defeated man out. Egli might not be unconscious, but Tognoni has seen more than enough and he calls the fight. A swift knockout in the co-main event ends a historic streak of seven straight three-rounders that all went the distance for PFL, as Magomedkerimov mercifully lays claim to six points by starting his season off in style.

The Official Result

Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Ben Egli R1 1:03 via TKO (Head Kick)

Sadibou Sy (171) vs. Jarrah Al-Silawi (170.8)

Round 1

There is perhaps no better proof of hard work paying off than Sy (13-6-2, 1 NC; 7-4-2, 1 NC PFL) coming into the 2022 season and winning all four matches to take home the title. Sy is one of the only mainstays to compete in all four seasons, and the fourth time was the charm. If he hopes to sit on the throne again this year, his first obstacle will be well-rounded Jordanian Al-Silawi (18-4, 1-2 PFL). Drawing the final charge of the evening for this second main event is Mark Smith, and the welterweight matchup kicks off with a glove touch. Sy tests the waters with an early calf kick, and Al-Silawi charges with two punches. Sy is well out of reach to absorb them, and he looks to get his rangy frame in motion with long kicks and jabs. Sy gets backed off by another surge from the Jordanian fighter, who takes a few inside leg kicks without bothering to check them. Sy slams his shin off the raised guard of his opponent, and he sticks out three jabs when he backs off. Al-Silawi absorbs a full-on body kick, and Sy slips and moves on the outside to chamber and fire another head kick. Sy aims an inside leg kick as Al-Silawi bears down on him, and he rips another kick to the body. Sy spins away, and a kick from Al-Silawi bounces off the cup. After a brief pause, they resume and Sy reaches out and pokes Al-Silawi in the eye. There is another break in the action, and Al-Silawi clears his vision and gets back to it. Sy keeps chipping at his man with kicks, and Al-Silawi whiffs on a head kick when Sy leans all the way back. Sy scores a body kick and backs off, but still takes a kick on the inside of his knee. Sy prods with another kick to prompt Al-Silawi into action, and he sets up a counter and just misses with a check right hook. Sy batters the already welting lead leg of his opponent with another audible kick, and Al-Silawi grabs down low when a second kick aims to the spot in rapid succession. Sy tugs on the fence to keep himself upright, and he is warned for it but still miraculously keeps his balance when not fouling. Sy turns his man around against the wire, and a few short knees from either man come up to little effect. Smith asks them to work when nothing happens in the tie-up, and Al-Silawi tries to throw his foe down and falls to his back. Sy claims mount and drills his opponent a few times with punches, until Al-Silawi grabs a leglock to keep him honest. Sy stands up, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Sy
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Sy
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Sy

Round 2

Fists get bumped to open up the second round, and Sy paws out jabs as he prepared for a lunging Al-Silawi. As expected, Al-Silawi leaps forward, and Sy bounds back and kicks him in the ribs. Sy lands a low kick that lands with a thump rather than a slap, and Al-Silawi stands there and looks at him as Smith tells them to fight. Sy aims a kick to the body, and Al-Silawi reaches a right hand out and pulls it back as he runs into the knee. Al-Silawi’s face contorts into pain as he realizes the damage done by the landed knee on his liver, and he backs off. Sy sees this and sports a devilish grin, knowing his opponent is in danger. Sy sprints at the compromised Al-Silawi, smiling from ear to ear, and he lights up Al-Silawi’s already damaged midsection with a few fiery fists. With the body shots opening up strikes to the head, Sy releases two punches that stun “The Jordanian Lion,” who is then tamed by a right to the body that folds him like a lawn chair. The Swedish fighter rains down a few more heavy punches to seal the deal, and Smith jumps in between them to call a halt to the main event. The victorious Sy strides off to celebrate, having recorded his first finish since May 2019. With five points in tow, Sy is in fourth place at welterweight thus far, and he concludes this inconsistent evening with a clobbering knockout. The PFL will go on hiatus for a couple months, picking up business again in June for the second stage of the regular season. We will be here for it, and we hope you are too.

The Official Result

Sadibou Sy def. Jarrah Al-Silawi R2 1:14 via TKO (Knee to the Body and Punches)
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