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2023 PFL 6 Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

The 2023 Professional Fighters League Regular Season marches on with 2023 PFL 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The action airs live on ESPN+ and then continues on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.

Abdullah Al-Qahtani (144.8) vs. Lamar Brown (146)

Round 1

The PFL’s 2023 regular season is nearing its end, with this being its final event to determine playoff standings. The welterweight and lightweight divisions will complete their brackets tonight, but first thing’s first: two showcase fights initially scheduled at featherweight. The first comes between a pair of promotional newcomers, as Saudi Arabia’s Al-Qahtani (5-1, 0-0 PFL) makes his North American debut against Florida’s own Brown (4-1, 0-0 PFL) – who trains locally at American Top Team Atlanta. The finish rates of both men are exceedingly low, combining for just two stoppages across their nine pro wins, so referee Brent McKeehan may not be needed while the judges very well may be. The opening bout begins with a touch of gloves, and it’s on with the show. Brown picks his shots carefully when they engage, sticking Al-Qahtani with a few jabs and tossing high kicks at him. Al-Qahtani darts forward with a punch, and he shoots in for a takedown. Brown tumbles to the mat, and Al-Qahtani is on him with immediate offense. Brown rolls for an unorthodox armlock, and this fails, allowing Al-Qahtani to open up on him with strikes. Brown survives the assault and works his way back to his feet, but Al-Qahtani drags him back down with a quick mat return. Al-Qahtani works Brown over with punches on the side of the head, and the doggedly determined Brown once more rises upright again. “The Reaper” is on him, allowing Brown to stand so that he can jump on and take his back on the feet. From there, with the two men still relatively dry, Al-Qahtani lock down a rear-naked choke grip on his opponent. The forearm does not even slide beneath the chin, instead crushing down on Brown’s face mercilessly. Brown topples to his back, the face crank still secured, and it is too much for him to bear. “Downtown” Brown has no choice but to surrender to the crank, and the first fight of the night has ended in a painful and one-sided manner. As a result, Al-Qahtani has notched his first career submission victory, while Brown has suffered his first stoppage loss.

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The Official Result

Abdullah Al-Qahtani def. Lamar Brown R1 1:35 via Submission (Face Crank)

Brahyan Zurcher (146.8: Missed Weight) vs. Mike Bardsley (144.4)

Round 1

The next showcase fight, which may come with a crack at the 2024 Challenger Series or maybe even next year’s tourney itself, is a special catchweight contest after Zurcher (5-0, 3-0 PFL) missed weight. With no points to win or lose, he nevertheless puts his undefeated record on the line against local favorite Bardsley (2-0, 0-0 PFL). Despite the weight miss, the two still elect to touch gloves in front of referee Gary Copeland. They lash out at one another early with kicks, aiming both to the lead calf. Zurcher sticks out a jab and gets knocked back, and he sits down on a right hand when Bardsley thinks he has the upper hand. This results in a short but active brawl, where Bardsley tags Zurcher and gets tagged right back. They slow things down to reset, and Zurcher keeps a wide berth and aims a few kicks low. Bardsley winds up with an overhand right to counter one such low kick, and he stumbles when advancing, potentially already a little snakebitten from the calf damage. Zurcher avoids a swarming few punches, and he dings Bardsley behind the ear with an overhand right. Zurcher uses that momentum to crash forward and shove Bardsley up against the wall, and he succeeds in sucking Bardsley’s legs out to throw him to his seat for a moment. Bardsley scrambles back to his feet in an instant, and Zurcher welcomes him back up with a stern knee to the midsection. Zurcher isolates a single-leg to go for the takedown, and Bardsley snags it back and absorbs a knee to that thigh. Zurcher grinds his man against the wall, exerting heavy chest pressure and seeking out the occasional trip. When Zurcher does not succeed at an attempt, Bardsley times an escape to circle out the side and return to the middle of the cage. Zurcher greets him there and backs off when Bardsley aims two body shots and a kick at him. Zurcher fires off a head kick, but it is the one to the calf that hurts Bardsley. The Georgian is feeling it on that fast-welting lead wheel, and one kick from Zurcher slides up into the cup. Bardsley waves off Copeland and surges into action, but the round ends before he can reach Zurcher with anything.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

A clap of hands begins the second round, and Zurcher picks up immediately where he left off by slamming his shin in Bardsley’s calf. Bardsley grimaces, looks to pay Zurcher back, misses, and gets kicked again on the inside. When Bardsley backs away from an overhand right, he partially loses his balance, potentially because of something on the canvas or because his leg is starting to give him fits. Zurcher does not slow down by pounding on it, and Bardsley looks to remain active and throw hands to distract Zurcher from chopping him down like a 145-pound pine tree. Zurcher fires off a low kick, and he gets surprised when Bardsley ducks down for a level change and then comes over the top with a right hand. Zurcher gathers himself and sneaks up a high kick, and he backs Bardsley up against the wall with a sudden stream of punches. Bardsley shells up and gets off the wall, and he walks right into a flush body kick. Zurcher swipes at his man from afar, reaching a left around the guard. After throwing three of those, he spurs Bardsley into prompt action, who crashes the pocket to strike. Zurcher times a perfect right hand that staggers Bardsley, and he does not pursue a finish and lets Bardsley gets back in the fight. When Bardsley engages again, Zurcher watches and connects with a few counterpunches that shake Bardsley up again. A solid left hook from Zurcher following a right to the body hurts Bardsley, but Bardsley is tough and recovers well. Zurcher aims another left to the midsection, and he splits the guard with a mouthpiece-dislodging front kick. Bardsley does a quick count of his teeth and finds himself staring down several more kicks high and low from Zurcher. When Bardsley attacks back, he uses lunging, telegraphed strikes that Zurcher sees coming from a mile away. Bardsley rushes into action, and Zurcher belts him in the jaw with a clean uppercut and a sharp left hook that knocks him clean off his feet. Zurcher, with seconds left in the round, leaps down to finish the job. As Bardsley is seeing stars and trying to get back into it, Zurcher drops down a single hammerfist. Before Zurcher can keep striking, Copeland jumps in to wave off the fight, and Bardsley leaps right back to his feet and issues an instant protest. While Bardsley is wobbled, he appears to have the wherewithal to keep fighting, but it does not matter. The fight is over, and Zurcher has just notched the first knockout of his burgeoning, still-undefeated career.

The Official Result

Brahyan Zurcher def. Mike Bardsley R2 4:45 via TKO (Punches)

Jarrah Al-Silawi (170.8) vs. Solomon Renfro (169.4)

Round 1

The last stage of the 2023 PFL Regular Season is about to begin, and it does so in the welterweight category. In what is unquestionably a win or go home fight, both men come into this meeting with zero points. Al-Silawi (18-5, 2-2 PFL) comes in having lost to last year’s champ in April, while Renfro (10-3, 0-0 PFL) jumps in on short notice to replace an injured Cedric Doumbe. Whether one of these two fighters can pull off a five- or six-point stoppage to hope for a playoff spot, referee Bryan Miner will be in the cage keeping a watchful eye. The two elect not to bump fists first, and instead they meet in the middle of the cage cautiously. Al-Silawi whips up a sudden high kick, and Renfro keeps his guard up in time. Renfro tosses out a half-hearted low kick, and he aims a right hand down the pipe when Al-Silawi fires off another head kick. Al-Silawi kicks to the body and then down to the calf, and Renfro swings back with a much louder low kick. Renfro lands a leg kick with a thump, and he tags Al-Silawi with a left hand to draw a smile out of him. Al-Silawi pops in and out with a right hand, and he measures but misses Renfro with a snappy front kick. Renfro steps in with a pair of punches, and he walks through a leg kick to back Al-Silawi away with a right hand. Al-Silawi sneaks a left hand around the guard and slides out of the way when Renfro tries to retaliate, and he is a step away when Renfro charges a second time. Al-Silawi slams his shim to the midsection again, and Renfro needs to take a few seconds to recalculate. Al-Silawi stays light on his feet to evade the blitzes, and he kicks the side of Renfro and it bounces off the lowered guard. Al-Silawi nearly sweeps the leg with a shot to the calf, and Renfro preemptively lifts it up a few times when advancing so he does not eat another. Al-Silawi lets fly another high kick, and Renfro guards it and pushes forward with a right hand. The American leans back to let a head kick whiz past his face, and he aims his right hand only to get his lead wheel kicked hard. The two keep their distance for a time, and Al-Silawi eventually closes in with a quick leg kick to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

When the second round begins, Al-Silawi gets right back on his bike and chips at kicks from a distance. Renfro fails to reach his adversary, while Al-Silawi is able to reach him with the occasional leg kick or body kick. Al-Silawi times a knee when Renfro crashes the pocket, and as the time passes in the tepid round, both fighters find themselves eliminated from playoff contention. Renfro seems to learn this unexpectedly, as he springs into action out of nowhere. Renfro backs Al-Silawi up and drills him with a left to the body, a right to the body and a left to the jaw. “The Jordanian Lion” is tamed from the blows, wobbling about but still somehow on his feet. Renfro gives chase, and he nails Al-Silawi with another two ferocious punches to send Al-Silawi crashing to the mat. With one final nail in the proverbial coffin, Renfro slams down a mighty standing-to-ground hammerfist, and Al-Silawi is all the way out. Miner does not need to see any more, and he jumps between them to separate them and call a halt to the match. “The Black Dragon” roars as he stages the impressive comeback, and he calls out the lightweight division other than “big brother” Shane Burgos for future fights.

The Official Result

Solomon Renfro def. Jarrah Al-Silawi R2 1:44 via KO (Punches)

Alex Martinez (156) vs. Bruno Miranda (155.8)

Round 1

Flipping over to the lightweight division, Paraguay native Martinez (10-4, 1 NC; 3-4 PFL) aims to save his season and lift his PFL record to .500 with a win. He will be encountering the lead-fisted Miranda (15-3, 2-0 PFL), who stayed busy with a clear-cut win over Ahmed Amir to claim three points. Both men could use an impressive showing to claim their spot in the playoffs, and they will be overseen by referee Brent McKeehan. A touch of gloves is exchanged, and Martinez moves right to the center of the cage. Martinez pushes out a side kick that knocks Miranda all the way to the wall, bouncing off and dropping to his knees. Miranda climbs back up and walks Martinez down, but he does not engage with anything as Martinez tosses out another such side kick. This one, Miranda shucks out of the way and gives Martinez a right hand upside the head. As Martinez sits down on another big kick, Miranda catches it and walks him to the other side of the cage before throwing the leg to the mat. Miranda, in close proximity, attacks the lead leg a few times and resets. Martinez stuns his man with a left hand, and he plants another kick on the midsection of his reeling opponent. Martinez presses the Brazilian up against the wall before Miranda breaks away, and Martinez is able to evade the looping power punch that soars past him. Miranda unloads with a vicious leg kick, and that buckles Martinez’ leg for a moment. Martinez pays him back with a similar blow before coming up short with a front kick. Miranda drives the calf kick home once again, and he parries a one-two and eats a kick to his body that backs him away. Miranda leaps forward, and Martinez is able to stay far enough away. Miranda sits down on a left hook and drops Martinez to his seat even as he lands his own, and he lets Martinez stand back up so he can hammer the Paraguayan fighter with a number of low kicks. A limping Martinez switches stances and looses a body kick to slow Miranda down, and he darts forward with a surge of punches. Miranda blocks them, grabs the kicking leg of his opponent and sweeps the other to dump Martinez to his back. Miranda allows his foe back upright so he can drill Martinez with a pair of punches. Martinez skirts out of the way to not remain a stationary target, and he leaps in the air with a failed front kick. When he lands, Martinez kicks the side, and the exciting 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 2

The two engage in a quick glove touch before getting started, and Miranda lashes out immediately with a low kick to make Martinez change stances. When Martinez does that, Miranda chops at the other. The Brazilian swings wildly, and he gets knocked back with a straight left hand and a body kick. Miranda comes up short with swooping right hands, as Martinez keeps a safe range and intercepts him with a solid left. Martinez follows with a high kick, and Miranda blocks it and chases him down. Miranda stalks after Martinez, landing a single left hook as Martinez is circling towards it. Miranda stutter-steps his way forward, and he absorbs a kick and plants his fists on Martinez’ midsection. Martinez fakes a spin, and he springs away as Miranda loads up on a power punch. Martinez gets off a low kick but reminds Miranda about them, and he takes one right back. When Miranda kicks low again, Martinez changes levels, and the Brazilian shuts it down and pounds the lead calf with another nasty kick. Martinez switches stances and takes a kick on that calf when he does, and he meanders his way into an exchange that gets him tagged. Miranda uses his short left hook effectively to disrupt the activity of Martinez, and Martinez manages to kick his leg out with a sweep. Miranda jumps back up and the two start fighting in a phone booth, trading heavy leather with bad intentions. Miranda gets popped and does not like it, and he backs off for a moment. Martinez races towards him, but he gets thrown to the side like a bull by a matador. Miranda takes a front kick to the ribs without concern, wings a left hand and ducks the spinning back fist he knows is coming. They trade heavy body kicks, and Martinez doubles up on it and almost falls forward. The balance of Martinez gives away as he is attacking, and Miranda lets him up. Martinez lets go with one final surge of strikes that Miranda largely guards, and the horn 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 3

The lightweights greet with one last glove touch, and Miranda is ready and rearing to go. Throwing clubbing strikes to the body and head, Miranda bullies Martinez around and backs him off with powerful blows. As Martinez is reeling, he changes gears and drops down for a double-leg takedown. Miranda cannot stop it, and he gets taken off his feet and deposited to the mat. Martinez lands in half guard, and he tries to get off some ground strikes but Miranda is active from his back. Miranda attempts a leglock, and as Martinez shifts out of it, he slides back down into half guard. Miranda sits up, and Martinez threatens with a guillotine choke to push “Robusto” back over. Miranda still powers his way to his seat and rushes back up, and he nails Martinez with a few body shots. Martinez may be fading, as Miranda capitalizes with a few lefts to the liver. Martinez grunts and has his lead leg kicked hard, and Miranda drives him back by aiming those fierce body shots. Martinez considers changing levels again, and he pushes Miranda back to the wall but cannot sure the takedown this time. Miranda breaks off, and the two sling right hands at the same time. Miranda gets knocked back, but he is quick to return fire with a low kick. Martinez closes the distance and knees him in the gut, before dropping down all the way to one knee to pursue a takedown. The Brazilian shuts it down, stands him up and shoves him away. Miranda hammers the front leg with a kick, and Martinez changes stances and limps at him. Martinez chambers and fires a body kick, and they trade single punches. Martinez spins with a back fist that Miranda absorbs cleanly without issue, and he drives Martinez back with big punches. Martinez pokes out a jab, and he loops a left around the guard. Miranda dodges a spinning back fist, and he jumps for a dropkick that makes him hit the floor. Miranda jumps back up, and they proceed to trade fists to the final bell. It could be a close one.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Bruno Miranda def. Alex Martinez via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Natan Schulte (156) vs. Raush Manfio (156)

Round 1

Of the five 155-pound matchups on this card, this fight between countrymen, teammates and close friends is the only one to occur between two fighters with points. Often the biggest cheerleader of the other, the two American Top Team training partners will have to decide exactly how hard they wish to throw down here. It is also a battle of former divisional kingpins, as two-time champ Schulte (24-5-1, 13-3-1 PFL) faces 2021 tourney winner Manfio (17-4, 6-1 PFL). Referee Gary Copeland draws the charge that could be anywhere from a sparring match to a fierce slugfest, and the combatants bump fists before engaging in a fight neither would have liked at this stage of the season. They poke and paw at one another early, and Manfio reaches the target with a front kick 30 seconds in. Schulte kicks low a few times but does not throw much else, as he stands in the middle of the cage and slowly plods forward. Manfio lands a few light punches, and when he kicks the body, Schulte catches it and looks for a single that he turns into a double-leg takedown. Manfio shuts it down and circles away, and the two are exceedingly tame in their strikes. Manfio gets off another body kick and is forced to defend another takedown. This time around, Manfio is dragged to the floor, and he sits up against the cage wall in an effort to return to his feet. Schulte holds on from behind, not throwing a single punch while he hangs on from the back, and Manfio slowly stands back up. Schulte wrenches him back down to his knees, and his offense is still relegated exclusively to grappling at this point. Copeland asks them to work as Schulte hangs on, and he turns the corner but Manfio times the explosion back upright. Schulte hits a trip to throw him back down shortly thereafter, and he rides out the unfortunate round on top.

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 corners of both teammates remain completely silent, only giving their respective fighter water and letting things otherwise play out. The second round opens, and like before, neither man commits to anything of merit. Manfio finds an opening for a few body shots, and Schulte comes back over the top with a half-hearted left hook. The two are not putting any power behind their strikes, and this has the appearance of a sparring match. Manfio touches Schulte with a few light punches, and Schulte shoots in for a double. When Manfio defends the first attempt, a frantic scramble ensues where Schulte ends up putting Manfio down to a knee. Schulte hangs on without striking, and the crowd grows increasingly reckless as they can tell the best friends are not giving this anywhere near their all. Schulte uses his body weight to press down on Manfio, controlling his buddy without dealing any damage. There are many openings for him to open up with strikes, but he takes none of them. Copeland eventually gest bored by the lack of activity, and he stands them up. Manfio thanks him by touching Schulte with a few punches, and he split the guard with a straight right hand. Schulte reaches him back, and he slaps a leg kick on the inside calf with the lightest of touches. Schulte dives forward for a single, and Manfio falls to his knee with seconds to spare. Manfio gets back up, and the second disappointing stanza concludes.

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

Someone should have known this was a potential outcome between these two lightweights that shared their home for a time. One is even the godfather of the other’s child or children. They lead off the final round with pitter-patter jabs, and most bounce off the other’s guard. Manfio goes high with a kick, and it careens off the raised arm without much pop on it. Schulte reaches out with left hooks that seem to be barely 10% if that, and Manfio gets going with a few straight punches that have a little more mustard on them but nothing to write home about. Schulte succeeds in closing the distance and throwing Manfio to his knee, and he grinds on Manfio while Manfio looks to get back up. Manfio stands up only to hit the deck once more, and Schulte specifically elects not to throw strikes when he would – and has – in practically any of his other PFL fights. Schulte briefly gets one hook around as Manfio rolls, but before he can take the back, Manfio recovers to lean up against the fight on one knee. Schulte pulls Manfio to his side and wrestles him like a father playing with his child. Manfio wriggles his way up, and they trade pathetic body kicks with absolutely nothing on them. They paw at one another with no bad intentions, and arguably the worst “fight” of the year has just heard the final bell, if one could call it that. Schulte drops to his knees in tears after the 15-minute encounter concludes. Manfio goes over to embrace him, the likely victor, and Schulte will now have six points in the lightweight playoff standings to clinch a spot. The crowd is not amused.

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

Carlos Leal Miranda (170.6) vs. Dilano Taylor (171.2: Missed Weight)

Round 1

The alternating weight divisions continues, although this bout officially takes place at 172 pounds rather than welterweight like initially planned. The professional Leal (18-4, 4-1 PFL) hit his proper marks without a problem, but last year’s finalist Taylor (10-4, 3-3 PFL) could not say the same after coming in a little heavy and cannot even reach the playoffs now. The two are intense and a lot is still on the line for Miranda, and referee Bryan Miner might have his hands full. There is no glove touch, and they rush out to meet one another. They stop before crashing into one another, and do not throw a strike for the first 15 seconds. Taylor tosses out several low kicks, and a one-two to follow it. Taylor jabs the chest a few times, and he sneaks a left hand in and leans back when Leal looses an overhand right. Taylor sinks a right hand on the chin, and he gets off another to follow. Leal ignores them both as he stands his ground, and he sways when Taylor jabs at him before leaping forward with a big pair of punches. Leal catches Taylor with a left hook as he advances, only to be pushed back momentarily from a front kick. Leal walks Taylor down, and they both slap leg kicks on the other. Taylor strings together two punches over the forward bow, and he leans back to tag Leal with a long right hand. Leal sticks a jab, and this prompts Taylor to chain a three-punch salvo together that bounces off the Brazilian’s chin. Leal aims a right hand as Taylor is ducking, and it just skims past the hair. Taylor blocks a level change and knees Leal in the solar plexus twice, and it is Leal who punches on the break. Taylor slips a punch to connect with a left hook, and Leal might be stung but he keeps a stiff upper lip. Leal continues to march forward, shrugging off the accurate strikes of the Kill Cliff FC fighter. Leal tries to catch a kick and pursue a takedown, but Taylor is able to slither out of the way and meets a flying knee from his opponent. Leal strides forward, and both bash one another with vicious hooks. Leal bites down on his mouthpiece while dislodging Taylor’s, and they both decide to slug it out in very close quarters. Taylor tries to circle off the wall, and Leal backs him off and unloads with a few punches. Miner replaces Taylor’s gumshield when they have a modicum of space, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Leal marches out of his corner to take the center of the cage and then some, picking up where he left off with direct aggression. Taylor backs off but does not get cornered, picking angles and not moving in one single direction to give a pattern to his opponent. Taylor pushes off with a front kick and two punches, and he drills Leal with a straight right hand as Leal is stalking after him. Leal lands one, but Taylor gives it right back and keeps moving. Leal steels himself and cocks back a right hand, and it collides square into Taylor’s temple. Taylor starts doing the chicken danced as he may not realize how badly he is hurt, and he wobbles back to the fence in a bad way. Seeing he has Taylor on the ropes, the Brazilian blitzes with all his might, laying into Taylor with a couple ferocious blows. One shot appears to knock Taylor clean out on his feet as his mouthpiece goes flying, but the taller fighter still somehow is on his feet. Reminiscent of a fighter stunned and seeing stars like a “Street Fighter” game, the lights are on for Taylor but no one’s home. Leal looks towards Miner, who has not called the fight, so he proceeds to unload a few hammers on the chin to separate Taylor from his senses and footing once and for all. Taylor lifelessly slumps to the floor, and Miner jumps in to officially stop the fight. Leal has pulled off the devastating comeback by putting Taylor to sleep with a vicious combo, and he now has secured five extra points to total 11 and secure his place in the welterweight playoffs with the current top seed. After sending his opponent to the shadow realm, Leal is all smiles, having sent a message to the rest of the weight class.

The Official Result

Carlos Leal Miranda def. Dilano Taylor R2 1:12 via KO (Punches)

Clay Collard (155.6) vs. Steven Ray (155.1)

Round 1

The main card kicks off with a pair of UFC vets plying their trade against one another while a playoff spot still looms. Lightweight boxer Collard (22-10, 1 NC; 4-2 PFL) will collide with funky submission specialist Ray (25-12, 2-3 PFL) in a fun stylistic clash, and referee Brent McKeehan will be able to enjoy the action with the best seat in the house. The 155ers would rather handle their business immediately, and they do not consider a glove touch. Ray kicks at his opponent’s leg early and often, as Collard crowds him with looping punches. Ray times an overhand right to shoot in for a double, and Collard rolls all the way to his back but cannot shake Ray off of him. Collard stands up, and the Scottish fighter lifts him all the way in the air while Collard’s legs dangle beneath him. Ray deposits him gingerly to the floor, and he lets Collard stand so he can take him from behind and drag Collard to his knees. Ray gets his hooks in and holds onto Collard’s back, and he starts to torque Collard to the side to potentially set up a twister should they hit the ground. Collard looks to buck and shake Ray off of him, and Ray clings beneath Collard’s armpit to keep a grip. Collard successfully slides out the backdoor, and Ray stumbles a little as he might have gassed his legs out holding that position. Ray recovers, and he slides out of the way of the telegraphed blitzes that come at him. Ray changes levels right into a right hand, but Collard is swinging wildly and not landing with much. Ray aims a knee on the chin, and Collard sticks his tongue out and sways from side to side. They trade leg kicks, and Ray dives in after a single. Collard falls to his seat, and he is quick to keep moving to stand back up. Ray again gets his back while standing, and Collard grasps Ray’s wrists to pull him off. Collard, incensed by the grappling, walks Ray down and lays into him with several punches to the body. Ray snatches up a leg and goes after a takedown, and Collard bowls him over and lands at a strange angle. Ray snatches up with a heel hook that he uses to drop Collard to the floor, but he releases it when there is nothing to be had. The round ends with Collard chasing Ray down when they are back on their feet.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

Collard begins the second frame by claiming the center of the cage and marching after “Braveheart.” Collard backs Ray up to the fence, and he unloads a vicious right hand that sends Ray crashing to the mat. Ray, his wits still about him, waves Collard down into his guard. Collard stands above him, thwacking him with leg kicks until McKeehan stands him up. “Cassius Clay” marches after Ray, brimming with confidence, and unloads a speedy combination to the body and head while Ray is still shellshocked from the previous knockdown. Ray looks to move or survive the burst of punches aimed at all targets, but Collard is accurate and effective at smashing him with his fists. Ray crumples again, and he desperately grabs hold of a leg on the way down. Collard leans and turns Ray over, and he pounds on him relentlessly. McKeehan is keeping a close eye on the fight, and Ray turns to his stomach in an effort to get away. Collard follows him and traps him, all while beating Ray like a rented mule. McKeehan steps in as he decides Ray is no longer intelligently defending himself, and Ray springs up in protest. The cries fall on deaf ears, and Collard is the victor. The eight total points for Collard elevates him to the top spot in the lightweight bracket for now, but there is still one more fighter who could pass him in Olivier Aubin-Mercier later on tonight.

The Official Result

Clay Collard def. Steven Ray R2 1:04 via TKO (Punches)

Magomed Umalatov (170.4) vs. Nayib Lopez(170)

Round 1

A rare fight between two combatants both with points will play out, and only one may move on in the playoffs. Also, only one will emerge with an undefeated record, as this is an exciting “0 must go” match. It could be fireworks between “Prince” Umalatov (13-0, 4-0 PFL) and “Cachorro” Lopez (16-0, 1-0 PFL), and Gary Copeland will get to enjoy the proceedings up close and personal. The two welterweights touch ‘em up, and Umalatov is the tentative early aggressor as he walks forward first. Umalatov dings Lopez with a few punches on the temple, and Lopez crashes together to knee his man in the body. Umalatov greets him with a few knees back, and he turns the Mexican fighter to the fence and starts spamming knees. One knee to the body hurts Lopez, and he aims a kick on the same spot on the break. Lopez bends over and backs away, and Umalatov sprints after him throwing punches and kicks. Umalatov charges wildly to push Lopez back to the fence, where he knees Lopez on the liver before breaking. Lopez shoots for a takedown, and Umalatov stuffs it with ease and sets up a front choke. Lopez, on his knees, survives the choke attempt but cannot stop Umalatov from snaking around to take his back. Umalatov steps over into a back mount, and he lights Lopez up with punches to the side of the head and stern knees to the side. Lopez hand-fights but falls to his back, and Umalatov shifts to half guard and sets up an arm-triangle choke. Umalatov pushes his full body weight down, but Lopez survives and keeps his hands clasped to defend the choke. Copeland checks on Lopez’ hands to make sure he is still conscious, and Umalatov eventually abandons the submission so he does not burn himself out. Lopez turns back to his knees, and Umalatov rains down thundering punches to the dome. Lopez falls on his face as he takes serious damage, and he barely stays with it and hangs onto Umalatov with every bit of his remaining might. Umalatov slams him with hammerfists and winging punches, but a bloodied and battered Lopez miraculously gets back to his feet. They both slip, as Lopez is so badly hurt that he can almost not stand up, but Umalatov tries to kick him and topples over. Lopez grits his teeth and dives on top, but he misses and falls on his face as Umalatov slides around to take his back. On autopilot, Lopez somehow escapes to trip Umalatov to his seat, and he climbs on top to ride out the dramatic round and make it to the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Umalatov
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-7 Umalatov
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-8 Umalatov

Round 2

Incredibly, the fight has reached Round 2, and they cut some hanging tape on Umalatov’s glove before starting. The round begins as they touch gloves, and Umalatov is sucking wind and still trying to recover after spending all that energy in the last frame. Nothing at all happens in the first 30-second window, as Lopez is also shaking out the cobwebs, and they stand in front of one another doing zero. A minute in, Umalatov steps in with a one-two, and Lopez shrugs it off and jabs the body. Umalatov pushes out labored jabs, and Lopez bears down on him with a sudden fierce combination. Lopez backs Umalatov off with a sharp jab, and he dodges a looping right hand that the Dagestan native hurls at him. Umalatov settles down stick out jabs, and Lopez meets him with a flush knee to the midsection. Umalatov connects with a right hand over the top, and Lopez fakes a level change to pay him back with a one-two. The two stall out again, until they burst into a barrage of punches. Lopez eats a knee on the chin and several punches, but he manages to get Umalatov’s attention with a heavy right hand. They both knee at the same time to bounce off one another, and Umalatov kicks the lead calf to mix things up. Umalatov tosses out a high kick that is a foot away from the mohawk of his opponent, and he slaps Lopez in the cheek with one from the other leg. Lopez rolls with it and swings his fists recklessly, and Umalatov retreats to reset. Umalatov measures his man with a right hand, and Lopez wings a left hook that grazes off the beard. Lopez nods at Umalatov and starts talking to him, despite the language barrier, and he steps in ready to brawl while sporting a mouse on the corner of his right eyebrow. Umalatov shoots in for a double, and he tackles Lopez clean off his feet with seconds left in the round. Umalatov concludes the round in the top position.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

Both surprised they have reached the final round, the two share an embrace to begin it. Lopez appears the fresher man with more bounce in his step, but Umalatov strikes first with a big right hand. Lopez staggers back and gathers his thoughts, and walks right into a leg kick. Umalatov guards against an overhand right as he is now the one bouncing around while Lopez is flat-footed. Umalatov leans on another one-two to drive Lopez back, and he keeps his arms up to protect against the Lopez response. Lopez gets off a knee to the body when they close in one another, and they trade jabs. Umalatov chops at the lead calf and spins with an inaccurate wheel kick, and Lopez nods at him. Lopes swarms with looping punches, and Umalatov shells up and scoots away without absorbing much damage. Umalatov fades back as Lopez throw haymakers, and Lopez reaches him with a left hook that sends the Dagestan native backpedaling. Lopez swings for the bleachers, and Umalatov is defensively sound and times a quick roundhouse kick upside Lopez’ face. Umalatov times an uppercut to change levels and toss Lopez to the floor, and he lands in side control with ease. Lopez turns to his side to defend the position, leading Umalatov to intentionally take half guard to keep him down. Lopez recovers back to full guard, and he works up to squirm towards the fence. Umalatov stays heavy on top, thwarting all of his foe’s efforts to stand, and Lopez smiles as Umalatov punches him in the face. Lopez laughs and is still chattering and hooting while on his back, unconcerned about the occasional strikes thrown his way. Umalatov pins Lopez back down and drops down an elbow, only to be reminded that there are no elbows in PFL. Umalatov stays busy with seconds left in the fight until Lopez kicks him off, and the fight ends with Umalatov standing and Lopez on his back, grinning like a banshee. Barring an unprecedented miscarriage of justice, Umalatov’s three additional points should plug him into the playoffs, although he will not claim a top seed.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Umalatov (30-26 Umalatov)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Umalatov (30-25 Umalatov)
Edwin Ayala scores the round: 10-9 Umalatov (30-26 Umalatov)

The Official Result

Magomed Umalatov def. Nayib Lopez via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-27)

Magomed Magomedkerimov (171) vs. David Zawada (170.2)

Round 1

Former champ Magomedkerimov (31-6, 14-1 PFL) will try his hardest to maximize his point total with another quick six, and he will do so potentially at the expense of former UFC talent Zawada (18-8, 0-1 PFL). While the former sports a decent enough finish rate of 68%, “Sagat” comes back with 89% of his triumphs coming inside the distance. Referee Bryan Miner may need to involved before it’s all over, but before that happens, the 170-pounders double touch gloves. Zawada sticks out a jab and backs Magomedkerimov away early, and they use alternating jabs. Zawada kicks low, and Magomedkerimov reaches him with a left hook while at an odd angle. Zawada absorbs one kick and skirts out of the way of a second, and Magomedkerimov darts forward to land a right hand. Magomedkerimov backs Zawada away with a one-two, and he loads up with a right hand that Zawada barely rolls with to take the brunt of it. Zawada absorbs a flush head kick and catches it so he can kick at his foe’s other leg, but the Dagestan native yanks it back before much comes of it. Zawada punches high and kicks low, and he aims a body shot and gets countered with a short left hook. Zawada works the lead leg again, and Magomedkerimov plods forward pawing with jabs that are all inaccurate. They land punches at the same time, and Zawada follows with a punch combo and a front kick. Magomedkerimov loops a right hand over the guard in response and kicks the body, and he jumps in the air but does not throw a strike while midair. Magomedkerimov blocks low to prevent a leg kick from scoring, and he crashes the pocket with two punches. Zawada bounces off the cage wall and gets stood up with a left hook, but he has the wherewithal to keep advancing and fire off a leg kick. Magomedkerimov sets up a huge right hand that sends Zawada crashing to the floor in part to a charging Magomedkerimov, with the German hitting the ground like a sack of bricks. To seal the deal, “MMK” punishes Zawada with three or four standing-to-ground punches, until Miner moves between them to call a halt to this pairing. To the surprise of very few, the prohibitive -1600 betting favorite has won his fight, doing so by first-round knockout to record six more points. Magomedkerimov now holds the max of 12 to snag the top welterweight seed from Leal. Meanwhile, he also sends “Sagat” back to the drawing board, telling him to go home and be a family man.

The Official Result

Magomed Magomedkerimov def. David Zawada R1 3:54 via TKO (Punches)

Shane Burgos (155.8) vs. Yamato Nishikawa (155.8)

Round 1

Barring something strange, one of these two action-friendly lightweights will end their night with points towards the playoffs. Whether those points will be enough to move them on to the semifinals, that will be up to the combatants along with referee Brent McKeehan. Former ranked UFC featherweight Burgos (15-4, 0-1 PFL) will have a second chance to make a first impression, and the same can be said for Japanese flamethrower Nishikawa (21-4-6, 0-1 PFL). The match may be thrilling for as long as it lasts, and it kicks off without a clap of hands. They are quick to start trading, with Nishikawa attacking the legs early. Burgos sets up his right hands, and Nishikawa is in his face with strikes right back and leg kicks to follow. Both men clash together with big right hands, and they shake it out and get back to trading. Nishikawa peppers the lead leg with kicks, and Burgos switches stances early before stepping in with a clean right hand. Nishikawa blitzes back, and Burgos parries the blows and drives Nishikawa to the fence with a combination. Burgos tags his foe with a right hand and gets pushed back with a front kick, giving Nishikawa moment to recover. “Hurricane Shane” punches his way into a takedown, sweeping Nishikawa off his feet and landing in the guard. Nishikawa swats from his back, landing several to the back of the head to draw warnings. Burgos settles down in top position, looping a punch or two around the guard. Nishikawa is active from his back as well, striking right back to not let Burgos get away with anything. The Japanese fighter even uses heel strikes to the thigh and side when his guard is not closed, constantly frustrating Burgos with his offense. Burgos frees himself from the grip long enough to drop down three hard right hands, and Nishikawa pays them no mind as he keeps popping and smacking Burgos with any free limb. Burgos stacks Nishikawa up and lands several heavy punches that bounce off Nishikawa’s guard and hit him in the face with his own hands. Burgos drives Nishikawa towards the corner between the fence and the floor, and he sits up to posture up and rail Nishikawa with right hands. Burgos starts unloading on his opponent with increasingly heavier blows, and Nishikawa kicks off and even considers a triangle as he is getting lumped up. Burgos beats down on Nishikawa with hammerfists and punches, and he lowers himself back into the guard while punishing Nishikawa with strikes. The round ends with him in this position, and a thrilled Bruno Miranda backstage celebrates with a few beers, having clinched his spot in the playoffs with Burgos not getting the finish.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 2

The two bump fists to start off the second round, and Nishikawa is quick to kick at Burgos’ lead leg. Burgos races towards him, grabs hold of a body lock and hurls him to the canvas within the first 10 seconds. Burgos lands in half guard, and he looks to peel his left leg out to pass to mount, but Nishikawa has wrapped both of his legs around it. Burgos drops down his shoulder and lands several right hands to fluster Nishikawa enough to advance, and Nishikawa bucks with all his might to keep himself out of the danger zone. Burgos remains pinned atop his adversary, getting off short punches as Nishikawa turns to his side to defend the guard pass. Burgos rips the body and head with punches, and as time races by, he does some limited damage but is nowhere near procuring a finish. Nishikawa clings to Burgos, hand-fighting while recovering his full guard, and Burgos tries once more to stack him up or get enough space to move to a fight-ending position. Burgos racks up control time and he might have a great deal of ground strikes, but few land cleanly and even fewer have any notable impact. Burgos stays very busy as he raps the Japanese fighter with body shots and head shots, and he drops his head down to bounce off Nishikawa’s chest. The round ends with Burgos slugging away on top.

Sherdog Scores

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

Round 3

The last round opens up as they touch gloves, and they proceed to stand in the pocket and trade leather. Both men land clean shots, and Nishikawa also mixes in the occasional low kick. Burgos nails Nishikawa with a leg kick, and he eats a right hand coming back. Burgos clips his foe with a right hand, and Nishikawa shrugs it off and pushes forward in a clinch. Burgos turns him around and pushes him to the wall, and he lifts Nishikawa up and slams him to the floor. Burgos lands in side control, but Nishikawa recovers to half guard quickly. As Burgos revs up his engine to start up some more ground-and-pound, he gets pulled back to the full guard. This does not slow his offense, which is frequent and unrelenting if not particularly destructive. Burgos opens up with occasional heavy blows, and Nishikawa is comfortable hanging out on his back smacking Burgos back with fists, palms and heels. Burgos is running out of time if he wants to secure bonus points and a potential playoff position, which will also hinge on the success of the headliner. Burgos seems unconcerned about seeking a finish and just wants to win, given that his ground-heavy approach has not faltered or wavered as his strike totals grow rapidly. Burgos aims a big left hand, and he ends up pounding the ground when Nishikawa sways in the nick of time. Burgos thumps up the body with several kiai-bolstered strikes, and he concludes the one-sided drubbing on top. “Hurricane Shane” may have claimed three points, but it is not likely his victory will place him in the million-dollar bracket.

Sherdog Scores

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

The Official Result

Shane Burgos def. Yamato Nishikawa via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

Sadibou Sy (170.6) vs. Shane Mitchell (170.8)

Round 1

Looking to claim the rare two-tourney title, Sy (14-6-2, 1 NC; 8-4-2, 1 NC PFL) will need to secure a high seed with a solid performance tonight. He faces Australia’s Mitchell (13-5, 0-1 PFL), who does not shy away from a brawl. This potential all-striking affair will be joined by referee Gary Copeland, and he clocks them in as the welterweights cordially touch their hands together. Mitchell keeps his lead leg raised up as he walks after Sy, potentially preventing early leg kicks while threatening with some of his own. Sy does not engage with this, instead tossing out rangy front kicks. Mitchell goes after him with a head kick, but it whizzes past the head of the Swede. Sy drills the midsection with a kick, and he parries a left hook. Mitchell slaps a few leg kicks on either side, and he absorbs a left hand to string several together to back Sy off. Sy goes up high and down low with subsequent kicks, and his lead calf gets kicked hard in response. The two jab at one another with their legs, and Sy backs away as Mitchell walks him down with a measured right hand. Sy picks at him as he stays out of punching range, keeping moving and circling out whenever the Aussie bears down on him. Sy pushes out a front kick, and he blocks two kicks coming back. Sy sticks Mitchell with a short check left hook and has his lead leg kicks sternly twice to force a stance switch. Sy goes up high with his shin to the chin, and Mitchell wears it well and keeps stalking forward. Mitchell throws a fastball of a right hand that slides off the shoulder, and Sy answers with a blazing fast wheel kick that beans Mitchell in the side of the head. Sy spins with a back kick as Mitchell smiles at him, and they trade body kicks. Mitchell tries and fails to reach Sy with a right hook and a high kick, and Sy checks a few leg kicks and sticks Mitchell with a right hand on the way out. Sy commits to a big leg kick and spins into a wheel kick that glances off the shoulder, 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

The second round begins exactly where the two fighters left off, kickboxing one another primarily with leg strikes. Sy keeps out of punching range, as Mitchell swings his fist occasionally, and Mitchell is walking straight at him instead of cutting him off properly. This allows Sy to skirt on the side either direction, and fluster Mitchell with his longer reaching strikes. Sy circles into a thudding leg kick, and he dances out of the way of a haymaker. Sy jabs the body with the ball of his foot, and he drives a shin to the liver. Sy steps in with a knee, and Mitchell eats it like a Vegemite sandwich and carries on. Mitchell spins with a kick that is feet off the mark, and Sy begins to tag him with long jabs and a body kick. Mitchell leaps forward swinging, and he changes levels to drop down for the knees. Sy stands him up and rails Mitchell in the body with a loud kick, and he spins suddenly with a wheel kick to rock Mitchell. “AAA” backs off, his bell rung from the kick, and Sy unleashes a furiously fast combination of punches that shake Mitchell up further. Several of Sy’s punches land to the back of the head or off the guard, and they are more for style than substance. Copeland does not fall for the speedy onslaught to intervene, and instead Sy closes in and wraps Mitchell up against the fence. The flurry has opened a large cut on the top of Mitchell’s forehead, and Sy trips him out to dump the Aussie to the floor. Mitchell grabs the fence in an effort to stand, and he manages to get upright while Sy clings to him from behind. Sy moves around to go after another outside trip, and he plants Mitchell on his back with 40 seconds left in the round. Mitchell maintains a butterfly guard, and Sy lands more punches to the back of the head. Sy steps over to half guard to rain down punches, and he stands back up to smack Mitchell with kicks to the leg until the bell sounds.

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 3

Sy is officially in the playoffs with the bout reaching the third round without Mitchell staging the upset stoppage. Meanwhile, Mitchell is out. The third round begins, and Mitchell can only determine which seed Sy gets by reaching the scorecards or pulling off the comeback. The welterweights hug it out to begin the last round, and Mitchell walks Sy down and prods at him with kicks. Sy backs off and leans back from a left hook, and then leans forward to tag Mitchell with a pair of strikes. Sy slips a strike and whips his shin to the body, and he hops back as Mitchell tries to reply in kind. Sy marks up Mitchell with the kicks, as large welts and redness cover the side of the Australian fighter. Sy cracks Mitchell with a high kick, and “AAA” tanks it and stands right in front of him, his hands down. This is not the best choice for the Australian fighter, as Sy spins in the blink of an eye with a wheel kick that crashes into the side of Mitchell’s head. Mitchell collapses in a heap, and Sy walks off, his work here done tonight as he notches a spectacular highlight-reel knockout. Copeland races over to tend to the wrecked Aussie, who lays on his side as he embarks on an astral traveling voyage. Sy has secured the no. 3 seed with his thrilling one-shot finish, and he will get a chance to battle it out with Carlos Leal Miranda in August. Meanwhile, the one and four seeds will meet in an all-Magomed affair as Magomed Magomedkerimov will collide with Magomed Umalatov. The welterweight bracket is set, and one fight remains in the season, with a playoff spot still hanging in the balance.

The Official Result

Sadibou Sy def. Shane Mitchell R3 1:35 via KO (Spinning Wheel Kick)

Olivier Aubin-Mercier (155.6) vs. Anthony Romero (155.4)

Round 1

The last fight on the billing is classic Canada on Canada violence, as the resurgent Aubin-Mercier (18-5, 7-0 PFL) will pursue his eighth win in the PFL cage in eight tries at the expense of countryman Romero (12-1, 1-0 PFL). The main event will be officiated by referee Bryan Miner, and with 22 decisions across their combined 36 pro outings, the judges may be part of the equation as well. There is nothing but respect between these lightweights, with Romero needing a finish to get on the leaderboard while “OAM” can reach the next stage with a win of any kind. They come together with a clap of hands, and it’s on with the final fight of the 2023 PFL Regular Season. Romero actually pushes Aubin-Mercier back when they bring their hands together, but he does not engage in some kind of perceived “dirty” strike. Instead, he backs off, and Aubin-Mercier starts to pressure him. Aubin-Mercier lets go with a loud body kick at the 45-second mark for the first notable strike of the match, and Romero responds immediately with an inside leg kick. Romero scoots on the outside, and Aubin-Mercier belts him with a right hook that knocks Romero off-balance. Romero gathers himself and kicks high, but Aubin-Mercier blocks it and catches him with an uppercut and whiffs on a follow-up hook. Romero slings a crescent kick up the middle that nails “The Canadian Gangster” on the chin, hurting him badly and sending him backpedaling in a hurry. Romero presses him against the fence, allowing Aubin-Mercier to recover completely and break off. Romero tries another sweeping kick up the middle, and Aubin-Mercier sends him ricocheting off the fencing with a right hook. Aubin-Mercier looks for an uppercut after walking through a leg kick, and he telegraphs his uppercut setup when he chases after Romero. Aubin-Mercier sticks his foe with a straight left hand and ducks a looping left that comes back his way, and he pins a one-two on the chin and an overhand right behind the ear. “OAM” plants a left on the jaw and follows with a right hook, and Romero pushes him back with a front kick. This allows Aubin-Mercier to counter him with a straight left, and he knocks Romero back off the wire with another solid left. Romero swings recklessly and misses, and he kicks at the calf when he gathers himself. Romero pushes out a straight right to the body, and he backs off when Aubin-Mercier meets him with a piston-like left hand down the pipe. Aubin-Mercier stays just out of range of a step-in knee, and he intercepts Romero in the air with a left hand but does not put him away like Fedor Emelianenko against Andrei Arlovski. The round ends with one final short exchange.

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

The second round kicks off as Aubin-Mercier claims the center of the cage and swats away a head kick. Aubin-Mercier immediately answers with one of his own, and he makes Romero back away with a knee to the body. Romero tries another jump knee that misses the mark, and he shoots for a takedown but ends up running into a brick wall. Aubin-Mercier ignores a quick right hand so that he can time his straight left down Broadway when Romero tosses out a naked front kick. Aubin-Mercier leans in to get off a left hook, and Romero keeps him honest with a check left hook of his own. Aubin-Mercier unloads with three fierce punches to make Romero collide with the cage behind him and keep circling, and he looks for a knee that is not there. Romero slaps a low kick on the calf that makes Aubin-Mercier stumble, but Aubin-Mercier is still right there to give him a high kick that Romero lowers himself to block. The two end up clashing heads as they come together, and Miner recognizes this and calls time to allow the two to recover. After a little over 20 seconds, they gather themselves and re-engage on the restart. Both men launch high kicks at the other, and when Romero lands, he spins with a back kick that buzzes past Aubin-Mercier’s waist. Aubin-Mercier puts a left hand on the nose a few times, and Romero replies with a leg kick. Aubin-Mercier crashes the pocket with a flying knee, snapping Romero’s head back but not hurting him. The two come back together and bang heads once more, and a cut opens up on the cheek of in the process. The two need a little more time, and Aubin-Mercier appears peeved but there is nothing more than a warning for the two to be careful. Aubin-Mercier plants a kick to the ribs on the reset, and he dodges a head kick and steps in with a jab. Both change levels at the same time to crash their heads together a third time, and Miner once more calls it and gives them recovery time while informing the fighters it is simply the result of their movement and not something intentional. They only take 15 seconds this time, and they start up again as Romero leaps with a flying switch kick. Aubin-Mercier is out of the way without concern, and they both sling kicks at one another from a distance. Both men also attempt flying knees, and neither connect with anything 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

Before the round begins, Miner calls in the doctor to check on Romero’s eye. The cutman inadvertently wiped Vaseline in his eye, and Romero needed it cleaned out. They are able to get him situated and the last round begins, and Aubin-Mercier is aggressive immediately. Romero chops at him from range with leg kicks, and he circles to his right and ducks down. At the absolute perfect moment, “The Canadian Gangster” drives a knee right into the jaw as if he were trying to plow it all the way through Romero and the wall behind him. When “The Genius” hits the mat, he is already out, but Aubin-Mercier celebrates his work by punching grade four out of Romero’s skull with one finalizing right hand. Miner can scarcely get between them in time to stop the fight, as Romero is dreaming of green grass and high tides. This beaut of a knockout grants Aubin-Mercier four additional points to climb to seven, which is enough to snatch the second seed and gain a rematch against fellow former champ Natan Schulte in a month and a half. On the other side of the equation, top-seeded Clay Collard will throw down against Bruno Miranda in what should be a barnburner. The PFL will take a break for the next six weeks – not counting its next Europe show in early July – and they will be back in August. When they are, we will be here for it. We hope you are too.

The Official Result

Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Anthony Romero R3 0:28 via KO (Knee)
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