Lance Palmer scooped up the Professional Fighters League's featherweight crown in their first season and he's well on his way to repeating the feat this year.
Palmer (18-3) turned in a workmanlike performance against Alex Gilpin in the PFL 2 2019 main event at NYCB Live at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, on Thursday night. "The Party" nearly ended the duel early on when he dropped Gilpin (12-2) with a vicious left hook to the head in the first and then seized his back. Palmer couldn't finish off the ensuing rear-naked choke and then had to slowly break his foe down for the full 15 minutes.
Palmer landed a total of 100 strikes on the ground after repeatedly taking the Wisconsin-based fighter down. Gilpin hung tough for the full three rounds, but he was in over his head against Palmer, who did nearly whatever he wanted on the ground. Palmer couldn't get the finish he so badly coveted, however, and settled for a unanimous decision, which he won via tallies of 30-27 across the board. The win allowed the defending 145-pound champ to scoop up three points in the new PFL season.
After losing to Natan Schulte for the second time last October, Chris Wade was determined to get back on track against Nate Andrews in the co-main event. "The Long Island Killer" landed some decent strikes, but Wade (15-5) scored several takedowns in the lightweight bout and controlled the action on the ground. Andrews (14-2) never gave up, though, and forced Wade to fight tough-and-nail down the stretch and threatened with a belly-down armbar just as the third frame expired. In the end, though, the fight was Wade's and he walked away with a unanimous decision win via tallies of 29-28 (twice) and 30-27 as well as three points.
Andre Harrison rebounded from his first career loss by dominating Peter Petties for three rounds and winning a unanimous decision. "The Bull" landed nearly 10 times the amount of strikes as Petties (6-5) and took him down three times. Harrison (21-1) threatened with several submission attempts on the canvas, but he wasn't able to put "The Joker" away and had to settle for the judges' nod. All three cageside officials saw it 30-27 for Harrison, who earned three points in the featherweight division.
Russia's Akhmed Aliev was impressive as he starched Carlos Silva (11-2) with a tempest of punches in the opening round. Aliev (18-4) dropped his Brazilian counterpart with an overhand right to the jaw and quickly finished him off with several follow-up punches, forcing referee Kevin MacDonald to intervene. The end officially came at 2:24 of the first, allowing "Butcher" to earn six points in the PFL's lightweight division.
In the opening bout of the main card, Islam Mamedov did just enough to outlast Ylies Djiroun over three rounds of lightweight action. The battle was as close as they come but while Djiroun (16-5) was busier on the feet, Mamedov was the aggressor and scored multiple takedowns. Once off the feet, Mamedov controlled the action and nullified the Frenchman's offense. In the end, two judges saw it for Mamedov with scores of 29-28 and the third had the same tally for Djiroun, allowing Mamedov (17-2) to earn a split decision win and three points.
In the ESPN2-televised preliminary card, Rashid Magomedov (23-3-1) was too much for Loik Radzhabov (11-1) to handle and won a lopsided unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) to earn three points at lightweight; PFL 1 lightweight champion Natan Schulte (16-3) took home six points by vanquishing Yincang Bao (12-7) via rear-naked choke at 3:03 of the first; Luis Rafael Laurentino (34-1) blew away Jeremy Kennedy (13-2) with a head kick and punches in just 23 seconds to earn six featherweight points; Movlid Khaybulaev (13-0) lived up to his "Killer" nickname by flattening Damon Jackson (16-3) with a brutal flying knee just 10 seconds into their featherweight match to also earn six points; and finally, Gadzhi Rabadanov (11-4) earned three featherweight points by toppling Steven Siler (31-19) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27) in the first bout of the evening.