Natan Schulte dominated Jason High is every aspect of their lightweight battle until he put him to sleep in the first.
The two highlighted the latest Professional Fighters League 2018 Playoff eliminator event inside Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York. The Brazilian scored a pair of foot sweep takedowns, the second of which paved the way toward a highlight-reel submission win. Schulte passed his opponent’s guard, seized his back and from there, worked his submission mastery until the rear-naked choke was sunk. High tried crazily to escape but Schulte’s choke was locked in, eventually putting the Kansas City native into dreamland. The end came at the 4:18 mark of the opening frame, allowing “Russo” to earn six points toward the lightweight playoffs.
Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Vinny Magalhaes made quick work of Brandon Halsey in the evening’s co-featured bout. Halsey was wobbled by a glancing head kick that landed behind the ear and once “Pezao” pounced on the Huntington Beach, California, fighter, Halsey’s fate was sealed. The Las Vegas-based Brazilian slammed down several unanswered punches from on top and when referee Todd Anderson realized Halsey couldn’t escape, he called off the mugging. The end came just 94 seconds into the contest, giving Magalhaes six points and the No.1 seed entering the PFL’s light heavyweight playoffs.
Former Bellator MMA lightweight champion Will Brooks dominated Robert Watley from start to finish. “Ill” Will controlled the pace of the duel in the clinch and scored timely takedowns in rounds two and three. In those same frames, the Chicago native continuously threatened Watley from his back with rear-naked choke attempts, but “Contact” fended the attacks off nicely. Brooks was given the unanimous decision win over the Maryland fighter with scores of 30-27 across the board. Brooks earned three points toward making the playoffs.
Rear naked choke and it’s over! Maxim Grishin submits Rakim Cleveland in the second round, earning 5 points and securing his spot in the PFL Light Heavyweight Playoffs. #PFL5 #PFLmma pic.twitter.com/yTqXeoGP2H— #PFLmma (@ProFightLeague) August 3, 2018
Russia’s Maxim Grishin fought out of two tight guillotine chokes before he was able to put away Rakim Cleveland in their light heavyweight encounter. Grishin peppered the Floridian with dozens of leg kicks and once he escaped the second guillotine attempt, “Maximus” seized his foe’s back. From there, Grishin flattened out “The Boogeyman” and softened him up with several unanswered punches before sinking in the rear-naked choke. Cleveland had nowhere to go and bowed out at 4:03 of the second. The submission earned Grishin five points toward making the light heavyweight playoffs.
In the opening bout of the telecast, Dagestan’s Rashid Magomedov escaped some early danger when submission ace Luiz Firmino threatened with a rear-naked choke. Once Magomedov was able to get the fight back on the feet, he never again touched the canvas and picked the Brazilian apart with clean, crisp boxing. Magomedov rubberized Firmino’s legs briefly in the third with a sharp right to the jaw but wasn’t able to put him away. In the end, Magomedov won the lightweight battle via unanimous decision with scores of 29-28 and 30-27 (twice). The victory earned Magomedov three points toward making the lightweight playoffs.
In off-TV results, lightweight Chris Wade took out Yuki Kawana with first-round guillotine choke at the 4:24 mark to earn six points towards to the playoffs; Dan Spohn unanimously out-pointed Artur Alibulatov (30-26, 29-27, 29-27) after the bout was stopped due to accidental groin strikes to earn three points for the light heavyweight playoffs; and Thiago Tavares eked out a split decision win over Arthur Estrazulas (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) to earn three points towards making the lightweight playoffs.