PFL 2 2021 Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By Lev Pisarsky Apr 29, 2021
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Dan Spohn (205.4) vs. Marthin Hamlet (205.8)

Round 1

Kicking off the fight card, grizzled veteran Dan Spohn (18-7) returns to MMA after 2 years off to take on Norwegian prospect Marthin Hamlet (6-1), whose lone loss was to the UFC's Modestas Bukauskus. Referee Gary Copeland presides. Spohn immediately comes out firing a jab. However, it's not long before Hamlet clinches, gets an underhook, and keeps pushing until Spohn falls over. Spohn gets full guard against the fence, but isn't trying to wall-walk back up. Meanwhile, Hamlet is steadily working with short punches to the body and head. Hamlet is also looking for an arm triangle at times, but Spohn is wise to it each time. 2 minutes in, Hamlet continues to chip away with ground-and-pound while Spohn is doing very little from the bottom aside from minimizing the blows. Spohn is also maintaining a closed full guard, not opening it up to try to scramble or hip-escape back up. Despite a very slow pace, referee Copeland lets them stay on the ground. Not much has changed with less than a minute remaining in the round, as Spohn is content to end the round on bottom. 10-9 Hamlet.

Round 2

Yet again, Spohn begins the round flicking his jab while advancing forward, and yet again, he is immediately taken down for his troubles, this time via a single-leg. This time, Hamlet makes a more serious commitment to an arm-triangle, and perhaps tired, Spohn does nothing to defend it. He is soon deprived of oxygen, and luckily, referee Gary Copeland notices, stopping the fight. A very easy victory for the Norwegian prospect Hamlet, who never gave Spohn a real chance.

The Official Result

Marthin Hamlet def. Dan Spohn via Technical Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 0:52 of Round 2

Sadibou Sy (170.8) vs. Nikolay Aleksakhin (170.8)

Round 1

In the second bout of the night, dynamic striker Sadibou Sy (8-5-2), who has compiled some of the best knockouts in PFL history, battles highly regarded Russian veteran Nikolay Aleksakhin (21-5), who is on a seven-fight winning streak. Overseeing the action is referee Keith Peterson. The combatants begin cautiously, with Aleksakhin throwing out a few leg kicks while bouncing around, while Sy is calm and composed, only moving slightly. Sy is throwing the occasional probing jab, but he is clearly looking for a counter. Sy starts to open up a little, throwing a powerful body kick, but Aleksakhin blocks it well. The Russian continues to bounce around energetically, but is judicious about throwing his hands. He eventually scores with a nice left straight, and a short while later, counters a Sy leg kick with a right cross that partially connects. Halfway into the round, it's still a very close round however, with neither man making a big mark. Soon after, Aleksakhin catches Sy with a nice overhand right that forces him back, the strike of the round thus far. Sy is throwing more leg kicks, many of which are avoided, but a few of which land, and mixing them up with his long jab. Aleksakhin responds with a nice right cross to Sy's stomach. With about a minute left, Sy is scoring a little more with leg kicks and jabs, and even lands a body kick for good measure. Aleksakhin throws several flurries, but Sy is out of range each time. Near the end of the round, Aleksakhin makes his own defensive adjustments, avoiding Sy's jabs and leg kicks. Aleksakhin ends the round with a fancy wheel kick, but it doesn't do much damage. Very, very close round. 10-9 Aleksakhin.

Round 2

The two men start Round 2 in the same manner they conducted the first stanza, cautiously. Aleksakhin continues bouncing in and out of range, and they are trying to exchange body kicks now more than leg kicks. Aleksakhin appears to be getting slightly the better of it, with more solid connects against the taller man. He is also looking to counter Sy's leg kicks with his straight right, but isn't able to land cleanly. Two minutes into the round, and Aleksakhin, advancing forward, is hit with a hard eye poke from Sy's outstretched hand. The Russian is in obvious pain, and a doctor comes over to take a closer look. Aleksakhin continues complaining, and there is speculation that the fight may be waved off. Alas, that is indeed the case, and referee Keith Peterson has called an end to the fight, as Aleksakhin continues wincing in misery. An unfortunate end to an interesting tactical striking battle.

The Official Result

Sadibou Sy vs. Nikolay Aleksakhin is ruled a No Contest (Accidental Eye Poke) at 1:56 of Round 2

Cezar Ferreira (205.4) vs. Nick Roehrick (205.4)

Round 1

Up next, longtime UFC middleweight Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira (13-8), holding victories over Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos, makes his light heavyweight debut against fellow PFL debutante Nick Roehrick (9-1), whose lone professional defeat came against Jared Cannonier in 2017. Looking on will be referee Vitor Ribeiro. The two martial arts start out circling and maintaining range, until Ferreira lands a nice body kick to the solar plexus, and seeing that it hurt Roehrick, starts firing punches. The initial ones don't land, but Roehrick retreats against the cage, covering up. Finally, Ferreira unloads with a barrage of lefts and rights, including a right hook that renders Roehrick unconscious, that forces the referee to halt the action. Amazing debut for Ferreira!

The Official Result

Cezar Ferreira def. Nick Roehrick via KO (Punches) at 0:37 of Round 1

Antonio Carlos Jr. (205.4) vs. Tom Lawlor (202.8)

Round 1

Antonio Carlos Junior (10-5) returns to light heavyweight for his PFL debut, faces fellow UFC alum and pro wrestler "Filthy" Tom Lawlor (10-7), who came in over 3 pounds below the divisional limit. Referee Gary Copeland will keep an eye on the two men. Carlos Junior wants to touch gloves, but Lawlor refuses. Carlos Junior starts out throwing out a jab that looks better than what we saw from his UFC tenure. He follows it up with a nice body kick that rocks Lawlor. Lawlor does reply with a solid straight right that forces the Brazilian to retreat. He calmly resets and continues firing off a jab that is frequently finding the mark. So far, Shoeface's stand-up looks much improved, and he is nicely circling around the cage. However, almost two minutes into the contest, he shoots on Lawlor as he comes forward and takes him down. Lawlor doesn't take long to go for a guillotine and it looks tight and deep! Of course, pulling it off against a BJJ legend like Carlos Junior is easier said than done, and the Brazilian calmly stays there, breathing from the side. Eventually, Lawlor's arm gets tired, and with 2 minutes left, Carlos Junior is out of danger! Lawlor uses a closed full guard as Carlos Junior lands a few pitter-patter strikes. Soon, however, he separates and Lawlor isn't active enough, allowing Shoeface to attain mount! The American pro wrestler is now in big trouble, but manages to fight off the arm-triangle attempts. He is even able to create a scramble, and briefly gets back up. However, Carlos Junior instantly jumps guard to go for his own guillotine, manages to hit a sweep to regain mount, and from there, continues squeezing the choke, as Lawlor is forced to tap. Great victory for Antonio Carlos Junior, not only showing off his much-vaunted grappling, but solid improvements to his striking.

The Official Result

Antonio Carlos Junior def. Tom Lawlor via Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 4:43 of Round 1

Emiliano Sordi (205.6) vs. Chris Camozzi (204)

Round 1

Starting off the main card, the 2019 PFL champion Emiliano Sordi (22-8), a thrilling Argentinian knockout artist, faces UFC veteran Chris Camozzi (25-14), who is just 1-4 in the past five years. Keeping them honest will be referee Keith Peterson. Camozzi scores first with an inside leg kick. He then wades forward in dangerous fashion, and is lucky not to get tagged. Soon afterwards, Sordi nails him with a nice right hand, but a short while later, Camozzi answers. No feeling out process here! Sordi continues coming forward and firing off one-twos that partially land. However, soon after, Camozzi lands a solid straight left that forces Sordi to retreat and give him space. After more big punches from both men, the pace slows a little two minutes in, as both are already looking slightly tired. Camozzi is putting together his own punches now, and lands a nice straight right. Both men continue throwing punches, but nothing hard lands, and they clinch with two minutes left. Sordi takes Camozzi's back, then reaps his leg to get a takedown. He lands in mount, and Camozzi gives up his back. Sordi pounds away and then gets the body triangle, going for a rear-naked choke. It looks very tight at one point, but Camozzi stays calm and manages to survive. Sordi eventually lets it go to land several big punches, and once Camozzi turtles up, goes back for the RNC. Camozzi is able to survive, however. Very dominant end to the round for the Argentinian. 10-9 Sordi.

Round 2

The two men start the second stanza more cautiously than they did the first. Sordi strikes first, with a nifty body kick. Camozzi looks a little tired, and Sordi scores a couple of times with the right cross. Camozzi goes for a combination of his own, but Sordi evades it nicely, courtesy of some nice head movement. Camozzi is undeterred and goes back inside, but again, with little success, being hit with right hands for his efforts. Sordi is also slowing down though, and another attempt at a straight right is answered with a leg kick that forces the Argentinian to his knees. Out of nowhere, in a mutual exchange of punches, Camozzi scores with a powerful right hook that floors Sordi, who appears hurt. He covers up as Camozzi throws some arm punches, but he lacks the energy to finish him off. Halfway through the round, Sordi is on his back, hoping to recover. Eventually, he posts up and gets back up. Camozzi is unable to stop him, and Sordi, in the process, gets a waistlock and takes Camozzi down himself! Both men are very tired now, so Sordi stands up and, breathing heavily, throws the occasional kick to the legs. Eventually, Camozzi notices his opponent's exhaustion and simply stands up and nails him with several punches, as Sordi is too tired to even put his hands up. As the round ends, Sordi crumples to the ground, simply covering up. A huge turnaround, and I don't see what Sordi will have for the final round. 10-9 Camozzi.

Round 3

Both men are very tired to start the round. A lazy leg kick by Camozzi is countered by a hard 1-2 from Sordi, knocking down the American. Sordi is only too happy to go to the ground in top position. Sordi is able to easily advance to mount, with limited resistance, and lands some hard punches. Eventually, Camozzi gains a respite from a combination of grabbing his opponent's wrists as much as his opponent's exhaustion. Sordi is throwing the occasional punch, but he is too tired to sustain any offense. Halfway through the round, Camozzi makes an attempt to get back up, but Sordi spins with his attempt and pushes him back down. Another attempt ends with Sordi in half-guard, landing short punches. With a little over a minute left, Camozzi makes an attempt to post up against the cage, but Sordi holds onto him for dear life to keep him down. Eventually, Sordi decides to stand up and lands some very hard punches to the kneeling Camozzi. As Camozzi gets up, he lands a knee for good measure, and then takes him down again! With the round winding down, Sordi attains mount but is unable to finish with an arm triangle. It wasn't the prettiest or most impressive fight, but that was a very gutsy comeback in round 3 by Sordi when he looked to have no energy left. 10-9 Sordi (29-28 Sordi).

The Official Result

Emiliano Sordi def. Chris Camozzi via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-27)

Gleison Tibau (170.4) vs. Joao Zeferino (171)

Round 1

Next up, the highly experienced Gleison Tibau (35-14), who some feel deserved a decision victory over Khabib Nurmagomedov years ago, looks to continue a late career revival as he goes for his third win in a row against fellow Brazilian veteran Joao Zeferino, who has the cool nickname "The Brazilian Samurai." Referee Vitor Ribeiro will oversee the festivities. Zeferino immediately comes out pumping his jab. Tibau retreats and none land. Zeferino continues testing him, flicking out a jab and occasionally a left hook. Tibau is patient for his part, looking to counter. Zeferino lands a cracking body kick and that signals an exchange of punches in the pocket, with both men landing. Tibau opens up with a left cross, but Zeferino easily retreats. Zeferino definitely appears to have a large speed advantage here. Zeferino blitzes forward off some missed punches and clinches with Tibau. He attempts a spinning foot sweep, but Tibau blocks it. They engage in a 50/50 position, with each Brazilian having one underhook each. They reach a stalemate, with both too concerned about being taken down to strike. Eventually, they separate with 90 seconds left. Zeferino tries to draw Tibau out with several feints, but they're unsuccessful. Lots of movement and feinting, but few punches thrown to end the round. Finally, they both throw straight punches at the end of the round, all of which are avoided. 10-9 Zeferino.

Round 2

Both Brazilians are cautious to start the round, but 30 seconds in, Tibau shoots for a double-leg and is successful. However, not long after, Zeferino neatly uses butterfly hooks to throw Tibau off and get back up. So much for that! Zeferino punches to get on the inside, but Tibau answers with a straight counter and they clinch in the same 50/50 position before soon separating again. Tibau is more aware of Zeferino's jab this round, and is doing a better job of avoiding it. Tibau then clips Zeferino with a nice left cross that connects on the chin. A short while later, he lands the same punch again, although Zeferino wears it well. Zeferino's jabs aren't having success and he wisely throws a body kick that lands, his first solid connect of the round. The pace has slowed as three minutes of the round have already elapsed. Zeferino tries a jab and just misses a Tibau right hook counter, pulling his chin back just in time. With 20 seconds left, they clinch, with Zeferino landing a knee to the body or two. Tibau goes for a takedown but is unsuccessful. Close round. 10-9 Tibau.

Round 3

Zeferino continues throwing jabs to start the round, but they're not landing. Nevertheless, Tibau isn't able to counter either, and he essentially runs into Zeferino's fists while coming forward, also being hit with a short uppercut for his pains. They clinch again in the center of the cage, but as before, this leads nowhere, and they separate. Tibau tries to explode forward with punches, and his corner roars loudly, but he is unable to land. Zeferino, after many failed jabs, lands a leg kick. Tibau is being passive, content to slip jabs and retreating at the right times. However, I don't see how this will win him the round. Zeferino, for unknown reasons, goes for an exchange of punches in the pocket, with neither men landing, although Zeferino loses his balance. However, from here, Zeferino lands a nice right cross that stumbles Tibau backwards, arguably the best strike of the fight. He doesn't take advantage though, and they go back to Zeferino feinting and Tibau defending. They go for yet another clinch with less than a minute remaining. This time, Tibau goes for a single-leg and lands a few punches on the break. It's not enough, as the bell sounds. 10-9 Zeferino (29-28 Zeferino).

The Official Result

Joao Zeferino def. Gleison Tibau via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Ray Cooper III (170.8) vs. Jason Ponet (170.1)

Round 1

In the co-main event, the 2019 PFL welterweight champion Ray Cooper III (20-7-1) is a monster favorite against the debuting Jason Ponet (20-12) of France. Watching them closely will be referee Gary Copeland. Ponet starts out with a nice jab that connects to Cooper. Then, as Cooper stalks him, Ponet goes for a slow and untechnical double-leg that is stuffed with ease. Nevertheless, he forces a clinch, and is throwing knees. However, one such knee allows Cooper to pick it up and slam him down! Cooper then advances to half-guard and locks on an arm-triangle. Even though he is in half-guard, it's very tight, and Ponet is doing nothing to get out. Pretty soon, Ponet taps out, and Gary Copeland comes in to stop it. A nice, quick finish for Cooper, absorbing barely any damage, and showing off his grappling game.

The Official Result

Ray Cooper III def. Jason Ponet via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 1:23 of Round 1

Rory MacDonald (170.6) vs. Curtis Millender (171)

Round 1

In the main event, longtime UFC contender and former Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald (21-6-1) faces another UFC and Bellator alum in Curtis Millender (18-6), who will certainly hope to keep the fight standing. For the final match, referee Keith Peterson gets the assignment. Millender starts off firing a jab, but MacDonald dodges it well. Millender scores with an early leg kick soon after. MacDonald soon answers with a nice jab of his own. Millender goes for a head kick but it's blocked. MacDonald goes for several left hooks, but none land. MacDonald then shoots in, as expected, but Millender sprawls well! MacDonald then continually attacks a single-leg, but Millender is defending well, and stays upright against the fence, if just barely. Eventually, MacDonald manages to clasp both hands together and scoops him down with a double-leg halfway through the round. MacDonald easily advances through Millender's guard, and soon takes the back with both hooks in. He then gets the body triangle and is now threatening with a rear-naked choke that Millender is desperately trying to fight off. Millender tries to get up, but alas, it's a trap, as MacDonald uses the opportunity to slap on a quick, tight rear-naked choke, forcing Millender to tap. A very good debut for the "Red King".

The Official Result

Rory MacDonald def. Curtis Millender via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:38 of Round 1
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