PFL 3 2021 Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By Lev Pisarsky May 6, 2021
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Kyron Bowen (170.8) vs. Magomed Umalatov (170.2)

Round 1

Starting tonight's action, Contender Series alum Kyron Bowen (9-5) is a massive underdog against undefeated Magomed "Prince" Umalatov. Referee Gasper Oliver will look on. Umalatov scores with a nice calf kick to start the fight. Bowen leaps forward with punches, but gets easily taken down with a double-leg for his efforts. Umalatov works a possible arm triangle from the top and immediately attains half-guard. However, Bowen is cagey, and uses a heel hook attempt to force Umalatov to escape by getting up. After partially blocking some upkicks, Umalatov returns back on top, this time in Bowen's full guard. Bowen defends well from any possible strikes, but eventually, Umalatov steps over and gets half-guard, and this time, briefly takes the back. Yet again, however, Bowen uses a heel hook attempt to create a scramble, briefly getting up. However, it's not for long, as Umalatov immediately returns him to the mat. Umalatov starts working with a little bit of ground-and-pound, but they're fairly light arm punches, as Bowen keeps him close and Umalatov, for his part, doesn't want to give Bowen separation with which to scramble. With a minute left, Umalatov scores with a few hammerfists, but nothing heavy. Still, he has softened up Bowen a little, who is less active from the bottom. He scores with hammerfists, and these ones are harder and cleaner. Umalatov postures up, and this time, the hammerfists are absolutely hard and brutal, with Bowen hurt and desperately covering up. The referee is very close to stopping the action, but Bowen survives. Barely. 10-8 Umalatov.

Round 2

As soon as the round begins, Bowen, still wobbly, goes for a telegraphed punch, and Umalatov ducks down and drops him with a nice overhand right counter. Bowen collapses like a ton of bricks, and the fight is over. An impressive, dominant performance by the undefeated Umalatov!

The Official Result

Magomed Umalatov def. Kryon Bowen via TKO (Punch) at 0:07 of Round 2

Helena Kolesnyk (155.2) vs. Taylor Guardado (154.6)

Round 1

Beginning the Women's PFL Lightweight Tournament, Helena Kolesnyk (5-2), whose last fight was a loss to Felicia Spencer almost 3 years ago, takes on Taylor Guardado (0-1). Despite the disparity in records, the oddsmakers have this as almost even money. Observing the bout will again be Gasper Oliver. Guardado comes out aggressively, throwing punches early. She soon goes for a double-leg, but Kolesnyk defends well and drives her opponent back into the cage. Guardado has a headlock, but is unable to get it into a guillotine attempt. Kolesnyk then goes for a headlock throw, but it allows Guardado to take the back and attain a seatbelt position. Kolesnyk, however, holds onto the position, which allows Guardado to solidify her position up the back and threaten with a rear-naked choke. Kolesnyk is defending by hand-fighting, but by bending over, there is a lot of weight and strain on her, and she eventually drops down to the ground, while holding onto Guardado's right arm for dear life. Kolesnyk turns around, but she continues using both hands to hold onto Guardado's right wrist. However, this tactic is working against Guardado, who isn't throwing any ground-and-pound. Eventually, Kolesnyk is able to move enough to where Guardado takes the back with both hooks in. Guardado decides to go for an armbar attempt, but it isn't there, and after Kolesnyk defends, she ends up on top! Guardado, however, uses the cage to get back up while eating the occasional punch. With a few seconds left, they clinch against the fence. Kolesnyk throws a few knees. 10-9 Guardado.

Round 2

Starting the stanza, Kolesnyk lands several straight punches which Guarado simply eats. Guardado immediately tries to clinch, and is again rewarded with a takedown. This time, however, she is in Kolesnyk's closed full guard. Kolesnyk pushes off with her feet against Guardado's hips, and Guardado accepts it, simply getting up. There are serious concerns about Guardado's cardio now, who looks tired. Kolesnyk is firing at will with punches and kicks now, scoring with some leg kicks. After one such attempt, Guardado drives her back to the cage, and just barely has enough energy to suck out the hips and finish with a double-leg. With 3 minutes left, there is a brief pause to allow Guardado to pick up her mouthpiece from the canvas. While Kolesnyk is right up against the fence, she isn't wall-walking, simply holding Guardado in her closed full guard. Suddenly, with half the round remaining, Gasper Oliver briefly stands them up and takes one point away from Kolesnyk from repeated pokes to the eyes. A major decision! Eventually, Guardado scores with some punches from the top, but then postures up, which eventually allows Kolesnyk to get back up. Guardado immediately clinches with her. After what looked to be Kolesnyk's round, Guardado has stabilized. They continue to clinch, with Guardado having one underhook and possibly looking for an inside trip. They exchange some inconsequential blows as the round ends. 10-8 Guardado.

Round 3

Beginning the final round, and both women look a little tired. Guardado even scores with a right cross of her own, as Kolesnyk is far less aggressive now. She is throwing punches, but they're missing, and her kicks lack power. Guardado doesn't mind, since she is massively up on the scorecards. Eventually, Kolesnyk makes the bizarre decision to clinch, and Guardado punishes her by scoring a nice lateral drop to yet again end up on top. This time she is in half-guard and is punching away to the body with her right arm, which Kolesnyk has left exposed, deciding to wrap up the head rather than the biceps. Halfway through the round, and Kolesnyk has slowly inched to the cage. The pace has slowed considerably, and Guardado scores with the occasional arm punch from the top, though it does little damage. Kolesnyk, for her part, seems content with staying in half-guard and keeping Guardado close to her. Finally, with less than a minute left, she starts trying to create space, but Guardado is wise to it and pushes her back into the cage. The fight was closer than the scorecards will likely indicate, but it's a solid victory for Guardado, the first of her professional career. 10-9 Guardado (30-26 Guardado)

The Official Result

Taylor Guardado def. Helena Kolesnyk via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-26)

Denis Goltsov (240.4) vs. Muhammed DeReese (257.6)

Round 1

Kicking off the Men's PFL Heavyweight Tournament, well-traveled veteran Denis "The Russian Bogatyr" Goltsov (25-6) faces last-second replacement Muhammed DeReese (8-2), who hasn't fought since a knockout defeat to Jared Rosholt in the PFL cage in late 2019. Referee Gary Copeland presides. Early on, DeReese scores with a leg kick. Goltsov is patient, getting a sense of the distance. Both men are cautious early. DeReese is moving around a lot on the outside, mixing up directions, and occasionally scoring with leg kicks. Goltsov is starting to throw out the occasional jab, too. As the round progresses, the jab starts to find its range, and Goltsov chains a nice leg kick to the end of it. Goltsov scores with a nice body kick. Suddenly, Goltsov catches him with a punch and scores several kicks as DeReese covers up and turns his back. Goltsov is firing at will now, scoring with jabs, kicks, and anything else he wants, as DeReese's movement has slowed and he is simply covering up. Goltsov then scores with a nice head kick, and adds a few more. Goltsov then scores with a nice overhand right and repeatedly kicks DeReese to the head. He then scores with a nice uppercut and a hard knee to the head. DeReese collapses under the onslaught as Goltsov pounds him out on the ground. Very fast and impressive knockout!

The Official Result

Denis Goltsov def. Muhammed DeReese via TKO (Punches) at 4:21 of Round 1

Genah Fabian (155.8) vs. Laura Sanchez (155.4)

Round 1

Two very tall strikers collide when Genah Fabian (2-1) takes on Laura Sanchez (1-0). Referee Gasper Oliver again gets this assignment. They begin cautiously, Fabian flicking the occasional jab. Fabian scores with a leg kick, as she circles away on the outside. Sanchez finally opens up with punches, but Fabian blocks and evades ably enough. Fabian then scores with a body kick. Sanchez attempts a head kick, but it's blocked. Sanchez attempts 1-2, it's blocked, and Fabian clinches. Turning her around, she scores with knees to the body, although none are particularly hard. Sanchez starts firing off knees of her own, but Fabian is getting the better of them. With 40 seconds left, Fabian disengages and fires off punches. Fabian ends the round with a front kick to the stomach. With just a few ticks left, she scores with a head kick that may be the best strike of the round. 10-9 Fabian.

Round 2

As the round begins, they clinch, only this time it's initiated by Sanchez. Fabian breaks free and throws a series of punches, only partially blocked. She scores with another nice front kick to the stomach. After another body kick by Fabian, this time of the roundhouse variety, Sanchez clinches again. Yet again, it's not long before Fabian successfully disengages. Sanchez is throwing the odd strike, but Fabian is easily evading or blocking. They clinch yet again, and this time, Sanchez has a bodylock and double underhooks. Yet even here, she is unable to secure the takedown. Eventually, Fabian regains one underhook and turns Sanchez around against the cage. This time, she decides not to gain separation and they trade knees. They continue doing so until about 25 seconds left in the round. Fabian scores with a 1-2, and then lands a right hook to end the stanza. She is firmly in control of the fight. 10-9 Fabian.

Round 3

Sanchez throws the best right cross she can muster to begin the round, but Fabian easily turns away and then clinches. It doesn't last for long, and they separate. Fabian flicks out a jab, and while neither one lands, she follows it up with a left cross that does. Despite it being the third round, Fabian is still circling nicely on the outside. They clinch again, with Sanchez having another bodylock with double underhooks. She is throwing knees now, but none are landing hard. Fabian turns her around, and gets double underhooks of her own. As they clinch midway through the final round, there is a sizable cut on Sanchez's right eye, with blood flowing all over that side of her face. Sanchez attempts to frame Fabian, but it's unsuccessful. They separate with a minute left. Sanchez comes forward, and lands a neat right cross, likely her best of the fight. However, Fabian soon returns fire, scoring with a solid left cross of her own. They clinch yet again. Separating with 10 seconds left, both miss punches before, naturally, clinching to end the fight. This round was close. 10-9 Fabian (30-27 Fabian)

The Official Result

Geniah Fabian def. Laura Sanchez via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Cindy Dandois (153) vs. Kaitlin Young (155)

Round 1

UFC and Bellator veteran Cindy Dandois (16-5) faces long-time Invicta staple Kaitlin Young (11-10-1) in what is expected to be a close contest. Referee Keith Peterson debuts for this one. Young throws a jab, and Dandois immediately comes forward looking to clinch. She is unsuccessful. Young continues to throw punches, and Dandois keeps reaching out, but Young easily disengages. Young then lands a nice right cross that seems to stun Dandois, who again reaches. Dandois surprisingly lands an overhand right, which seems to get some respect from Young. Young is calmly bouncing around on the outside, throwing out the occasional straight punch, as Dandois uncomfortably stands up, looking for an opening to grapple. She manages to attain a clinch, but Young quickly disengages and goes back to pot-shotting her, scoring with a nice jab. Halfway through the round, and Young is firmly in control. Nevertheless, aside from the one earlier cross, she hasn't hurt Dandois, who covers up with both arms immediately. Young starts opening up more, throwing a series of straight punches. Not long, she finds the mark with another stinging straight right. And, not long after, she lands with another one that forces Dandois back. As Young comes forward, Dandois turns her back and goes for a desperation headlock throw, but Young is wise to it. Dandois ends up on her own back, but Young wisely stands back up rather than engaging. She then goes back to scoring with punches, which Dandois is blocking less effectively now. Young lands another solid right cross as the round ends. 10-9 Young.

Round 2

Starting the round, Young goes back to what worked, throwing a 1-2, with both punches connecting. Dandois imediately clinches, and this time, they grapple for a while against the cage. However, Dandois is only grabbing around the neck, and Young has little trouble in gaining separation. Young is still moving nicely around the cage, throwing out her jab, which occasionally lands. Finally, Dandois goes for a double-leg shot, but it's slow, untechnical, and Young has no troubles sprawling successfully. She continues marking up Dandois on the feet with both the jab and the cross. Dandois is throwing out the occasional punch of her own, but they miss by wide margins. Adding to her offense, Young is confident enough to score with a hard leg kick that bothers Dandois. She then adds several jabs for good measure. Dandois is moving forward now, desperate to clinch, but Young keeps circling away from the power and Dandois is helpless to do anything. With about 30 seconds left, Dandois goes for another desperation shot but this time, she is not even able to grab a hold of Young. Young continues pelting her with straight punches. A very one-sided bout so far. 10-9 Young.

Round 3

Starting the round, Dandois is determined to strike, and she throws what can best be described as several overhanded slaps. Young isn't bothered, and lands several punches as well as a knee. Dandois continues throwing overhanded slaps and occasionally punches, but they're having little to no success. Young continues being patient and takes the opportunity to land straight punches from time to time, as she has all fight long. She isn't remotely tired either, as she is circling away from the power as nicely as ever. Halfway through the stanza, Dandois gets a clinch, and finally scores with a headlock takedown. Young scrambles up, but Dandois takes the opportunity to lock on a guillotine choke. She is cranking it with all her strength, but Young isn't tapping, although she looks to be in trouble. Eventually, Dandois's arms tire, and Young is able to escape back to the feet. The pace slows now, as Young doesn't want to take any chances. Finally with less than a minute left, she connects with a rigth cross that snaps Dandois's head back. Dandois is throwing kicks now too, but none of these land, either. The round ends as Dandois attempts to clinch at the very end. This one was closer. 10-9 Young (30-27 Young).

The Official Result

Kaitlin Young def. Cindy Dandois via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Ante Delija (233.2) vs. Bruno Henrique Cappelozza (234)

Round 1

Ante Delija (17-3), with the unique nickname "Walking Trouble", faces Brazilian striker Bruno Henrique Cappelozza (10-5), who hasn't competed since being knocked out by Jiri Prochazka in Rizin back in July of 2018. Keeping them honest will be referee Gary Copeland. Cappelozza scores first with a leg kick, but Delija scores soon afterwards with a thudding 1-2. Still, Cappelozza eats it well. Cappelozza corners Delija to the cage, and then hurts Delija with a nice overhand right. At that point, he absolutely unloads, throwing a series of lightning quick straight punches, one after the other, without stopping in the style of a Vitor Belfort. Eventually, Delija goes unconscious and falls to the mat. The referee jumps in to save him. WOW! What a tremendous finish for the returning Cappelozza, who was a massive underdog.

The Official Result

Bruno Henrique Cappelozza def. Ante Delija via KO (Punches) at 0:46 of Round 1

Larissa Pacheco (155.2) vs. Julija Pajic (155.8)

Round 1

2019's PFL Women's Lightweight runner-up Larrissa Pacheco, who went the distance twice against Kayla Harrison, returns as a large favorite against Julija Pajic (3-0), who is the rare woman in the tournament that has even competed as high as 170 pounds. Calling this one will be the busy referee Gasper Oliver. Pacheco scores with two jabs, and then floors Pajcic with a left hook. She is badly hurt, and Pacheco jumps into mount, pounding away with right hands. Pajcic briefly manages to tie her up, but not for long, as Pacheco manages to rip her arms free and is just hammering away with punches, none of which are being avoided. With no prospect of her escaping, Gasper Oliver is forced to call a halt to the action. A blistering finish!

The Official Result

Larissa Pacheco def. Julija Pajic via TKO (Punches) at 0:51 of Round 1

Mohammed Usman (239) vs. Brandon Sayles (264.2)

Round 1

Mohammed Usman (7-1), the younger brother of the UFC welterweight kingpin, takens on 40 year-old Brandon Sayles (5-1). In a card filled with long lay-offs, Sayles has the longest, being inactive since a win in January of 2018, well over 3 years. Watching them closely will be referee Keith Peterson. Sayles begins the fight with a few kicks, but they have little effect. Usman is cautious, throwing out a few solid jabs to get a sense of the distance. Sayles lands with a left hook that stumbles Usman, who clinches, but to no avail. He recovers, though, and lands a decent straight right that gets through Sayles' hands. Usman continues searching with straight punches, some of them landing. Usman then connects with a hard overhand right that gets Sayles' attention. He tries again, but this one is less successful. Sayles is scoring too, connecting with a right cross of his own, and repeatedly throwing heavy leg kicks that are hurting Usman. Usman lands a left hook, but Sayles returns with a straight right! They're fighting at a furious pace and trading heavy leather now. Sayles lands a hard, clean jab. Usman tries to shoot, but Sayles defends easily. Sayles fires off with front kicks to the stomach that are partially getting through. Sayles scores with a left hook of his own which catches Usman ducking. With a minute remaining, and Sayles taking over the round, Usman lands another hard overhand right. Sayles lands some leg kicks, and Usman scores with an overhand right. He goes for an overhand left and then an overhand right, but Sayles is able to pull his head back enough to avoid it. They continue battling as the round closes, but nothing hard lands. A close, exciting round. 10-9 Sayles.

Round 2

Opening the round, Sayles immediately lands another leg kick. Usman connects with a straight, stiff jab. Still, Sayles continues with his kicks, alternately to the legs as well as the stomach. Out of nowhere, Usman catches Sayles with a hard, flush straight right that stumbles Sayles back. However, he receovers. Suddenly, Sayles tries to shoot himself, but Usman defends. Then, out of nowhere, Sayles floors Usman with a short right, and Usman on his knees, with Sayles pounding away. Eventually, he is able to grab onto Sayles' hips. Sayles then goes for a guillotine, driving Usman to the fence. Usman continues to battle, however, and eventually gets out. As he disengages, though, Sayles takes him down. Usman scrambles back up and they're back up on their feet. However, not for long, as Sayles drops Usman yet again! He is on top now in mount, throwing punches, but clearly tired. Usman tries to get up, but is returned back down by Sayles each time. Sayles locks in a rear-naked choke that Usman doesn't even bother to fight off. As the seconds go by, Usman goes unconscious. An action-packed fight, and another giant upset. Very impressive performance by Sayles.

The Official Result

Brandon Sayles def. Mohammed Usman via Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:42 of Round 2

Kayla Harrison (155.2) vs. Mariana Morais (153)

Round 1

In the co-main event, two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, Kayla Harrison (8-0), comes in as one of the biggest favorites in MMA history, being an astronomical -3000 against Mariana Morais (16-10), who has competed as a flyweight earlier in her career. Getting this assignment will be referee Gary Copeland. Harrison immediately opens up with a head kick, which Morais barely avoids. Harrison then forces the clinch, pushing Morais against the fence. However, in the early going, Morais is staying upright. Eventually though, Harrison uses the bodylock to get the outside trip. She almost immediately moves into mount and starts pounding away with punches. Morais is in trouble, turning around, as Harrison continues delivering right-handed hammers without stopping. Morais turns back around, but continues being pelted. Referee Gary Copeland has no choice but to step in. A very quick, easy, dominant performance for the two-time Olympic champion.

The Official Result

Kayla Harrison def. Mariana Morais via TKO (Punches) at 1:23 of Round 1

Fabricio Werdum (241.4) vs. Renan Ferreira (252)

Round 1

In the main event, former UFC heavyweight champion and legend of the sport Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1), at 43 years old seeks to defeat fellow Brazilian, the 6' 8" Renan Ferreira (6-2). Officiating the final contest will be referee Keith Peterson. Ferreira immediately leaps forward with a crazy flying knee. However, Werdum mostly avoids it, and soon scores with an easy single-leg. He stands up, but then uses it to easily pass to half-guard. Ferreira manages to get some separation, but again, Werdum is on top of him before he can get all the way back up. Ferreira is trying to tie up Werdum, but Werdum is in half-guard, with good head control. Ferreira goes for a sweep with a headlock and manages to complete it. However, Werdum immediately locks in a triangle. Not dissuaded, Ferreira starts raining down ground-and-pound as Werdum holds on to the submission. Ferreira keeps punching more and more though, refusing to tap. Eventually, Ferreira gets the angle and he is out of the triangle! Werdum is badly hurt, and Ferreira continues devastating him with punches, completely undefended. Keith Peterson has no choice but to stop the contest. A short but action-packed main event! On further replays, it appears that Ferreira might have tapped at one point while he was in the triangle, before going right back to punching Werdum.

The Official Result

Renan Ferreira def. Fabricio Werdum via KO (Punches) at 2:32 of Round 1
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