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PFL 6 2022 Regular Season Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

The 2022 Professional Fighters League Season continues Friday at 6 p.m. ET.

Check out the MMA Forums to discuss the card or enter your comments and predictions below.

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Helena Kolesnyk (155.6) vs. Vanessa Melo (154.4)

Round 1

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. We’re so glad you could attend PFL 6: 2022 Regular Season, come inside, come inside. There inside a cage stands a real women’s lightweight contest between Kolesnyk (6-4, 1 NC; 1-2 PFL) and Melo (11-9, 0-1 PFL), be careful as you pass, move along, move along. Come inside, the show’s about to start, guaranteed to blow referee Jimmy Neely’s head apart. Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth, the greatest show in heaven, heck or Atlanta. You’ve got to see the show, it’s starting with a glove touch between the two ladies. The Ukrainian immediately opens up with a front kick and several jabs, and when the punches do not land, she goes for another leg kick. The UFC vet Melo cannot find her range, as she walks into repeated slapping inside low kicks. Kolesnyk rings off a one-two, and she takes a step back to avoid a counter and goes back to a heavy kick to the knee. Kolesnyk pushes out several jabs, and she follows one with an ill-advised head kick. The Brazilian snags it right out of the air after it bumps into her shoulder, and she dumps Kolesnyk right down to the mat. The woman known as “Miss Congeniality” is quick to circle around and take Kolesnyk’s back, but she cannot get a hook in. Kolesnyk powers back to her feet off the fence, and she gains some space to get back to her preferred striking range. The action falters as Kolesnyk measures her opponent from the outside, and Melo does little more than absorb the occasional leg kick and paw out with punches that are well short of the mark. They trade low kicks, as Melo tries to pay her opponent back for them, and Kolesnyk pierces the guard with a few more jabs. As Kolesnyk flicks out unanswered jabs, Melo suddenly darts forward for a double-leg takedown to attempt to drag the fight to the mat. Getting shoved into the wall, Kolesnyk is able to trip Melo’s legs out beneath her and use the takedown try against her, where she lands in side control with 30 seconds left. Kolesnyk clings to a possible scarf hold from on top, using her shoulder pressure to hold on tightly, until the bell sounds. 10-9 Kolesnyk.

Round 2

The second round kicks off with a glove touch, and Melo is a bit more aggressive as she swipes out with a few right hooks to make Kolesnyk get on her bike. When Melo comes forward with a few more fists flying, Kolesnyk intercepts her with a sharp jab. Kolesnyk circles on the outside, avoiding or rolling with the strikes that reach her from Melo, and staying safe with her jab outstretched frequently. Kolesnyk pops Melo with a short right hook to little effect, as Melo walks her down but cannot trap or corner her. Kolesnyk swings a right hand to get Melo to back off, but Melo is constantly plodding forward towards her. While Melo continues to walk Kolesnyk down, she cannot cut her off, and still absorbs the occasional leg kick or jab. Kolesnyk goes to the body with a kick, and Melo times an overhand right in a response. Melo whiffs on a punch and a kick, and Kolesnyk is able to easily time a right hand and a chopping low kick in a stern reply. They both land single hooks on one another, and Kolesnyk keeps on moving. Melo recklessly comes at her with a charge, but Kolesnyk cleanly connects with a left hand as she does. A switch kick to the body does succeed for the Ukrainian, but it is one-and-done. Melo swings and misses with a looping strike, and she leans back as a head kick zooms past her. The tepid round comes to an end. 10-9 Kolesnyk.

Round 3

Melo does not play with a glove touch to start off the final frame, instead rushing out to throw hands. Kolesnyk blocks the oncoming fire and lets go with a high kick and then one to the legs. Melo swings back, hitting nothing but air, and Kolesnyk returns to her more comfortable range pot shotting from a safe distance. Melo looks to line up an overhand right when Kolesnyk kicks low, and she cannot quite get it off after attempting this twice. The Brazilian pushes forward with her hands down, allowing Kolesnyk to punch her in the face and very nearly kick her. Melo swarms forward with a winging strike, and Kolesnyk dances out of the way and marks her face up with a one-two. Melo does serious damage to the air with a combination of punches, but not a single one connects on Kolesnyk as the Ukrainian is able to avoid every single one. Melo ducks a right hook to crash forward for a body lock, and she jams Kolesnyk up against the wire. Kolesnyk explodes out of the position and knees Melo in the sternum on the way out, and when she backs off, she delivers a jumping switch kick to the chest. Kolesnyk strings together a few punches before ending a combination with a head kick, and finding her target, she does this exact same series of punches with a high kick two more times. Melo blocks them as best as she can, only to find herself absorbing a straight left hand when Kolesnyk mixes up her combos. Kolesnyk picks and pokes with jabs and straight punches, and Melo cannot get anything going on her end as Kolesnyk is evasive. Kolesnyk flirts with a spinning back fist, only for it to easily bounce off Melo’s high guard. Melo lunges out with a jab, but she does not follow it and instead absorbs a low kick. Kolesnyk pushes out with a front kick and a jab, and she sneaks in a left hook to follow it. Two punches lead to three kicks for Kolesnyk, who decides to follow these with a takedown try to seal the fight. The 15-minute affair comes to a close, and Melo’s nose starts leaking as a result of the final salvo of absorbed strikes. This should be a clear-cut win for “Cannon” Kolesnyk, who will find herself with six points and hope that is enough to move on to the playoffs. 10-9 Kolesnyk (30-27 Kolesnyk).

The Official Result

Helena Kolesnyk def. Vanessa Melo via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Martina Jindrova (154.8) vs. Zamzagul Fayzallanova (155)

Round 1

The women’s lightweight division is still wide open for qualifiers, as Jindrova (5-2, 2-0 PFL) comes into this fight with three points while her opponent Fayzallanova (7-2, 0-1 PFL) has not earned any yet. A finish could put either 155er in the playoffs, although they do combine for six decisions across their 12 total wins. Referee Blake Grice will be there the whole time, whether it lasts for 15 seconds or 15 minutes, and the competitors touch gloves before getting to it. Jindrova engages after a 20-second lull with a leg kick that lands with a slap. She goes for another, and she follows it with a right hook that Fayzallanova dodges. Jindrova steps forward with a right hand down the pipe, and she gets jabbed to the body in response. Jindrova scores a body kick and comes up short with follow-up punches. The Czech fighter introduces her shin to Fayzallanova’s chin, and “Bopay” is stunned and standing straight up. Jindrova loads up on a few right hands, sensing her opponent is hurt, and she forces Fayzallanova to shoot in for a takedown on her. Jindrova stuffs it with ease and tags her with an overhand right, and she chains a head kick into the flurry. Jindrova walks Fayzallanova down with a strong of punches, rocking Fayzallanova and dropping her down to a knee. Jindrova unleashes a fury with punches and knees and she comes into the clinch, and one knee strikes Fayzallanova in the groin. Jindrova walks off as Grice intervenes, thinking she has won, but she has to pull it back when realizing it was a foul. Fayzallanova recovers and is ready to come back out fighting, and Jindrova tags her with several punches. Fayzallanova shoots for another takedown, and she takes a strike to the gut that bends her over. Fayzallanova tries to keep a stiff upper lip, and she drops down for a takedown, but Jindrova is easily able to stop her. Fayzallanova grabs the glove of her opponent and is called on it, and Jindrova rips her hand back and rails into Fayzallanova with punches in bunches. Grice tells Fayzallanova to fight back, so Fayzallanova wings a right hand to stave him off. A few more punches from Jindrova forces Fayzallanova to slide to her back on the mat, in hopes of reversing position or going after a takedown, but it just makes Fayzallanova fall back into the wall behind her. Jindrova lords over her with standing-to-ground punches, and as she continues to hammer Fayzallanova, Grice decides that Fayzallanova is no longer intelligently defending herself and stops the fight. This six-point stoppage for Jindrova clinches her a spot in the playoffs, putting away her opponent without breaking a sweat.

The Official Result

Martina Jindrova def. Zamzagul Fayzallanova R1 4:04 via TKO (Punches)

Marina Mokhnatkina (154) vs. Abigail Montes (154.8)

Round 1

This classic battle between Russia and Mexico will conclude the preliminary portion of this event, with Mokhnatkina (6-3, 1-1 PFL) and Montes (3-1, 1-1 PFL) each vying to get on the board at 155 pounds. With both women coming off decision losses, something’s got to give here. A respectful glove touch while referee Rob Hinds watches on seals the cage around them, and Mokhnatkina is the immediate aggressor, walking Montes down and throwing hands. Montes tries to keep her at bay with jabs, but Mokhnatkina strings together multiple one-twos to drive Montes back. The Mexican fighter sits down on a low kick, and Mokhnatkina tries to snatch it up and do something with it, but she cannot get it in time. Montes counters an advancing Mokhnatkina with a few heavy blows, but the Russian responds in kind and drills her with a right hand. Mokhnatkina pushes forward to take the fight to the ground, and she drops Montes to a knee briefly but cannot keep her there. Montes spins off the cage and lines up a one-two down the middle. Mokhnatkina snaps the head back with her own powerful punch, and these two lightweights are cracking one another. One lands, the other responds, and then they land at the exact same time with right hands. Montes gathers herself faster and kicks low, and Mokhnatkina tries to do the same only to get popped with a right hand down the pipe. Not to be outdone, Mokhnatkina gets off a clean right hand, and one more right after it. She chains together several quick punches, leading Montes to back off and kick her lead leg. Mokhnatkina ignores it and crashes towards her, flailing her fists, and she jams Montes back to the cage wall. They jockey for position without much else coming, and Montes breaks and scores a right. Montes swings a left hand after sliding away from an oncoming strike, and they simultaneously connect with punches. Mokhnatkina gets caught with a right hand when winging punches, and she plants the all of her foot on Montes’ torso when Montes comes at her. They brawl it out, and Mokhnatkina grabs her in the middle of the cage for a clinch, only to get pushed back with a knee. Mokhnatkina blasts Montes with a huge right hand, and Montes does not flinch. The horn sounds, and because of the first round ending, Kolesnyk from the first fight tonight has now clinched her spot in the playoffs due to the fact that neither woman in this fight can earn six points and catch her. 10-9 Mokhnatkina.

Round 2

Mokhnatkina comes out ready to strike again, and she does exactly that, with jabs and solid right hands to follow. Montes rolls with them and tries to fire back, but Mokhnatkina is able to get out of the way in time. Mokhnatkina catches a body kick and attempts to turn it into a single-leg takedown, but Montes recoils her leg in time. The Russian rushes forward, using her momentum to mash Montes into the fencing, but she cannot keep her there. Montes turns her out and knees her in the belly, and they split up. Montes tries to use kicks to find her range, but they all miss the mark as Mokhnatkina dips back and darts in to smack her with a right hand. Montes responds with a similar strike, and she gets on her bike and looks to set up a jab. Mokhnatkina does not bite on any of these, instead winding up with several massive right hands that stun Montes. The fighter from Mexico instinctively tosses out a kick, and Mokhnatkina catches it and uses it to push Montes back to the wall. Montes twists out of it, and she manages to get off a three-punch salvo to drive Mokhnatkina back a step. Montes looses several punches to get Mokhnatkina’s attention, and her strikes are getting the Russian to attempt a takedown. Montes lays into her with a flush knee to the chest, and she appears to have more gas in the tank than her opponent as Mokhnatkina may be fatiguing. Mokhnatkina’s punches come more labored, and Montes’ are straighter or faster. Mokhnatkina sticks out a jab straight down the middle to break up a Montes spinning strike, and she pursues a takedown when Montes is getting the upper hand. The Russian goes for a single, and she trips Montes down to set her on the ground. Montes scrambles to get to the wall, and as she does, Mokhnatkina takes her back. Mokhnatkina latches a rear-naked choke that is not under the jaw, and she crushes on it with what appears to be more of a neck crank as she cannot find the leverage. Mokhnatkina squeezes with all her might, but the mighty Montes will not surrender. The bell sounds before a finish can materialize. 10-9 Mokhnatkina.

Round 3

The lightweights meet in the middle to throw down to start off the final round, and they both land flush early and often. Montes rushes out with jabs and a right hand, and the latter does not connect while the jabs do. Montes uses the jab to keep her distance, and Mokhnatkina steps in with a right hook and tries to clinch up. Montes fights off the takedown entry and lines up a few punches, but Mokhnatkina is there to answer her with a heavier blow. Mokhnatkina strings together two punches, and Montes replies with identical strikes. After an exchange, Mokhnatkina darts in for a takedown, and she gets stood up and pushed back. The ladies trade body kicks, and Mokhnatkina tries to catch the one that strikes her but cannot grasp it. Montes backs away before a takedown can come, but her guard is down, allowing Mokhnatkina to drill her with heavy punches. Mokhnatkina lets loose with a spinning back fist, and Montes ducks in the nick of time. They go one after the other with punches until Mokhnatkina charges for a body lock takedown. The woman from Mexico stuffs her and knees her up the middle, and she breaks away. Mokhnatkina pushes out a front kick and leans back from a looping punch, and Montes swings wildly and finds herself fighting off another takedown. Montes succeeds in stuffing it, and she cracks Mokhnatkina with a right hand. Montes sprawls and stops another takedown, and she makes Mokhnatkina pay with several punches and a thudding kick to the body. Mokhnatkina releases a right hand to get respect back, but Montes is coming at her guns blazing. Montes ignores the overhand rights that land flush on her chin so that she can fire back, and she is a woman on a mission throwing everything she has left into her strikes. Montes wings punches and the occasional body kick, and she nails Mokhnatkina with a big right hand. They throw hands right to the bell, putting an end to an exciting and close contest. The three points to the victor will not likely be enough to move on to the playoffs, but it may at least get them a call in 2023 for another opportunity if the division lives on next year. 10-9 Montes (29-28 Mokhnatkina).

The Official Result

Marina Mokhnatkina def. Abigail Montes via Split Decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27)

Nikolay Aleksakhin (170.2) vs. Carlos Leal Miranda (170)

Round 1

The match was canceled after weigh-ins on Friday, when Aleksakhin withdrew for undisclosed reasons. Leal has been awarded three walkover points, ending his season at 170 pounds with six total points.

Jarrah Al-Silawi (170.4) vs. Magomed Umalatov (170.4)

Round 1

The main card of the last 2022 regular season PFL card will commence in the welterweight division. Jordan’s own Al-Silawi (18-3, 2-0 PFL) will get a chance to pad his total of three points currently, but he will have to do so against undefeated Russian finisher Umalatov (11-0, 2-0 PFL). The latter came into PFL as a “showcase” fighter in 2021, and he went the distance for the first time in his career in his last outing. Referee Jimmy Neely will watch over this 170-pound affair, and the gentlemen touch gloves before coming out fighting. Neither man lands a single strike in the first 60 seconds of the fight, and the undefeated fighter suddenly ends the lull in the action to blitz forward and push Al-Silawi into the wall. Al-Silawi breaks the grip and circles away, and he scores a low kick. Umalatov replies in kind. Another lengthy period of inactivity resumes for the welterweights, and Neely asks them to actually fight. The boos rain loud in the building as they stare at one another from a safe distance, and Umalatov pokes with a low kick. Al-Silawi considers clinching up to generate some offense, and Umalatov meets him with a few knees to the body before separating. Umalatov punches his way forward, and he grazes his opponent with one punch but cannot find the rest. As Al-Silawi retreats before being clinched up, Umalatov reaches out with a standing back fist that rattles Al-Silawi unexpectedly and drops him to a knee. “The Jordanian Lion” finds himself on sudden wobbly legs, and he backpedals to get his bearings. The Russian will not let him off the hook, charging forward with a left hand that glances off the chin. Umalatov avoids half-hearted punch from his opponent, and he slings a bomb of a right hand that explodes on the chin of Al-Silawi. Al-Silawi crashes to the ground, already out cold, and Umalatov shouts out in victory, knowing his work here is done. From zero to 60 the Russian went, giving him his 11th finish across 12 wins with zero defeats, and arguably none more important than this one. Umalatov is instantly on the board with six points, but a playoff spot is not necessarily guaranteed. Nevertheless, the Russian did exactly what he needed to do, making his one appearance this year count in a big way.

The Official Result

Magomed Umalatov def. Jarrah Al-Silawi R1 3:33 via KO (Punch)

Larissa Pacheco (154.6) vs. Genah Fabian (156)

Round 1

Before the big UFC 276 card on Saturday that features three City Kickboxing standouts, Fabian (5-2, 4-2 PFL) will represent the popular gym on a major stage. With negative 1 point thanks to a weight miss, she will have to finish the fight to even hope to reach the playoffs. Against her stands Pacheco (16-4, 5-2 PFL), the only woman to face Kayla Harrison twice and never get finished. The action is sure to come hard and fast between these two lightweights, and referee Blake Grice will need to be on his A game here. There is a touch of gloves, and Pacheco rushes out to punch Fabian square in the face. She does just that, and she bullies Fabian back to the wall. Fabian circles out, taking punishment, and gets cracked with a fast right hand that shakes her up badly. The Kiwi shoots for a desperation takedown, and Pacheco easily stuffs it and walks around to take her back. Fabian stands all the way up and walks to the wall, only for Pacheco to rip her legs out from behind and drop her right on her face. Pacheco lands in full mount, and she drops down a punch or two before opting to set up an arm-triangle choke. Pacheco locks down and crushes with her shoulder, and Fabian answers the telephone in defense while Pacheco remains in mount with a grueling squeeze. Pacheco resets her grip and steps to one side in hopes of securing the choke, and she opts to take a three-quarter mount to lock it in again. Fabian remains composed and tries to grit it out, so Pacheco steps back into full mount. The Brazilian releases the grip and starts slugging away, belting Fabian with a plethora of unanswered right hands. “Fabioso” turns to her side, so Pacheco blasts her with her left instead, until she presses Fabian flat on her back. Knowing the finish is around the corner and Grice is paying close attention, Pacheco batters her opponent with furious fists until Grice has to rescue her from any further damage. The 2019 runner-up easily claims the no. 1 seed in her division by destroying both of her foes in this regular season, and she is the only fighter this year so far to earn the maximum of 12 points. Kayla Harrison looks on from her dressing room with disinterest, but who knows if this version of Pacheco could give her a run for her money.

The Official Result

Larissa Pacheco def. Genah Fabian R1 2:39 via TKO (Punches)

Magomed Magomedkerimov (170.8) vs. Dilano Taylor (170.8)

Round 1

cage, and he will do so attempting to bounce back from his first defeat under the company’s banner. He takes on late replacement “The Postman” Taylor (9-1, 2-0 PFL), and he will try to deliver himself a spot in the playoffs and will likely need to stop the fight to get there. The cage commander for this welterweight matchup is referee Rob Hinds, who will stoically police the cage after the two men touch gloves. The two trade leg kicks to start things off, and Magomedkerimov goes after another as Taylor recoils his leg quickly. Magomedkerimov steps forward to fire off a big left hand, and Taylor takes it flush and does a quick count of his teeth. Magomedkerimov slaps home a kick to the body, and he is well out of the way when Taylor tries to come at him with a few punches. Magomedkerimov throws a right hand so hard, Taylor sees it coming and attempts to duck under and take him down, but he cannot land the takedown. Magomedkerimov aims his punches but cannot find his intended target, as Taylor is light on his feet and flicking out a jab or two. “The Postman” jabs the body a few times, and he leans back just as a head kick whizzes past his head. The welterweights clinch up, and Taylor scoots out of the way before Magomedkerimov can catch him with an overhand right. Magomedkerimov further swings two looping strikes, but the evasiveness for Taylor is giving the Russian fits. Magomedkerimov jumps forward with a flying knee, and the foot slams into the cup. Taylor takes a funny step as Hinds asks him if he is alright, and Taylor tells him he can continue. Magomedkerimov marches his man down, changes levels and throws Taylor down emphatically. Taylor closes his guard tightly around the waist, but as Magomedkerimov is not Anthony Pettis, the body triangle does not concern Magomedkerimov. Taylor manages to buck and kick Magomedkerimov off of him, and he snags the fence and gets drilled with a standing-to-ground punch. Taylor explodes back to his feet, and Magomedkerimov follows him and dramatically whips him back down to the mat. The round ends shortly after Taylor hits the canvas. 10-9 Magomedkerimov.

Round 2

The welterweights touch ‘em up to start off the round, and Magomedkerimov begins with a quick low kick. Taylor replies with one of his own, and he walks face-first into a jab. Magomedkerimov stomps with a kick to the knee after Taylor swipes at his body, and he uses this kick to great effect once more as Taylor comes in. Taylor releases a naked leg kick, and Magomedkerimov winds up with a booming right hand that crashes right into Taylor’s jaw. The Florida native eats it like a Cuban sandwich and continues marching forward, much to the surprise of Magomedkerimov. The Russian aims another such right hand when seeing that Taylor tosses out the same kick without any setup. This time, Taylor blocks the blow and swings a left hook that misses the mark by an inch. Taylor begins to soften up the lead leg of his opponent with strikes on the inside, and Magomedkerimov times his massive right hand to rock “The Postman.” Taylor wobbles but gets cracked once more as Magomedkerimov is swinging for the fences, and he gathers himself and circles away. Magomedkerimov goes for a spinning wheel kick, but that collides with the shoulder. Magomedkerimov clobbers Taylor with a brutal right hand, and he chains it into a flying knee that somehow reaches the chin. Knowing Taylor is in a bad way, “MMK” releases a final barrage of punches, knocking Taylor back into the fence and ricocheting off of it into more strikes. Magomedkerimov pours it on while Taylor is barely conscious and still on his feet, and Hinds steps in to award the standing knockout for the Russian. Magomedkerimov earns five points for his victory, and he puts rival Ray Cooper III in a tough spot to qualify for the playoffs – the latter will need a first-round finish in the next bout to tie Magomedkerimov with five points.

The Official Result

Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Dilano Taylor R2 3:26 via TKO (Punches)

Ray Cooper III (170.4) vs. Brett Cooper (170.4)

Round 1

Returning champ Cooper III (24-8-1, 11-3-1 PFL) – who will be henceforth listed below simply as his first name of Ray due to the shared nature of their surnames – will need to come out of the basement if he hopes to attain another $1 million check. Luckily for him, he will take on Cooper (28-16, 1-1 PFL), who is also coming off of a deflating loss. Both welterweights celebrate high finish rates, so referee Jimmy Neely may not be needed for the whole stretch of the match. Whether they do or not, it’s on without a glove touch. Ray is enraged from the recent news that he will not make the playoffs, due to rule changes and oddities from PFL. He charges out and starts blasting Cooper with ferocious punches, backing “Fudoshin” up against the wall fast. Ray rips the body and goes over the top several times, and a left hand from Ray rocks his opponent. Ray continues to beat down Cooper with punches interspersed by brutal knees, until Cooper shells up against the wall. Ray targets the liver with several vicious punches, and Cooper drops to a knee in rough shape. “Bradda Boy” unleashes everything he has in a brief onslaught of hellacious punches, and Neely dives in to save the doomed Cooper. Ray walks off, still upset about not being able to move on in the playoffs, but he could serve as an alternate if need be. Anything can happen in MMA, and it often does.

The Official Result

Ray Cooper III def. Brett Cooper R1 0:24 via TKO (Knees and Punches)

Rory MacDonald (170.8) vs. Sadibou Sy (170.2)

Round 1

The co-main event sees the final welterweight match of the season, where former Bellator champ MacDonald (23-8-1, 2-2 PFL) looks to secure another finish to take the top seed. His opponent Sy (10-6-2, 1 NC; 4-4-2, 1 NC PFL) will be attempting to lift his company record above .500 in response – the same can be said for MacDonald – with a much longer history as this is his fourth PFL tourney. The in-cage official is Blake Grice, and the gloves barely get touched before the fighters add violence to the cage. MacDonald is advancing fast, and he shoots for a single in about five seconds. The Canadian redoubles his effort to hit the takedown, changing it to a double, but Sy is able to hop around to get his balance and then put his back to the cage. Sy bounces off the wall and gets free, where he wings a high kick that surprises “Red King” and cuts his cheek open. MacDonald pushes forward for another takedown, and he changes levels quickly for a single but cannot take the Swedish fighter down. MacDonald tries with all his might to get the fight down, even pulling guard for a moment in hopes of a reversal, but Sy muscles him down. MacDonald springs back up and jams Sy into the wall, and he rips a knee up high. The knee does not reach the midsection, and instead pounds into the cup, causing Grice to pause the match and allow Sy to recover. The fight resumes after about a minute break, and Sy at range paws out a few jabs and swats away a front kick. Sy splits the guard with a left, and MacDonald attempts to pursue another takedown. When Sy stuffs him easily, he pierces the guard with several more jabs and gives MacDonald pause to come in. The Canadian wings a high kick, but it only lands beneath the armpit. MacDonald punches his way into a clinch attempt, and Sy counters him but ends up getting shoved back. Sy takes a few flush shoulder strikes, and he leans back to evade a head kick. With seconds left in the round, Sy walks away and raises his hand in the air, and MacDonald is confused until the bell actually sounds. 10-9 Sy.

Round 2

MacDonald starts the round off not with a takedown try but a front kick, and Sy replies in kind. Sy looks to get his jab off, and he reaches out with a kick, only for MacDonald to crash forward to take him down. Grice pauses them when they clinch to tell them something, possibly to watch out for clashing heads, and he resumes them in that position. MacDonald goes after a Thai clinch and tries to spam knees, but Sy absorbs just one before turning MacDonald back to the wall. They jockey for position, spinning the other around in a big of a dance together. MacDonald mashes Sy into the wall while doing little else in the way of offense, holding him against the wire and putting his weight on his foe. This grueling position continues as fans begin to rain down boos and Grice asks them to work, leading Sy to try to explode his way out and throw a knee up the middle. MacDonald will not let him go, but Sy wriggles and slithers his arms free eventually so that he can fire off a high kick. Sy keeps a wide berth and he jabs out, potshotting MacDonald with single strikes while MacDonald walks him down. MacDonald connects with a single right hand, and Sy ducks out of the way when MacDonald comes at him with another. As he does, MacDonald dives after him to snatch up his leg and go after a single, but that too fails, so MacDonald gloms on to Sy on the fence once more. MacDonald clings to Sy like Saran wrap until the horn blares to end this tiring round. 10-9 Sy.

Round 3

MacDonald rushes out of his corner to start off the last round, and he plants the ball of his foot on Sy’s cheek to start things. MacDonald gives chase, sniping Sy with a left hook and dropping down for a single. He cannot land the takedown he so desperately seeks, even when he acquires double underhooks, and he proceeds to squeeze Sy against the wall. Sy powers out of the stalling position and he releases a high kick, prompting MacDonald to come back to initiate another clinch. This time, Sy is the one to push MacDonald into the wall, but only for a moment, and they spin around together. MacDonald clasps his hands around the waist and uses his full body weight to try to drag Sy down, but the Swede stays impressively balanced and remains upright. Sy leans over, and MacDonald blasts his ribcage with a pair of powerful knees. Sy then stands back up, not wanting to absorb any more of those resounding blows, and he pushes MacDonald back to the middle of the cage. MacDonald hangs on tight, and Sy uses his foe’s takedown desperation against him to trip “The Red King” out and plant him on his back on the floor. MacDonald escapes, and he gets back to the clinch with his foe. MacDonald rings off another knee to the cup, and Sy collapses to the ground in pain. Grice warns the Canadian very sternly but does not consider deducting a point, and Sy protests that Grice is not taking any further action. Sy recovers and drills MacDonald in the body with a heavy kick, and MacDonald tries to catch it and pursue a takedown. MacDonald cannot get it, so he presses forward to clinch up. Sy does not let this succeed, pushing away to get just enough space to boot MacDonald upside the head. MacDonald shakes it off and presses back to the tie-up, but Sy scoots away when MacDonald tries to keep him trapped. Sy releases another high kick that gets blocked, and he backs off as MacDonald is marching him down. MacDonald jumps with a front kick, and Sy replies with three body kicks. Sy ducks a looping punch, and this miserable welterweight clash comes to a close. The judges could be all over the map for this one, and the winner will reach or cement their place in the playoffs. 10-9 Sy (30-27 Sy).

The Official Result

Sadibou Sy def. Rory MacDonald via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Kayla Harrison (155.6) vs. Kaitlin Young (155)

Round 1

There remains a smidge of drama in the women’s lightweight bracket: can Harrison (13-0, 12-0 PFL) make the playoffs? All she has to do is defeat gargantuan +1750 underdog Young (12-12-1, 1-2 PFL), who has lost as many fights as she has won. Young steps in on short notice to replace Julia Budd, in her first appearance this year. Referee Rob Hinds clocks them in as they touch gloves, with Harrison showing plenty of respect for the WMMA pioneer. Harrison bobs and ducks to throw Young off, but Young is wise to the movement and does not bite on a feint or fake. Harrison scores a kick to the body, and she comes up short with a winging left hand. Another blow misses the mark from the multi-time champ, but she does connect with a left on the way forward. Harrison positively explodes forward in pursuit of a takedown, and she lifts Young straight off the ground and slams her on her back. Harrison lands in side control, where she grinds her elbow – but does not throw it – on Young’s face to frustrate her. Harrison considers setup a crucifix, and Young walks off the fencing to recover her position. Young gets to her knees, and Harrison allows this so that she can take her back. Young turns to her back, where Harrison climbs into half guard. Young turns, and Harrison starts hammering her foe with right hands. Young twists and bucks, but Harrison is still on her with unrelenting punches. Young keeps moving, and as she does, Hinds steps in to stop the fight in what most would consider extremely early. Young immediately protests, having taken little-to-no damage from the blows, claiming that she was still moving and looking to improve her position and get out of the bad spot. The cries call on deaf ears, because the fight is over for her and there is no recourse to change that. Harrison celebrates her first-round finish with her team, one that earns her six points to put her final total at nine this year. This qualifies her with nine points and gives her a date with Martina Jindrova in August. When the playoffs begin next month, starting with an event that features lightweight and light heavyweights, we will be here for them. We hope you are too.

The Official Result

Kayla Harrison def. Kaitlin Young R1 2:35 via TKO (Punches)
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