PFL 8 2021 Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring
- Women’s Lightweight Semifinal Bout: Kayla Harrison (155.6) vs. Genah Fabian (156)
- Heavyweight Semifinal Bout: Bruno Henrique Cappelozza (235.6) vs. Jamelle Jones (250.8)
- Women’s Lightweight Semifinal Bout: Mariana Morais (153.6) vs. Taylor Guardado (155.6)
- Heavyweight Semifinal Bout: Denis Goltsov (250) vs. Ante Delija (244.4)
- Renan Ferreira (252.8) vs. Stuart Austin (246.6)
- Carl Seumanutafa (260.4) vs. Muhammed DeReese (252)
- Claudia Zamora (148.8) vs. Marina Mokhnatkina (156)
- Miranda Barber (155.2) vs. Amanda Leve (153.6)
- Christian Lohsen (156) vs. Jonas Flok (155.6)
Sherdog's live PFL 2021 8 coverage will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET.
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Christian Lohsen (156) vs. Jonas Flok (155.6)
Round 1Beginning the night's fights, Christian "Hollywood" Lohsen (8-2) takes on Jonas "Joe Nasty" Flok (14-5). Both are newcomers to the PFL and the oddsmakers have this as a pure pick'em. Referee Gary Copeland gets the card's first assignment. Lohsen begins with a side kick, but Flok blocks in time. Lohsen goes for another one, and it lands solidly to the body this time. Flok comes forward with hooks, and Lohsen barely ducks in time. Lohsen throws a right jab, but Flok blocks. They go in for a grappling exchange, with Flok looking for a hip throw, but Lohsen shows nice balance to stay upright. Lohsen is being a little loose with his defense, and he wades forward, only to get hit with a right hand by Flok. Lohsen does partially get a left cross through, and soon after, a leg kick. Flok lands a jab when Lohsen gets loose again, and follow-up shots by both men miss. Flok lands a leg kick of his own, and is starting to find his range, firing a 1-2 that touches Lohsen. Lohsen throws a right jab that gets blocked, but lands a neat body kick. They get involved in a crazy grappling exchange, where Lohsen almost looks to have an abdominal stretch. He shows good agility here, transitioning to taking Flok's back with both hooks in. They are on their back though, and Flok has a good chance of turning into him. Lohsen peppers away with short punches, but is unable to land anything hard. Flok eventually gets to a seated position and does in fact turn into Lohsen, but Lohsen spins with it beautifully, staying in top position and having Flok flattened out. He lands a few hard punches, but Flok manages to scramble again. Lohsen briefly looks for an armbar, but settles for ending the round taking Flok's back. 10-9 Lohsen.
Round 2Both men begin the round cautiously, with Flok landing a few light leg kicks, and then getting a head kick blocked. He fires a right cross, but Lohsen dodges in time. Flok throws a wild lead left hook to clinch, and the two men jockey for position against the cage. Lohsen disengages with a hip-throw and then lands a knee to the body for good measure. Lohsen adds a leg kick to his work for the round, too. He is calm, and pops Flok with a jab as he gets into range. Flok seems a little flustered, unclear of what to do next. In the meanwhile, Lohsen digs a decent right hook to the body. Soon after, he goes back to a nice side-kick that lands, too. Flok tries a head kick, but it is again unsuccessful. Halfway through the round, Flok lands a leg kick, before Lohsen retaliates with one of his own. Lohsen peppers him with another jab, and as Flok comes forward, Lohsen takes him down with a double-leg. Flok tries to scramble out, but to no avail, as Lohsen is in side control soon after. Flok, however, rolls Lohsen over when he gets too high. Lohsen keeps grappling though, and they are in a neutral position with a minute left. Flok works a guillotine, but Lohsen moves with it well, with the choke never getting close. Flok keeps flopping to his back, but it's unsuccessful again and again. Lohsen briefly takes the back, but Flok reverses and lands a few punches. They scramble to end the stanza. 10-9 Lohsen.
Round 3Lohsen starts the round bouncing, and Flok lands a light leg kick. A second one, however, is checked. Lohsen lands a leg kick of his own, but it's much harder. A few follow-up punches by him are blocked or dodged. A head kick by Lohsen does touch Flok, though. They trade left hands, and Flok gets the better of it. Flok reaches for a left jab to the body which touches Lohsen. Lohsen responds with another hard leg kick. Flok partially catches Lohsen with a head kick coming forward, but Lohsen gets yet another takedown in the process. Lohsen is working in half-guard now, but yet again, is throwing few, if any strikes, prioritizing a BJJ mindset. Flok tries to hip-escape, but Lohsen neatly pushes his back back down onto the canvas. Lohsen steps over to mount beautifully. Flok gives up his back, and as in Round 1, Lohsen has his back with both hooks in. Flok turns back around and Lohsen goes back to mount, now hammering Flok with a series of punches. None are hard, as they're not thrown with his body, but they're not being defended. Suddenly, due to his depth, Lohsen switches to a triangle attempt from mount. He then transitions to an armbar that looks very tight. Flok is very tough though, and follows it. After a second armbar attempt, Flok defends again, and now finds himself on top. He is in half-guard, but is doing little. Finally, with a little over a minute left, realizing he needs a finish, Flok goes for a heel hook attempt. Lohsen knows how to defend, though, sitting up and eventually getting into top position. With 30 seconds left, Flok, desperate to get up, gives up his back again. Both men throw short punches, more annoying than anything, as the fight ends. A fun grappling battle, and good win for Lohsen, who is a prospect worth keeping an eye on. 10-9 Lohsen (30-27 Lohsen)
The Official ResultChristian Lohsen def. Jonas Flok via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Miranda Barber (155.2) vs. Amanda Leve (153.6)
Round 1Next up we have Miranda Barber (1-1) against Amanda Leve (0-0). Despite Leve making her pro debut, she is a massive favorite, likely a combination of a solid amateur record, being a three-time BJJ world champion, and Barber's first round knockout loss to fellow PFL women's lightweight Laura Sanchez. Keeping a close eye on the action will be referee Keith Peterson. Barber begins with a leg kick, but a second one is partially countered by a straight left from Leve. Leve looks very raw with her striking though, throwing uncertain blows with her chin straight up. A flurry by her causes Barber to retreat, however. Leve lands a leg kick of her own. Leve partially lands a left cross, as Barber is very passive, perhaps fearing a takedown. Leve lands a body kick. A spinning back kick by Barber misses. A head kick by Barber misses. Leve rushes in with punches, but they all miss. Oddly, she doesn't take the opportunity to clinch with Barber. Barber misses a front-kick. However, as Leve charges forward with her chin high, Barber hits her with a right hook, although it's not very hard. However, after Leve circles around, again with her chin up, Barber catches her with an overhand right, and this one floors and hurts Leve. She gets up, but Barber floors her with another overhand right. Leve desperately clinches, but in the process, takes Barber down. Leve easily slices through her guard and takes her back. Leve gets both hooks in, switches to a body triangle, and instantly locks in the rear-naked choke, as Barber does a poor job of fighting the hands. Barber tries to gut it out, but she isn't even trying to turn her head away from the crook of the elbow. She has no choice but to tap. What a huge and sudden turnaround! Leve has very effective grappling, but her striking clearly needs work.
The Official ResultAmanda Leve def. Miranda Barber via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 4:18 of Round 1
Claudia Zamora (148.8) vs. Marina Mokhnatkina (156)
Round 1Coming up next, Claudia Zamora (3-1), who weighed in at just 148.8 pounds for a lightweight contest, and has fought at bantamweight earlier this year. Her opponent Marina Mokhnatkina (5-2) went 1-1 in Bellator's featherweight division, is married to fellow PFL veteran Mikhail Mokhnatkin, and is a 6-time sambo world champion. They will be fighting under the watchful eye of referee Andrew Glenn. They trade leg kicks to begin the fight. Mokhnatkina's are more powerful, though. Mokhnatkina throws a 1-2, but it's slow and Zamora easily evades. Zamora lands a leg kick of her own. As Zamora misses a body kick, Mokhnatkina slowly wades forward to clinch. However, Zamora pushes off and manages to get away, staying at range. Mokhnatkina goes back to the leg kick, and it bothers Zamora. Mokhnatkina throws a lazy overhand right, it misses, and Zamora counters him, though it's not very hard. Again Mokhnatkina tries to clinch, with a lumbering approach, but Zamora frames away easily enough and again thwarts an attempt to get to the ground. They throw kicks at the same time, and Mokhnatkina slips. She uses the opportunity to for a takedown, and on her third attempt, is successful. Mokhnatkina immediately goes for a heel-hook. Zamora rolls with her and lands punches, but Mokhnatkina turns her face away. However, Zamora is able to get out. Mokhnatkina follows and takes her back to the ground. The action slows, as she lands a few weak arm punches. Zamora works to the cage and then wall-walks back up, and then breaks off again. With 2 minutes left, we are back to striking. The action slows considerably, as both are tired. Mokhnatkina lands a few awkward overhand rights, none of them doing much damage, but scoring points for the judges. Mokhnatkina is looking for the counter every time Zamora throws a kick, but she is often too slow to land. They throw kicks at the same time, but this time, Zamora falls down. Mokhnatkina tries to get on top, but Zamora kicks her off. Zamora gets up and Mokhnatkina presses her to the cage as the round ends. 10-9 Mokhnatkina.
Round 2Mokhnatkina throws a tentative jab to begin the round, but Zamora avoids it. The commentators mention both women were tired on their stools at the end of Round 1. Mokhnatkina lands a solid leg kick that again bothers Zamora. A wild left hook and follow-up right cross by Mokhnatkina misses. A couple of leg kicks work, but they're not very powerful. Zamora is being very passive, however. A clumsy front kick by her misses and she almost falls over. Mokhnatkina lands a calf kick and Zamora looks hurt. Another wild overhand right by Mokhnatkina gets blocked. They come forward and engage in a boxing exchange where Mokhnatkina gets slightly the better of it, although most of them miss. Mokhnatkina counters a Zamora leg kick with a right cross, and while it doesn't do much damage, it forces her on her back to the canvas. However, yet again, Mokhnatkina is unable to secure a takedown, as Zamora kicks up, and soon scrambles back up. On the feet, Mokhnatkina throws a 1-2 that misses but lands a follow-up leg kick. Zamora is purely circling in retreat, very rarely throwing strikes of any kind. Mokhnatkina lands a body kick that partly gets through. Zamora is simply refusing to let either her hands or feet go, having gone almost 2 minutes with almost no offense. Mokhnatkina lands another leg kick and touches Zamora with a right cross. Zamora tries to wrestle, but is easily thwarted. Mokhnatkina scores with a solid jab. Mokhnatkina catches Zamora with an overhand right coming forward, but it's fairly weak. They exchange punches, and Mokhnatkina is the only one who lands. Mokhnatkina misses a wild overhand right to end the round. 10-9 Mokhnatkina.
Round 3Mokhnatkina throws a body kick, but Zamora blocks. Zamora continues circling away on the outside, and Mokhnatkina scores with a leg kick. They trade jabs, and Mokhnatkina gets slightly the better of it, as her's is slightly more stiff. Zamora goes for a kick and slips, but recovers before Mokhnatkina gets to her. Mokhnatkina throws a few hooks, but they all miss as Zamora retreats. They flurry in the pocket, but all the strikes miss. Mokhnatkina misses a leg kick, but there are no receipts from Zamora, who continues to throw very little. Mokhnatkina lands a leg kick that almost lands Zamora off her feet, although it doesn't appear very hard. A second leg kick hurts and Zamora clinches, although Mokhnatkina easily gets her off. Oddly, Mokhnatkina is not throwing many leg kicks, although Zamora is visibly hobbling on her left leg now. Finally, she throws one and it lands, badly bothering Zamora. Zamora is slowly circling away on her hurt left leg. Mokhnatkina lands a leg kick to Zamora's right leg now. A jab by Mokhnatkina misses. A follow-up flurry by her partially lands, as Zamora is extra slow on one good leg. The pace slows again, as Mokhnatkina looks a little slow. Mokhnatkina lands another leg kick, and a counter hook by Zamora misses. A leg kick by Mokhnatkina misses. Zamora tries to grapple and briefly takes Mokhnatkina's back, before Mokhnatkina scrambles back up. Mokhnatkina throws a body kick that is blocked and then misses an overhand right. It's a clear win for the Russian fighter, but hardly an impressive one. 10-9 Mokhnatkina (30-27 Mokhnatkina).
The Official ResultMarina Mokhnatkina def. Claudia Zamora via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Carl Seumanutafa (260.4) vs. Muhammed DeReese (252)
Round 1It's now time for the first heavyweight match-up of the night, as Muhammed DeReese (8-4) looks to snap a 3-fight skid, all defeats by first-round knockout, against well-traveled veteran Carl Seumanutafa (12-13). DeReese will be looking to grapple and Seumanutafa will want to strike. The oddsmakers have this as a near pick'em. Referee Gary Copeland will seek to establish order among the big men, each one twice his size. Seumanutafa leaps forward with a front kick and a punch that misses, but DeReese uses the opportunity to clinch. He briefly gets Seumanutafa down, but Seumanutafa gets up to the cage, as he locks on a kimura grip and DeReese continues grinding for the takedown. No feeling out here! DeReese lands a few knees to the thighs of his opponent. Seumanutafa is holding on to the kimura grip for dear life while occasionally lifting his left leg. Seumanutafa moves over and DeReese takes his side. They seem to be in a stalemate of sorts, with little progress being made. DeReese is reduced to throwing hammerfists at Seumanutafa's left thigh. DeReese then goes back to a few knees to that same thigh, while Seumanutafa just stays there, holding on to the kimura grip. DeReese occasionally throws light arm punches to Seumanutafa's body. Halfway through the round, and Gary Copeland is allowing them to continue working, although it's at a very slow pace. As Seumanutafa is turning more of his back to DeReese, DeReese lands a few punches to the head, but they're not very hard. DeReese continues lightly pepering his opponent with punches, but nothing significant. Eventually, he gets a single-leg takedown. Seumanutafa instantly stands back up, though. Finally, Seumanutafa turns around with the kimura grip, with his side solidly against the cage. DeReese locks on to a single-leg, as even the commentators mention it's a stalemate. They briefly roll on the ground, seemingly showing progress, but then both men instantly get back up, clinching against the fence, with Seumanutafa now pushing DeReese against the cage. The round ends. Very uneventful, but I guess if I had to choose, it was won by DeReese. 10-9 DeReese.
Round 2They start more cautiously to begin the stanza. DeReese misses a jab, and Seumanutafa lands a leg kick. A second leg kick by Seumanutafa catches DeReese off-balance and partially knocks him off his feet. A third leg kick lands solidly and DeReese looks to be in pain. They start talking to one another, which seems like a waste of an opportunity for Seumanutafa. An inside leg kick by Seumanutafa finds the mark again, but the wrong one, scoring a low blow. DeReese winces in pain and gets some time to recover. After they reconvene, both men paw jabs, but none of them land. A head kick by Seumanutafa is blocked and DeReese tries one of his own, also blocked. DeReese lands a leg kick. And after Seumanutafa's leg kick misses, DeReese scores another leg kick. DeRese comes forward and catches Seumanutafa with a hard short uppercut. Seumanutafa's chin holds up, but it's the hardest landed strike of the fight. They clinch against the cage, and DeReese lands more knees to the legs. He gets a little more separation after failing on a single-leg, and this time, lands a more significant knee to the body. They clinch against the cage, and Seumanutafa again goes for the kimura lock. This time, though, he cranks it very hard, and it's bothering DeReese, whose faces displays significant pain. DeReese is now in a defensive mode in the grappling. Seumanutafa uses the kimura grip to throw DeReese to the canvas. DeReese gets back up but Seumanutafa has his back now, throwing his onw knees to the thighs and adding some old-school foot stomps for good measure. Seumanutafa throws a knee to the body that partially gets through. With 30 seconds left, however, Seumanutafa is largely just holding on. As the round ends, Seumanutafa tries to elevate DeReese for a slam, but is unsuccessful. A tough round to score, as DeReese had the best strike of the round, but Seumanutafa did slightly more damage overall. 10-9 Seumanutafa.
Round 3DeReese begins the round with a leg kick that lands. An attempt to come forward with punches just barely misses. Seumanutafa reaches with a leg hook that touches DeReese. Seumanutafa finally lands a hard leg kick of his own and it causes DeReese to fall onto the canvas. He gets up, but Seumanutafa sneaks in a nice right uppercut that bothers him. DeReese comes back with a left hook and knee to the head of his own, a nice sequence. The action is picking up. DeReese scores on another leg kick. Seumanutafa reaches with a lazy jab, but follows it up with another painful leg kick that scores. DeReese's straight punches are a little lazy, though, and they all miss. An attempt to score with a knee to the head misses. Seumanutafa lumbers forward and seemingly falls for no apparent reason. DeReese takes the opportunity to dive on him and pound him with hammerfists. Seumanutafa eventually covers up and gets to the fence, slowly rising as DeReese scores with knees to the thighs and occasionally, the body. Eventually, Seumanutafa gets back up, but there are only 2 minutes remaining, and DeReese is draped all over him. Seumanutafa manages to turn into him, as DeReese continues working with short knees. With 75 seconds left, DeReese drops levels, looking for a double-leg lift, but is unable to lift Seumanutafa. Seumanutafa throws a few solid punches to the body. Gary Copeland finally separates them with a minute left. DeReese comes forward, but barely blockes the counters by Seumanutafa. They throw wild haymakers, very few of them missing. Seumanutafa goes for a crazy flying knee, but in the process, DeReese takes him down. DeReese is in half-guard and works for an arm-traingle. It looks deep, but DeReese lacks the energy to finish it as the fight ends. 10-9 DeReese (29-28 DeReese).
The Official ResultMuhammed DeReese def. Carl Seumanutafa via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Renan Ferreira (252.8) vs. Stuart Austin (246.6)
Round 1In the final fight with no stakes attached, Renan Ferreira (7-2), whose first-round knockout triumph over Fabricio Werdum was overturned to a no contest, robbing him of a spot in the heavyweight tournament as well as a signature victory, battles tough veteran Stuart Austin (15-6). Keeping them honest will be referee Keith Peterson. Ferreira lands a hard leg kick against Austin to start the bout. He follows it up with another hard, fast one. However, that is just an appetizer, as Ferreira throws a fast, vicious, and pinpoint accurate 1-2, catching Austin right on the button and putting his lights out. Wow! Renan Ferreira is a serious and dangerous heavyweight striker, and it's even more of a shame that he isn't in the PFL playoffs.
The Official ResultRenan Ferreira def. Stuart Austin via KO (Punch) at 0:31 of Round 1
Heavyweight Semifinal Bout:
Goltsov (250) vs. Ante Delija
Round 1Kicking off the semifinal tournament fights, Denis "The Russian Bogatyr" Goltsov (27-6), who has one of my favorite nicknames in the sport, takes on vicious striker and Crocop protege Ante Delija (18-4). Delija made the semifinals despite losing via knockout in 46 seconds in his first PFL regular season bout. Andrew Glenn will officiate this potentially explosive affair. They start out both throwing jabs, but it's Goltsov's that reaches the mark. Not long after, Delija shoots, Goltsov defends, and they end up in a clinch against the cage. Goltsov manages to score with a couple of solid knees to the body. Delija is grinding, but getting very little, as it's a 50/50 position, with both men having an underhook apiece. Goltsov continues firing short knees to the body, and eventually, he turns Delija around, now pushing him into the cage. He partly scores on a knee to the head. An attempt to get Delija off results in them separating. Goltsov scores with a jab. However, Goltsov gets a little complacent, and Delija lands a hard left hand that hurt the Russian. They then go back to the clinch, with Goltsov now being the one who initiates it. Goltsov eventually gets a reap of the leg and gets the takedown, landing in half-guard against the cage. Goltsov has little trouble stepping over to mount, as Delija is covering up now. Goltsov is patient, taking his time with punches from the mount. However, he overextends, and Delija sweeps, ending up on top! Delija is now in Goltsov's guard, working away with punches and occasionally posturing up. He ends the round going body to head with punches. A wild, back-and-forth round. 10-9 Delija.
Round 2Goltsov begins the round with a few jabs, but Delija blocks them. Delija throws a right cross, but Goltsov evades. Goltsov continues to test with the jab, but it doesn't land. He throws a head kick that partially gets through, despite Delija blocking it. Goltsov fires another jab, and this one touches Delija. Delija throws a left hook that misses, but the follow-up right cross hits the target, as his double-leg shot is stuffed. Both men end up in a clinch against the cage, as Goltsov has the better position. He eventually gets Delija down on another reap of the legs and ends up in a wrestling ride, landing short punches. Delija covers up, and Goltsov is just firing away with short punches, keeping Delija trapped against the cage. Goltsov has nice outside writst control, and just continues abusing Delija. Delija eventually tries to scramble up, but Goltsov retains good position, landing a gut-busting knee in the process. Delija does, however, manage to retain the clinch position, looking very beaten up. Goltsov throws and lands another huge knee. Goltsov gets a little overconfident though, with another attempted otside trip being blocked and ending up on his own back. Delija is exhausted, only able to offer the occasional, half-hearted punch from the top. Goltsov tries to hip-escape, but doesn't quite have enough energy to manage it. He keeps Delija in his closed full guard. Finally Delija breaks free a little and partially lands an elbow. With 15 seconds left, Delija opens up a little and lands several meaningful punches from the top. The end of that round saved Delija from a 10-8 round against him. 10-9 Goltsov.
Round 3Goltsov, after some feeling-out, pops Delija with a jab. Delija shoots a double-leg takedown soon after, and for the first time all fight, it succeeds, ending up in Goltsov's guard. Goltsov opens up his guard now, but is content to stay on his back for now. He closes it as Delija lands a short punch. Delija then lands several hard punches to the body, which Golstov doesn't like, trying to shrimp to the cage. Delija continues working with body punches, though, finding a rythmic pace that isn't too taxing. Delija is content to remain in guard, landing the occasional punch. Goltsov has his mouth open, possibly too tired to get back up. Goltsov does eventually get close to the cage, but an attempt to sit up leads to Delija pushing him back down. With half a round remaining, Goltsov looks to be behind the eight ball. An attempt for a kimura lock fails, but Goltsov finally manages to scramble to his feet against the cage. The pace slows, as both men clinch against the cage, throwing the occasional knee. They finally break, and Goltsov lands a jab, and then a knee to the body. However, they clinch again. Finally, as the round comes to an end, they separate, and Delija dances away, having seemingly won a major upset. The legendary Mirko Crocop Filipovic, working his corner, comes out to congratulate him, as Delija starts crying and falls to his knees. A very gutsy, if not always rousing performance. 10-9 Delija (29-28 Delija)
The Official ResultAnte Delija def. Denis Goltsov via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Women’s Lightweight Semifinal Bout:
Morais (153.6) vs. Taylor
Round 1In the semifinals of the women's lightweight tournament, Mariana Morais (17-11), who initially failed to qualify for the PFL postseason, is a late replacement for Larissa Pacheco, and is only a small underdog against Taylor Guardado (2-1), both of whose professional victories have occurred in the PFL, and who is only one win away from fighting for $1 million. Referee Gary Copeland will preside over this one. Guardado begins the fight landing several leg kicks. Morais seeks to counter, but isn't quite finding the mark. A leg kick by Guardado is met with several lunging hooks by Morais, but in the process, she gets into the clinch. Guardado gets her down, but Morais scrambles back up to her feet. They clinch against the cage, and it's now Morais with a nice hip-toss, getting Guardado down and landing in side-control. Guardado gets back to half-guard. Morais postures up and looks to be going for a guillotine. Guardado takes the opportunity to explode up and push her against the cage. Morais goes for another hip toss attempt, but this one is blocked. Halfway through the round, and it's a stalemate as Guardado grinds Morais against the fence. Each woman has an underhook apiece. Guardado fires a few knees to the body, but they're not very hard. Morais responds with a few of her own. Guardado manages to sneak in a knee to the head, but it just barely touches Morais, robbed of any power. Guardado is, in general, more active with knees, and she continues working with them, pushing Moras against the cage. Morais finally turns her around with less than a minute remaining. Guardado pushes her back and finally separates. Guardado lands a jab, and then Morais lands a leg kick. A reaching overhand right by Guardado misses and Morais lands a straight punch. Morais touches Guarado with a leg kick but misses the follow-up punch. Morais misses a 1-2 as Guardado pulls straight back to end the round. Very tough round to score. 10-9 Guardado.
Round 2Morais goes for a leg kick, but Guardado steps out of range. A follow-up, however, lands despite a Guardado retreat. Guardado goes for another telegraphed overhand right, but Morais avoids it. A well-timed double-leg shot, however, finds success, as Guardado is in Morais' half-guard. She lands a few punches to the body, but Morais soon gets to full guard. Guardado is relatively passive from the top now, as Morais throws a few light punches off her back. Morais makes her way close to the cage, as Guardado is largely neutralized. Morais, however, keeps herself locked on to the bottom with a closed full guard. Guardado postures up at times, but is only able to throw a few minor, piddly punches. Morais, to her credit, is doing a good job of controlling her biceps. Guardado gets one arm free and lands a few punches to the body, but nothing significant. With 2 minutes remaining, referee Gary Copepland finally stands them up, which makes sense. Morais comes forward with a right hook and straight left that partially lands. Guardado throws a 1-2, but it misses. She touches Morais with a leg kick, but it's much weaker now. She does, however, land a jab that partially snaps Morais' head back. A head kick attempt by Guardado misses. A 1-2 by Morais misses. A counter right by Guardado touches Morais, but doesn't do much damage. A Guardado jab misses. Guardado lands a leg kick, and just barely evades the straight-armed overhand right in return. A fairly uneventful round ends. It wasn't convincing, but I think Guardado won it. 10-9 Guardado.
Round 3Both fighters begin the round cautiously. A Morais head kick is partially countered by a Guardado right cross. Guardado lands a leg kick. A Morais leg kick hits nothing but air. A Guardado jab into overhand right misses, and so does a Morais counter attempt. Morais comes forward and manages to land with a 2-punch combination that bothers Guardado. Morais again comes forward, with an uppercut that misses but a straight that lands, as they clinch again, with Guardado pushing Morais into the fence. Morais manages to turn her around, though. Guardado gets space and disengages. Morais reaches forward with punches, but none land. A leg kick only touches Guardado, little more. Guardado comes forward and clinches, but again, it's Morais who gets a nice hip-toss. She ends up in Guardado's half-guard, and she has a sense of urgency, throwing punches to the body and head. None are hard, but they do score points for the judges. Morais lands a punch to the head and then a hammerfist to boot. Morais continues landing short little punches. Guardado tries to rise, but gets pushed back down, as Morais continues landing short little blows to the head and body. With 20 seconds left, she postures up, and scores some more significant punches. Guardado tries to sit up to get up, but gets pushed back down. The round ends with Morais continuing to inflict ground-and-pound. A very close fight. Guardado clearly won round 2, Morais won round 3, and round 1 is a toss-up. 10-9 Morais (29-28 Guardado)
The Official ResultTaylor Guardado def. Mariana Morais via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Heavyweight Semifinal Bout:
Henrique Cappelozza (235.6) vs.
Round 1In the co-main event of the card, dangerous Brazilian striker Bruno Henrique Cappelozza (12-5), all 12 of whose victories have come by knockout, faces Jamelle Jones (12-6), who tends to either knock out his opponent or get knocked out himself. Should be very exciting for as long as it lasts. The third man in the cage is referee Keith Peterson. Cappelozza starts out feinting, hoping to draw Jones out. Jones wants none of the striking and charges in to clinch. However, in the process, he lands a knee that is very low, causing a temporary halt. As They resume, Cappelozza lands a brutal leg kick that badly hurts Jones. He follows it up with a head kick that almost hits pay dirt. Another leg kick lands and hurts Jones again. Cappelozza is looking for a killing blow now, and lands a hard body kick. Jones is purely looking to defend now, solely reacting to what his Brazilian opponent is doing. Cappelozza lands a right cross, and after landing another body kick, Jones goes to clinch again. He lands a knee, and Cappelozza complains it's low again, although they separate. Cappelozza is patient and taking his time, stalking his prey against the cage. Jones comes forward with a hook, but he stumbles, showing the damage to his leg. Cappelozza lands another vicious leg kick, and Jones is sitting down, getting up with the greatest of pain. Cappelozza looks for punches now, but Jones manages to defend against a few hooks. A Cappelozza jab partially lands. Another Cappelozza jab misses and Jones partially lands a right cross. Jones is game, partially landing a body kick, and soon, a leg kick. Cappelozza goes for a front-kick but slips, landing on his butt. Jones is unable to capitalize, however. Jones throws a head kick, but it's solidly blocked. Cappelozza lands another hard leg kick, after a lull in his offense. Cappelozza throws a series of 1-2s that touch the chin of Jones. Jones fires with hooks, but they're blocked. As the round ends, Cappelozza lands another vicious leg kick, throws punches, and then punctuates it with yet another leg kick. Very impressive. 10-9 Cappelozza.
Round 2Both men begin the second round cautiously, with neither firing for the first 20 seconds. A testing Jones punch is easily blocked. Jones wings a wild overhand right that hits nothing but air. Cappelozza goes for a 1-2 and Jones barely dodges it. A couple of Cappelozza jabs touch Jones and Jones explodes forward for a clinch. Cappelozza gets him off, though, and Jones looks tired. Cappelozza partially lands a 1-2 and then lands another fantastic leg kick. Jones is in serious trouble, seemingly unable to move against the cage. Cappelozza hurts him with a gorgeous straight jab, and then follows it up with a brutal yet highly technical barrage of punches. As Jones ducks his head in the fetal position, the referee has no choice but to stop it. Another fantastic performance by Cappelozza, who may be one of the very best strikers in the heavyweight division in any organization. He moves on to the PFL heavyweight finals and should be a considerable favorite.
The Official ResultBruno Henrique Cappelozza def. Jamelle Jones via TKO (Punches) at 1:33 of Round 2
Women’s Lightweight Semifinal Bout:
Harrison (155.6) vs. Genah
Round 1In the main event of the night, the face of the PFL, two-time Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison (10-0) squares off against New Zealand striker Genah Fabian (4-1). Fabian has improved a lot since her first appearance in the PFL in 2019, but it's difficult to imagine her troubling Harrison much. Referee Andrew Glenn will get the final assignment of the night. Both women test the distance to begin the fight, with neither throwing a strike for the first 30 seconds. Fabian finally goes for a leg kick, but Harrison retreats out of range. Harrison comes forward and clinches 45 seconds into the round. Fabian is resisting well, managing to get an underhook of her own. Harrison lands a couple of solid knees to the body. She looks for a trip, but Fabian hangs tough for the moment. Fabian lands a knee to the body of her own. Harrison continues working against the cage, throwing the occasional knee. She gets an angle on Fabian's hips, and soons gets a nice single-leg that gets Fabian down, landing in side-control. Harrison lands some short punches, and then steps over easily into mount, with over 2 minutes remaining. Harrison gets some separation and lands some hand punches to Fabian's head. She looks for a possible armbar, but decides to land more punches instead. Fabian tries to turn her back, but Harrison continues pounding away. Eventually Fabian turns back, and Harrison continues to brutalize her with one punch after another. She throws one punch after another, with seemingly no defense from her hapless opponent. Fabian has to turn her back again, but Harrison is undeterred, continuing to land flush punch after flush punch. I'm surprised that referee Glenn isn't stepping in here, as it's so one-sided, and Fabian is offering nothing in the way of intelligent defense. Harrison continues to inflict more and more ground-and-pound like it's a simple cardio work-out. Finally, after Fabian absorbs some unnecessary punishment, the referee finally stops it. Another dominant, one-sided win for Kayla Harrison.
The Official ResultKayla Harrison def. Genah Fabian via TKO (Punches) at 4:01 of Round 1
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