PFL Ends The Year With An Amazing Event! And New Champions!
PFL End of the Season Event: New Champions Crowned
The Professional Fight League (PFL), formerly the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) held their season ending event on December 31,2018 in Madison Square Garden in New York City. At this event, the PFL crowned their inaugural champions in each of their weight divisions: Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, Light Heavyweight, and Heavyweight. Each of the champions, not only received the title belt, but were awarded a whopping $1,000,000 prize as well!
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Ray Sefo, PFL President of Fighting Operations stated, “This was a great night for the PFL and the sport of MMA…our six champions earned everything they got tonight. They worked hard all year long and I am happy for them and even more excited to get started on the 2019 season.” League President, Carlos Silva, added, “We are thrilled to have six deserving champions earn their titles and unprecedented $1M in front of a great New York crowd on New Years’ Eve. Each of them fought their way through the grueling playoff system to come out as champions in their respective brackets. We’re looking forward to what 2019 holds as our inaugural season proved that the PFL’s unique format works and promotes enticing matchups culminating in one champion.”
Featherweight Fight: Lance Palmer defeats Steven Siler
Four Time NCAA All American Lance Palmer was able to defeat Factory X fighter Steven Siler in the five round featherweight final by unanimous decision: 50-43, 50-45, and 49-46. Palmer used repeated takedowns, great top control, and punishing ground and pound to win his 6th fight in a row.
Lightweight Final: Nathan Schulte defeats Rashid Magomedov
American Top Team’s Nathan Schulte won a unanimous decision over former M-1 Global’s champion Rashid Magomedov in the five round lightweight final, with scored of 49-46 from all three judges. Schulte worked the clinch and used trips and foot sweeps to takedown Magomedov and deliver him his first loss since November 2016.
Welterweight Final: Magomed Magomedkerimov defeats Ray Cooper III
Ray Cooper III (son of veteran MMA Star Ray Cooper), was expected to win the Welterweight Finals, after impressively knocking out (TKO) his last four opponents, including former World Champion (Rumble on the Rock, Elite XC, Shooto, and Strikeforce) Jake Shields- twice. However, American Top Team fighter, Magomed Magomedkerimov had different plans as he submitted Cooper with a second round guillotine choke. Magomed executed a single leg takedown and nearly finished the fight in the first round with a rear naked choke, but was able to latch onto the guillotine choke during a scramble at 2:18 of the second round.
Middleweight Final: Louis Taylor defeats Abusupiyan Magomedov
Chicago Fight Team Louis Taylor scored an awesome one punch knockout of favored Abusupiyan Magomedov in 33 seconds of the first round. A four to one favorite, Magomedov (22-4-1) was floored when Taylor hit him with a lunging left hook to the temple.
Light Heavyweight Final: Sean O’Connell defeats Vinny Magalhaes
Longtime student of UFC and MMA legend Jeremy Horn, Sean O’Connell defeated favored fighter Vinny Magalhaes, a 2011 Abu Dhabi Gold Medalist, when Vinny could not answer the bell for the fourth round. Up until the finals, Vinny had won his last four fights in the PFL in impressive fashion (Rear Naked Choke, TKO Head Kick, and two Kimura Submissions). However, in the Light Heavyweight finals, O’Connell was able to hit Vinny with repeated left hooks and stop his takedowns, after he survived the first round, where Vinny was able to secure a takedown, transition to the back, and look for a Rear Naked Choke.
Heavyweight Final: Philipe Lins defeated Josh Copeland
Bellator MMA veteran Philipe Lins defeated Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Josh Copeland with punches and knees in the fourth round of their PFL heavyweight final. The American Top Team fight, Lins was able to extend his winning streak to four fights, after Josh was unable to defend against his strikes and referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight at :30 seconds of the fourth round.
Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison Wins Again
Two Time Olympic (Judo) gold medalist Kayla Harrison was able to defeat King of the Cage veteran Moriel Charneski with punches at 3:39 of the first round. Harrison was able to secure a head and arm throw in the first few seconds of the fight. After Charneski escaped the her feet, Kayla hit a hip toss where she was able to then flatten out her opponent and throw punches until referee Kevin Macdonald stopped the fight. Kayla, is now 3-0, with all three wins in the PFL- and has finished all three of her opponents, with two of them in the first round.