WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Professional Fighters League (PFL) finished their third of three playoff events leading up to the 2018 Championship with a 12-bout card at Washington, D.C.’s brand new Entertainment and Sports Arena. Two fighters from each the welterweight and middleweight divisions secured their spots in the upcoming 2018 Championship at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve for a chance to win their share of $10M.
“After two fantastic playoff events in New Orleans and Long Beach, we were happy to put on another great show for our fans here in our home town of Washington, D.C.,” said PFL President Carlos Silva. “Every division is now finalized, and we could not be more excited for the 2018 Championship in New York City.”
Russian Magomed Magomedkerimov earned his 2018 Championship birth first after beginning his night with a unanimous decision win over Ukrainian Pavlo Kusch in his quarterfinal match. Magomedkerimov then kicked off the semis with a bang, finishing Serbian Bojan Velickovic with a second-round TKO.
American Louis Taylor then secured his spot in the 2018 Championship after a night that included a unanimous decision victory over fellow countryman Rex Harris in the quarterfinals, followed by a technical draw with Boston native John Howard in the semis that saw him advance by tiebreaker.
Top-seed Ray Cooper III continued his streak of dominance, first stopping Jake Shields for the second time this year, this time in the quarterfinals, via TKO in the first round. Cooper’s heavy hands remained on display in the semifinals, as he emerged victorious via another first-round TKO over Brazilian Handesson Ferreira.
To culminate the night, German Abus Magomedov defeated Swedish kickboxer Sadibou Sy by unanimous decision to earn his 2018 Championship birth after getting by Russian Gasan Umalatov by tie-breaker after a majority in the quarterfinals.
“It is an amazing feeling to have finally gotten down to the final 12 fighters,” said PFL President of Fighting Operations Ray Sefo. “I am beyond thrilled to watch all the finalists compete at the 2018 Championship for $1 million and the PFL belt.”
Abus Magomedov defeated Sadibou Sy by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 and 29-28) in their middleweight semifinal bout. Magomedov will move on to the 2018 PFL Championship on New Year’s Eve.
“I am extremely glad I won this fight. I mobilized my will in order to do it. I almost got removed from this tournament because of injuries, but luckily I was able to compete and win.”
Louis Taylor and John Howard fought to a technical draw after Howard was unable to continue after an accidental illegal blow at 4:58 of the second round. Taylor will move on to the 2018 PFL Championship on New Year’s Eve.
“Im a huge fan of John Howard and I’m very glad I got to share the cage with him. Phew! Now I get to pay for my house!”
Ray Cooper III defeated Handesson Ferreira by TKO (strikes) at 2:28 of the first round in their welterweight semifinal bout. Cooper will move on to the 2018 PFL Championship on New Year’s Eve.
“Just another round. I’m just happy I got to rewrite that wrong (his previous loss to Ferreira) and make my way to the final fight too.”
Magomed Magomedkerimov defeated Bojan Velickovic by TKO (strikes) at 3:13 of the second round to advance to the 2018 Championship on New Year’s Eve.
“I am extremely happy about these two wins. In the beginning, I was doubted but after these four wins I have proven I deserve to be here.”
Abus Magomedov advanced over Gasan Umalatov after a majority draw (20-18, 19-19 and 19-19) in their middleweight quarterfinal bout. Magomedov will move on to the semifinals later tonight.
Ray Cooper III defeated Jake Shields by TKO (strikes) at 3:10 of the first round of their welterweight quarterfinal bout. Cooper will move on to the semifinals later tonight.
Sadibou Sy advanced to the middleweight quarterfinals after a majority draw (20-18, 19-19 and 19-19) with Bruno Santos. Sy will move on to the semifinals later tonight.
Handesson Ferreira defeated Rick Story by TKO (arm injury-verbal tap) at 1:15 of the second round of their welterweight quarterfinal bout. Ferreira will move on to the semifinals later tonight.
John Howard defeated Eddie Gordon by unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18 and 20-18) in their middleweight semifinal bout. Howard will move on to the middleweight semifinal later tonight.
Magomed Magomedkerimov defeated Pavlo Kusch by unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18 and 20-18) in their welterweight quarterfinal bout. Magomedkerimov will move on to the semifinals later tonight.
Louis Taylor defeated Rex Harris by unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18 and 20-18) in their middleweight quarterfinal bout. With the win, Taylor will move on to the semifinals later tonight.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov fought to a draw (19-19, 19-19 and 19-19) against Bojan Velickovic in their welterweight quarterfinal bout. Nurmagomedov advances to the semifinals later tonight after winning the first round tiebreaker.