LONG BEACH, CA– The Professional Fighters League (PFL) finished up their second of three playoff events after a 14-bout card from the Long Beach Arena. Two fighters from each of the lightweight and light heavyweight divisions secured their spot in the 2018 Championship at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in December for a chance to win their share of $10M.
“After an incredible first playoff fight in New Orleans, we definitely rode the wave and continued that momentum here in Long Beach,” said PFL President Carlos Silva. “We’re now looking forward to our playoff event in D.C. to lock-in every spot for the 2018 Championship.”
Russian Rashid Magomedov had an impressive showing, first defeating second-seeded Will Brooks in the quarterfinals via tiebreaker after a draw. Magomedov advanced because he had one the first round of the bout. He then kicked off the semis in style, finishing Brazilian Thiago Tavares with a TKO in the second round.
In two bouts against fellow countrymen, American Sean O’Connell secured his spot in the 2018 Championship. He defeated Dan Spohn with a majority decision in the quarterfinal, then completing the night with a first round KO victory over Smealinho Rama.
Top-seed Natan Schulte continued his impressive run, defeating Johnny Case in the quarterfinal round via tiebreaker after a majority draw. In the high action semifinal, he stood victorious after three rounds with Chris Wade, winning by split decision.
To cap off the night, Vinny Magalhaes wasted no time in the decagon. He finished both Rakim Cleveland and Bozigit Ataev via first round submissions, both Kimuras, to move onto the finals.
“The playoff system continues to impress, with incredible bouts every time fighters step onto the mat,” said PFL President of Fighting Operations Ray Sefo. “I can’t wait to see these guys battle it out at the 2018 Championship for $1M.”
Vinny Magalhaes defeated Bozigit Ataev by submission (Kimura) at 1:58 of the first round of their light heavyweight semifinal bout. Magalhaes moves on to face Sean O’Connell at the 2018 PFL Championship on New Year’s Eve.
“This is what happens when I go back to my roots. I was spending way too much time standing and banging. Tonight was all about stocking up energy and feeling comfortable, and I know for a fact that I have an advantage over everyone once we hit the ground.”
Natan Schulte defeated Chris Wade by split decision (29-28, 29-28 and 28-29) in their lightweight semifinal bout. Schulte moves on to face Rashid Magomedov at the 2018 PFL Championship on New Year’s Eve.
“I worked hard and it all came to fruition. In the end of the day, all that matters is what the judges have to say. This is my time.”
Sean O’Connell defeated Smealinho Rama by knockout at 1:45 of the first round in their light heavyweight semifinal bout. The victory sends O;Connell into the 2018 PFL Championship on New Year’s Eve in New York City. He will have the winner of tonights Vinny Magalhaes vs. Bozigit Ataev semifinal.
“I didnt come all the way out here to win the semifinals, I came to win a million dollars. I’ll see you all on New Years Eve.”
Rashid Magomedov defeated Thiago Tavares by TKO (strikes) at 3:36 of the second round of their lightweight semifinal bout. Magomedov moves on to the 2018 PFL Championship to be held in New York City on New Year’s Eve.
Vinny Magalhaes defeated Rakim Cleveland by submission (Kimura) at 1:20 of the first round of their light heavyweight quarterfinal bout. Magalhaes will move on to face Bozigit Ataev in the semifinals later tonight.
Natan Schulte vs. Johnny Case is scored a majority draw (19-19, 19-19 and 19-18) with Schulte advancing to the semifinals later tonight after winning the tiebreaker by taking the first round of the quarterfinal bout. Schulte will now fight Chris Wade for a spot in the lightweight final on New Year’s Eve and a shot at the $1 million top prize.
Bozigit Ataev defeated Emiliano Sordi by TKO (strikes) at 1:43 of the first round of their light heavyweight quarterfinal bout. Ataev will move on to the semifinals later tonight and will face the winner of the Vinny Magalhaes vs. Rakim Cleveland fight.
Chris Wade defeated Robert Watley by majority decision (20-18, 19-19 and 20-18) in their lightweight quarterfinal fight. Wade will move on to face the winner of the Natan Schulte vs. Johnny Case fight later tonight.
Sean O’Connell defeated Dan Spohn by majority decision (19-18, 19-19 and 19-18) to win their light heavyweight quarterfinal bout. O’Connell will move on to the semifinals where he will face Smealinho Rama later tonight for a chance to fight for the $1 million top prize the the 2018 PFL Championship in New York on New Year’s Eve.
Islam Mamedov defeated Thiago Tavares by unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18 and 20-18) in their lightweight quarterfinal bout. Mamedov will move on to the semifinals later tonight to face off with Rashid Magomedov for a chance to reach the final and fight for the $1 million top prize.
Smealinho Rama fought to a majority draw against Maxim Grishin (19-19, 19-19 and 18-20) in their light heavyweight quarterfinal bout. Rama will move on to the semifinals later tonight and will face the winner of the Sean O’Connell vs. Dan Spohn fight.
Rashid Magomedov and Will Brooks fought to a draw (19-19, 19-19 and 19-19) in their lightweight quarterfinal bout. Magomedov moves on to the semifinals later tonight by way of tiebreaker (winning the first round) and will face the winner of the upcoming Islam Mamedov vs. Thiago Tavares fight.
Brandon Halsey defeated Ronny Markes by unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18 and 20-18) to win their light heavyweight alternate bout. Halsey will be an eligible alternate later tonight if needed.
Ramsey Nijem defeated Yuki Kawana by unanimous decision (19-18, 19-18 and 19-18) in their lightweight alternate bout. Nijem has been cleared by CSAC medical staff to compete again tonight should he be needed as an alternate in the lightweight division Playoffs.