ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.: The second half of the 2019 Professional Fighters League (PFL) season kicked off with PFL 4 Welterweight and Women’s Lightweight action at Ocean Casino Resort, in Atlantic City, N.J. This was their final chance to earn points in the standings and clinch a Playoff spot, and they did not disappoint.The eight-fight event featured six early stoppages, including five in the first-round, seven Playoff-clinching wins, a dominating performance by 2X Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison and yet another victory by 2018 Welterweight Champion Magomed Magomedkerimov.
“PFL is changing the game with a season format and the first-ever Women’s Lightweight Division. ‘Clinching a Playoff spot’ is a phrase typically reserved for leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, but we are delivering it to MMA,” said Peter Murray, CEO of the PFL. “Entering the night, our men and women athletes knew they were fighting for a Playoff spot and the opportunity to continue their individual journeys to a title and million-dollar prize, and it showed in the cage with six early finishes and a highly competitive and intense final fight.”
“With Playoff spots on the line, our Welterweight and Women’s Lightweight fighters came out with an incredible sense of urgency, determined to keep that title and million-dollar prize in reach,” said Ray Sefo, President of Fighter Operations of the PFL. “What resulted was electrifying finishes across the board. The journey now continues for twelve fighters, with incredible matchups set to take place in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, in October.”
In the final Women’s Lightweight fight of the regular season, 2X Olympic Judo Gold medalist Kayla Harrison dominated her opponent Morgan Frier, securing a first-round submission victory and the #2 seed in the 2019 Playoffs.
Needing a first-round stoppage against Moriel Charneski to make the Playoffs, Genah Fabian came through. A heavy left knocked Charneski to the mat early, and Fabian quickly pounced with a ground-and-pound attack that finished the fight 1:42 into the first round. The win eliminated Charneski and Roberta Samad from Playoff contention and set up a showdown with Harrison in Las Vegas.
Larissa Pacheco followed that up with a Playoff-clinching performance of her own, defeating Bobbi Jo Dalziel by first-round submission. Pacheco will face top-seeded Sarah Kaufman, who earned a 3-point walkover win after Roberta Samad failed to make weight.
In Welterweight action, 2018 Champion Magomed Magomedkerimov extended his win streak to 10, defeating Chris Curtis by unanimous decision. With the victory, “Maga Million” clinched the #2 seed, setting up a rematch with Curtis, who slipped to the #7 seed.
MMA veteran John Howard stunned Ray Cooper III in dominating fashion. Two powerful left hooks floored Cooper III, and the first-round TKO catapulted Howard into the Playoffs where he will face David Michaud as the #5 seed. Despite the loss, Cooper III advanced to the Playoffs as the #6 seed, and will face Sadibou Sy.
In a battle between the top two seeded fighters entering the night, Glaico Franca defeated Sadibou Sy by third-round TKO and ended the night as the top seed heading into the Playoffs with 10 total points. Franca will match up against #8 seed Andre Fialho. Sy dropped to the #3 seed, setting up his Playoff fight against Cooper III.
David Michaud overcame a groin kick and eye poke on way to a Playoff-clinching first-round TKO of Handesson Ferreira. Michaud bounced back in a big way from a devastating 17-second loss suffered in PFL 1 to secure the #5 seed after landing a left-right combo that floored Ferreira. He finished him in the crucifix position, landing punches that forced the referee to stop the fight.
Joao Zeferino defeated Bojan Velickovic by unanimous decision. Zeferino earned 3 points, but it was not enough for him to clinch a spot in the playoffs. Both fighters were eliminated from Playoff contention.
The second half of the 2019 PFL season continues at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City with Featherweight and Lightweight action at PFL 5 on July 25. 2018 Lightweight Champion Natan Schulte will take on Ramsey Nijem. Chris Wade will face the current top seed in the Lightweight Division, Akhmed Aliev, in the final fight of the night. 2018 Featherweight Champion Lance Palmer returns to the cage against Luis Rafael Laurentino.
PFL 5 will air across ESPN2, ESPN+, — the industry-leading sports streaming service —in addition to TSN in Canada, and on a wide and diverse group of premier global distribution partner platforms reaching over 150 countries around the world.
|Rank||WELTERWEIGHTS||Total Points||PFL 4 Pts||PFL 4 Result|
|1 – x||Glaico Franca||10||4||Win – 3rd round TKO (4:29)|
|2 – x||Magomed Magomedkerimov||9||3||Win – Unanimous Decision|
|3 – x||Sadibou Sy||6||0||Loss – 3rd round TKO (4:29)|
|4 – x||John Howard||6||6||Win – 1st round TKO (1:37)|
|5 – x||David Michaud||6||6||Win – 1st round TKO (4:37)|
|6 – x||Ray Cooper III||5||0||Loss – 1st round TKO (1:37)|
|7 – x||Chris Curtis||4||0||Loss – Unanimous Decision|
|8 – x||Andre Fialho||3||3||Win – Walkover|
|9 – e||Handesson Ferreira||3||0||Loss – 1st round TKO (4:37)|
|10 – e||Joao Zeferino||3||3||Win – Unanimous Decision|
|11 – e||Bojan Velickovic||0||0||Loss – Unanimous Decision|
|12 – e||Zane Kamaka||0||0||Loss – Walkover|
Final Women’s Lightweight Standings
|Rank||WOMEN’S LIGHTWEIGHTS||Total Points||PFL 4 Pts||PFL 4 Result|
|1 – x||Sarah Kaufman||9||3||Win – Walkover|
|2 – x||Kayla Harrison||9||6||Win – 1st round submission (3:35)|
|3 – x||Genah Fabian||6||6||Win – 1st round TKO (1:42)|
|4 – x||Larissa Pacheco||6||6||Win – 1st round submission (2:31)|
|5 – e||Bobbi Jo Dalziel||3||0||Loss – 1st round submission (2:31)|
|6 – e||Roberta Samad||3||0||Loss – Walkover|
|7 – e||Moriel Charneski||0||0||Loss – 1st round TKO (1:42)|
|8 – e||Morgan Frier||0||0||Loss – 1st round submission (3:35)|
x = clinched a playoff spot
e = eliminated from playoff contention