ORLANDO, FL. – The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league, kicked off its inaugural PFL Challenger Series tonight at Universal Studios, in Orlando, Florida. The four-fight card was broadcast live on Fubo Sports Network and featured fighters in the light heavyweight division. At the end of the evening, the all-star panel of judges, Ray Lewis, Tyron Woodley and Jeremy Piven were in agreement with the fan vote, giving the contract nod to Bruce Souto. Additionally, Souto took home an extra $5,000 courtesy of Columbia Care “Move of the Night”.
In the evening’s main event, Josh Silveira squared off with Mohamed Juma of South Sudan. Silveira – son of world-renowned American Top Team coach and MMA pioneer Conan Silveira – put on an impressive display against Juma, earning a victory by third round submission. The American remains undefeated with a pro record of 8-0-0, with five by way of submission.
Further action on the card saw Bruce Souto match up against Travis Davis. In electrifying fashion, Souto defeated Davis via first-round KO (flying knee), and pushed his winning streak to nine. The Brazilian has not lost since 2015, and now boasts a pro record of 15-3-0.
“Tonight the Professional Fighters League alongside our partner Fubo Sports Network premiered the PFL Challenger Series, an eight week journey giving fighters the chance to join the most innovative sports league in the world,” said Peter Murray, PFL CEO. “It was a night filled with action and focus showing MMA fans what it takes to make it to the PFL and begin a journey to $1million. Bruce, welcome to the PFL.”
“Tonight, the PFL Challenger Series showed the heart and determination of light heavyweight fighters from around the world,” said Ray Sefo, President of Fighter Operations of PFL. “These fighters put it all on the line with dreams of a PFL contract, congratulations to all of the athletes and special congratulations to Bruce Souto, the newest addition to the PFL.”
In an intriguing fight, Taylor Johnson faced off against Alexander Poppeck in a contest that went the three-round distance. In the end, Johnson claimed victory over the German native Poppeck by unanimous decision. The outcome moved the American’s pro record to 8-3-0, and the first victory to come by way of a decision for Johnson.
Kicking off the inaugural PFL Challenger series on Fubo Sports Network, Karl Williams and Miles Amos took to the SmartCage. Williams, a former sprinter for the U.S. Virgin Islands National Track and Field team dominated the bout, and came away with the victory by unanimous decision. The result improves his pro record to 4-1-0.
The PFL Challenger Series action returns to Universal Studios next Friday night, February 25, with the welterweight division matchups. Recent PFL signing Jarrah Al-Silawi will make his highly anticipated PFL debut, headlining the main event when he takes on Michael Lilly.
All PFL 2022 Challenger Series events are live in primetime on Friday nights on Fubo Sports Network, and leading up to the 2022 PFL Regular Season in April.
OFFICIAL 2022 PFL CHALLENGER SERIES WEEK 1 RESULTS
Fubo Sports Network Card
Josh Silveira def. Mohamed Juma by 3rd round submission (1:52)
Taylor Johnson def. Alexander Poppeck by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Bruce Souto def. Travis Davis by 1st round KO (4:43)
Karl Williams def. Miles Amos by unanimous decision (30-27, 20-26, 20-27)
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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