PFL 2019 Playoffs 1 results and fighter quotes

LAS VEGAS, N.V. – October 11, 2019 – The 2019 Professional Fighters League (PFL) Playoffs kicked off at MGM’s Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas with welterweight and women’s lightweight action. Two-time Olympic Judo Gold medalist Kayla Harrison remained undefeated, while #4 seed Larissa Pacheco pulled off an upset of #1 seed Sarah Kaufman. Harrison and Pacheco advance, looking to be crowned the first-ever women’s lightweight champion. Ray Cooper and David Michaud survived the toughest night in MMA, winning twice in one night. The 2019 PFL World Championship will take place on NYE at Madison Square Garden. 

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“This was a historic night for the PFL and MMA. Not only was this our Las Vegas debut, it was the first time fighters fought twice in one-night in the fight capital of the world,” said Peter Murray, CEO of the PFL. “Our format is changing the game and fans around the world witnessed tonight the potential MMA has as true sport, where fighters control their own destiny. Kayla Harrison, Larissa Pacheco, Ray Cooper III and David Michaud battled through the regular season, survived the toughest night in MMA and now are headed to Madison Square Garden on NYE with the chance to win a title and a million dollars.”

“This was an amazing night of first-class MMA action,” said Ray Sefo, President of Fighter Operations of the PFL. “In the PFL, nothing is given, everything is earned. Both #1 seeds failed to move on, showing off the depth of the league. Incredible matchups are set for the 2019 PFL World Championship.” 

The top half of the welterweight playoff bracket featured #1 seed and PFL newcomer Glaico Franca. Franca continued his dominant 2019 PFL season, defeating Andre Fialho by majority decision in the quarterfinals. Franca had an unfamiliar start to the fight, taking numerous upper-cuts from Fialho. He quickly took the fight to the ground, delivering several takedowns that proved to be decisive in the win. 

#5 David Michaud defeated #4 John Howard by unanimous decision, setting up a semifinal fight against Franca. Michaud and Howard exchanged powerful punches in an electric round one. Michaud took the fight to the ground in round two, pummeling Howard with head and body shots. 

In the semifinals, Michaud defeated Franca in a battle that went the distance, booking a spot in the 2019 PFL World Championship. In the first round, Michaud stalked Franca around the cage, applying constant pressure. In the third and final round, a bloodied Michaud landed vicious combos earning him the majority decision win. 

The bottom half of the bracket featured returning champion and #2 seed Magomed Magomedkerimov. In a rematch of PFL 4, Magomed once again defeated #7 Chris Curtis by unanimous decision, controlling Curtis on the ground to remain undefeated in the PFL. He delivered devastating combos in the second round, completing his dominating win and seemingly setting up a 2018 championship rematch with Ray Cooper III. Magomedkerimov, however, was forced to withdraw before the semifinals, unable to continue. As a result, Curtis advanced to the semifinals. 

#6 Cooper III grinded out a victory over #3 Sadibou Sy. The fight ended in a majority draw, forcing a tiebreaker where all three judges chose Cooper as the fighter who had the better overall performance. Exchanging heavy punches throughout the bout, Cooper’s takedowns and impressive ground game gave the 2018 runner-up the edge. 

In the semifinals, Ray Cooper III, with 200 friends and family in the crowd, lit up Mandalay Bay Event Center, connecting with a devastating 26.4 MPH right hook 11 seconds into round two that knocked Chris Curtis out. The fastest strike of the night sends Cooper back to New York City, where he’ll battle Michaud for the title and million dollar prize.  

In the first-ever women’s lightweight playoffs, #4 Larissa Pacheco, the youngest fighter in the division, delivered a major upset, taking down #1 Sarah Kaufman by unanimous decision. From the start, Pacheco paired damaging combos with expert ground work. Pacheco was unrelenting throughout, and a bloodied Kaufman was unable to turn the tide. 

#2 Kayla Harrison made quick work of Bobbi Jo Dalziel, securing a first-round armbar submission. Harrison dominated the match from the start, taking Dalziel to ground within seconds. Once on the ground, Harrison showcased her Judo expertise, submitting Dalziel 3:32 into the first round via armbar. The women’s lightweight championship will be a rematch of PFL 3, where Harrison defeated Pacheco by unanimous decision. 

United Kingdom featherweight and rising MMA star Brendan Loughnane opened the night on ESPN+, defeating Matt Wagy by unanimous decision in a special new fighter showcase. Loughnane is signed for the 2020 PFL Season and will be competing for the featherweight title and a million-dollar prize. His fourth straight victory improves his career record to 18-3-0.

In the second new fighter showcase bout, welterweight Nikolay Aleksakhin defeated Jesse Ronson by first round TKO. Aleksakhin has signed with the PFL for the 2020 season and will compete in the welterweight division. Aleksakhin improves to 24-5, with 11 wins by knockout. 

PFL Playoff action continues on October 17 at Mandalay Bay Events Center, where featherweights and lightweights will fight twice in one night for a shot at the championship. The 2019 PFL Playoffs will air across ESPN2, ESPN+, the industry-leading sports streaming service and ESPN Deportes, 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.

PFL 2019 Playoffs 1 results and fighter quotes: 

New Fighter Showcase Result (Non-playoff fight):

Brendan Loughnane defeats Matt Wagy by unanimous decision

–Loughnane wins his 4th straight fight and moves his overall record to 18-3-0.
–Loughnane has signed with the PFL for the 2020 season. He’ll compete in the featherweight division.

Brendan Loughnane:

“Finishes, finishes only. You will only see a smile on my face when I finish someone. I’m a perfectionist. Good thing is I have the whole season next year to finish my competition.”

New Fighter Showcase Result (Non-playoff fight):
 
Nikolay Aleksakhin defeats Jesse Ronson by 1st round TKO.
 
–Aleksakhin wins his 7th straight fight and gets his 11th career win by knockout.
–Aleksakhin moves his career record to 24-5-0
–Aleksakhin has signed with the PFL for the 2020 season. He’ll compete in the welterweight division.

Official Playoff Result:

#6 Ray Cooper III advances over #3 Sadibou Sy after a majority draw.

Cooper won the tiebreaker (all three judges chose Cooper as the fighter who had the better overall performance).

Cooper advances to the semifinals and will face the winner of #2 Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. #7 Chris Curtis.

If Magomedkerimov wins his quarterfinal, it will be a rematch from last season’s championship (Magomedkerimov defeated Cooper by 2nd round submission to win the title)

Cooper moves his career record to 18-7-1

Official Playoff Result:

#1 Glaico Franca defeats #8 Andre Fialho by majority decision.

Franca advances to the semifinals and will face the winner of #4 John Howard vs. #5 David Michaud

Franca moves his career record to 22-5-0. He’s now won 9 fights in a row.

Official Playoff Result:

#5 David Michaud defeats #4 John Howard by unanimous decision

Michaud advances to the semifinals and will face #1 Glaico Franca.

Michaud wins his second straight fight and moves his career record to 17-5-0.

Michaud has won 5 of his last 6 fights.

Official Playoff Result:

#4 Larissa Pacheco defeats #1 Sarah Kaufman by unanimous decision

Pacheco advances to the 2019 PFL World Championship and will face the winner of #2 Kayla Harrison vs. #5 Bobbi Jo Dalziel

Pacheco gets her second straight win and moves her career record to 13-3-0

Pacheco ends Kaufman’s 4-fight win streak.

This is Pacheco’s first time winning by decision (her other 12 wins came by stoppage)

Official Playoff Result:

#2 Kayla Harrison defeats #5 Bobbi Jo Dalziel by 1st round submission (armbar).

Harrison advances to the 2019 PFL World Championship and will face #4 Larissa Pacheco for the women’s lightweight title and $1 million. Harrison defeated Pacheco by unanimous decision during the regular season. Pacheco was the first fighter to take Harrison the distance.

Harrison moves her undefeated record to 6-0 and gets her 5th win by stoppage (2 knockouts, 3 submissions)

#6 Ray Cooper III defeats #7 Chris Curtis by 2nd round KO

Cooper III advances to the 2019 PFL World Championship for the second straight season and will face the winner of Glaico Franca/David Michaud for the welterweight title and $1 million.

Last season Cooper finished as the runner-up to Magomed Magomedkerimov. Now he’ll have a shot to earn the title that eluded him last year.

Cooper moves his career record to 19-7-1 and gets his 13th career knockout.

Official Playoff Result

#5 David Michaud defeats #1 Glaico Franca by majority decision

Michaud advances to the 2019 PFL World Championship and will face Ray Cooper III for the welterweight title and $1 million.

Michaud lost his PFL debut this season in just 17 seconds by knockout to Sadibou Sy. Since then he’s rebounded to win 3 straight and clinch a spot in the final.

Michaud moves his career record to 18-5-0.

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