The semi-final section of PFL’s playoffs will wrap up on Friday night when light heavyweights and featherweights take to the cage. Fighting for a spot in the PFL grand finals in October, eight fighters will compete during PFL’s main card.
Along with the tournament bouts, six “showcase” matchups will take place on the undercard, where talent will present their case for a spot in the 2022 PFL season.
All the action is set to happen at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, USA. Follow along throughout the evening for live updates.
Preliminary Card (6:30PM EDT) (ESPN+ / TSN Bonus)
Main Card (10:00PM EDT) (ESPN2 / TSN 4)
Bout 10: Brendan Loughnane (21-3) vs. Movlid Khaybulaev (17-0-1) (Featherweight)
Khabulaev Extends Undefeated Record, Secures Grand Final Spot With Win Over Loughnane
Undefeated fighter Movlid Khaybulaev had a straight-forward win against Brendan Loughnane in the PFL semi-finals, utilizing his wrestling skills to work towards a split decision win (30-27 Khaybulaev, 29-28 Loughnane & 30-27 Khaybulaev).
The victory secured a PFL featherweight grand final spot for Khaybulaev, matching him against fellow finalist Chris Wade.
Khaybulaev was able to take Loughnane down every round, often keeping him on his back for most of the round after.
Viewers online questioned why one of the judges picked Loughnane as the winner on their scorecard.
“In what planet can you make a case for Loughnane winning that fight?” said @BestFightPicks on Twitter.
The performance puts Khaybulaev one win away from becoming a PFL champion. He earned two decision wins in the regular season, winning over Lazar Stojadinovic and Lance Palmer.
The ongoing tournament is the deepest Khaybulaev has gone in a PFL year. He was eliminated in the 2019 PFL quarter-finals, although that bout was later overturned due to a drug test.
Loughnane made a splash early in the PFL season this year, stopping Sheymon Moraes within a round with strikes. That win, along with a decision victory over Tyler Diamond, made him the top seed in the division for the semi-finals.
Bout 9: Chris Wade (19-6) vs. Bubba Jenkins (16-4) (Featherweight)
Wade Uses Wrestling To Defeat Jenkins, Secures First PFL Grand Final Fight
Chris Wade closed out a rivalry against Bubba Jenkins in the co-main event, using his wrestling and grappling skills to earn a unanimous decision win and advance to the featherweight grand finals (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28).
Wade spent most of the fight attempting submissions on the ground or holding Jenkins in an unfavorable position.
Wade was confident late in the fight, motioning towards the crowd while still in a position on the ground with Jenkins in the final minute. He also went on to taunt Jenkins while awaiting the judge’s decision.
Wade, a fighter who has been in three PFL seasons, will be heading to the finals for the first time. He made it to the 2018 and 2019 semi-finals but fell short in both instances.
He is now on a three-fight winning streak heading into the featherweight grand finals. He fought twice in the regular season, defeating Anthony Dizy on scorecards and stopping Arman Ospanov with strikes.
Bout 8: Emiliano Sordi (23-8-1) vs. Antonio Carlos Junior (11-5) (Light Heavyweight)
Former UFC Fighter Carlos Junior Clinches Grand Final Spot
Former UFC fighter Antonio Carlos Junior secured his spot in the PFL semi-finals on Friday, fighting to a unanimous decision victory over 2019 champ Emiliano Sordi (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
Carlos Junior had a well-rounded performance against Sordi, engaging in hard striking exchanges and using his wrestling skills to put Sordi on his back numerous times.
Carlos Junior clinched a spot in the playoffs back in April with a first-round submission victory against Tom Lawlor. He will now face Marthin Hamlet at the light heavyweight finals in October.
Sordi qualified for the playoffs with a decision win and draw in the regular season.
He had a strong five-fight finish winning streak in 2019 that culminated with a championship win over Jordan Johnson.
Bout 7: Cezar Ferreria (14-9) vs. Marthin Hamlet (7-2) (Light Heavyweight)
Injury Takes Out Ferreira In Seconds, Advances Hamlet
PFL’s first semi-final fight was awarded due to an abrupt ending on Friday night, as injured caused Marthin Hamlet to defeat Cezar Ferreria in mere seconds to open the main card.
Ferreira collapsed early in the fight while holding his right leg. He fell just moments after throwing his left leg to the body of Hamlet, which was the first strike he threw in the bout.
The PFL broadcast theorized that Ferreira had pulled his hamstring.
Similarly, one victory from Hamlet placed him in the playoffs. He scored a win on an April PFL card, submitting Dan Spohn in the second round with an arm triangle choke. He was submitted in his second fight by Cory Hendricks.
Bout 6: Sheymon Moraes (12-5) vs. Lazar Stojadinovic (14-8) (Featherweight)
Moraes Earns First TKO Victory Since 2015, Gets His Second Finish Win Of The Year
Sheymon Moraes earned his first stoppage victory due to strikes in over five years in the final prelim, catching Lazar Stojadinovic in the second round with punches.
A punch from Moraes wobbled Stojadinovic, then after a slight delay, he fell to his back. Still hurt by strikes, Stojadinovic was hit with a few more shots on the ground before the referee stopped the fight.
The first round of the fight was a close one for the featherweights.
After the fight started somewhat slow, Stojadinovic landed a combination of a hard overhand right and a takedown in the first round. Moraes was quick to counter, returning to his feet and scoring a takedown of his own.
Moraes just barely missed out on making the PFL playoffs, scoring five points in the season with a second-round kimura submission over Jesse Stirn in June.
His previous bout was a finish loss to Brendan Loughnane in April.
Stojadinovic has now lost both of his PFL bouts. He made his promotional debut in April, losing to undefeated Movlid Khaybulaev via decision.
Bout 5: Chris Camozzi (26-15) vs. Cory Hendricks (8-3) (Light Heavyweight)
Camozzi Goes Three Rounds With Hendricks For Decision Win
MMA veteran Chris Camozzi scored his second PFL win on Friday night, going three rounds against Cory Hendricks for a unanimous decision win (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28).
The first round was strictly in the stand-up category, where Camozzi was able to get the cleaner shots in more frequently.
Hendricks had a better second round, taking Camozzi down and working for submission attempts in dominant positions. He was threatened by a kimura late in the second round, a submission that Camozzi used to move into top control.
The fight went back to the feet for the final round, where Camozzi was able to cruise to the end.
Both fighters competed in PFL’s regular season in the light heavyweight division.
Hendricks fought once in the regular season, making a comeback to submit Marthin Hamlet late in the third round. Despite getting a finish win, he did not rank in the top four fighters, thus not making it into the playoff bracket.
Bout 4: Anthony Dizy (13-4) vs. Jesse Stirn (11-5) (Featherweight)
Dizy Bounces Back From PFL Debut Loss, Defeats Stirn
Anthony Dizy returned to the win column with a well-rounded performance over Jesse Stirn that resulted in a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Dizy not only had better wrestling throughout the fight, but he got the better of striking exchanges in all three rounds.
Dizy lost his PFL debut back in April, losing a decision to Chris Wade.
Stirn was also coming off his first PFL bout, which was a submission loss to Sheymon Moraes in June.
Bout 3: Jason Knight (21-6) vs. Bobby Moffett (13-6) (Featherweight)
Moffett Snaps Losing Streak, Earns Decision Win Over Fellow Former UFC Fighter Knight
Bobby Moffett secured his first PFL victory on Friday’s prelims, using his grappling and wrestling skills to secure a unanimous decision win against Jason Knight (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Knight landed a fair amount of strikes in the opening round and attempted an inverted triangle choke while on the ground.
Moffett took Knight down early in the second round, taking full guard on top for most of the round. Knight looked for some submissions while on his back late in the round but couldn’t get anything going.
Control time on the ground from Moffett secured him the final round of the fight.
Knight was making his first PFL appearance. He has been making waves in bare-knuckle boxing and MMA recently, competing in BKFC and Gamebred FC in recent years.
Moffett lost his sole PFL regular season bout, losing a unanimous decision to Bubba Jenkins in June. He entered Friday on a three-fight skid.
Bout 2: Alejandro Flores (19-3) vs. Carl Deaton III (15-4) (Featherweight)
Flores Gets Scorecard Nod Over Deaton III
Alejandro Flores picked up a win in his PFL debut on Friday, scoring a split decision win over Carl Deaton III after a three-round stand-up battle (29-28 Flores, 29-28 Deaton III & 29-28 Flores).
Flores had a much higher output of strikes throughout, out-landing Deaton III overall.
Deaton III’s best round was the second, as he was able to drop Flores in two separate instances with punches.
Flores, a veteran of Combate Global, entered Friday night on a two-fight winning streak.
Deaton III was returning to MMA after not competing earlier in 2021 or 2020. His previous bout was a decision loss to Jonas Flok in 2019.
Bout 1: Jacob Kilburn (8-4) vs. Brandon Jenkins (14-7) (Lightweight)
Jenkins Lands Flying Knee For Explosive PFL Debut
Brandon Jenkins had an explosive PFL debut on the prelims, catching former UFC fighter Jacob Kilburn with a flying knee in the first round.
Jenkins dropped Kilburn early with a knee to the head, faking with his right leg before connecting with the left. He landed another follow-up shot on the ground before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Prior to the finish, Kilburn was pressing forward on Jenkins with strikes.
Jenkins is now on a three-fight winning streak over the past year.
Kilburn was making his first appearance after wrapping up a two-fight run in the UFC, which finished after two consecutive losses.