PFL will crown six new champions on Wednesday night when holding their grand finals from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, USA. All winners will get crowned PFL champion and be awarded a grand prize of $1 million.
Along with the title fights are numerous promotional debuts along with the return of boxer Claressa Shields.
Follow along throughout the evening for live coverage of the event.
Preliminary Card (4:30PM EDT) (ESPN+ / TSN Bonus)
Main Card (8:00PM EDT) (ESPN2 / TSN 5)
Bout 10: Kayla Harrison (11-0) vs. Taylor Guardado (3-1) (PFL Lightweight Championship)
Undefeated Lightweight Harrison Claims Second PFL Championship
Undefeated lightweight Kayla Harrison became a back-to-back PFL Champion in Wednesday’s main event, finishing Taylor Guardado in the second round with an armbar.
Harrison took Guardado down in both rounds, using an advantageous position on the floor to land with strikes and look for submissions. She eventually extended the arm of Guardado with the armbar, ending their fight.
Harrison is now undefeated through 12 pro fights. She won in the 2019 PFL season as well, defeating Larissa Pacheco in the finals of that year.
Guardado had previously fought in a one-night Invicta FC tournament last year, scoring two exhibition bout wins before losing in the finals of the bracket.
Bout 9: Magomed Magomedkerimov (29-5) vs. Ray Cooper III (23-7-1) (PFL Welterweight Championship)
Cooper III Avenges Loss To Magomedkerimov, Becomes Two-Time PFL Champion
Ray Cooper III became a two-time PFL Welterweight Champion Wednesday, scoring a third-round knockout over Magomed Magomedkerimov to end a close fight.
Cooper III first stunned Magomedkerimov with an overhand right. He threw and connected with that shot again to a backing up Magomedkerimov, dropping him and ending the fight.
Magomedkerimov had hurt Cooper III earlier in the third round with punches, although Cooper III was able to stay on his feet after taking the shots.
Both fighters entered the co-main event after both being quite successful previously in their PFL careers.
The win also avenged a loss for Cooper III that dates back to PFL’s inaugural season.
Magomedkerimov defeated Cooper III in the 2018 PFL finals, earning a submission win. Injury stopped him from competing in the 2019 finals, where Cooper III defeated David Michaud in the grand finals.
Bout 8: Claressa Shields (1-0) vs. Abigail Montes (2-0) (Lightweight)
Boxer Shields Takes First MMA Loss
Boxing prizefighter Claressa Shields took her first MMA loss Wednesday, dropping a split decision result to Abigail Montes (29-28 Shields, 29-28 Montes & 29-28 Montes).
Montes’ wrestling abilities kept Shields down for large portions of the fight. She landed ground and pound punches from these positions.
Being a boxer, Shields’ best moments came when the fight was at a stand-up distance.
Shields won her MMA debut in June, struggling against grappled Brittney Elkin before scoring a third-round ground and pound finish.
Montes entered the show with a pro record of two wins. She made her pro debut in 2019, and her last win was in April on an iKon Fighting Federation card.
Bout 7: Bruno Cappelozza (13-5) vs. Ante Delija (19-4) (PFL Heavyweight Championship)
Cappelozza Wins PFL Championship After Five-Round War In Rematch Against Delija
Bruno Cappelozza had a hard rematch against Ante Delija on Wednesday, almost stopping the fight and also evading near finishes of himself en route to a unanimous decision win (49-45, 49-45 & 48-46).
The victory made Cappelozza the PFL Heavyweight Champion, earning him a grand prize of $1 million.
The first three rounds of the heavyweight contest saw momentum dramatically shift numerous times. While Cappelozza started the fight with an incredibly dominant first round, Delija added drama to the bout by nearly earning a stoppage win later on.
Cappelozza started the fight with a one-sided round that saw him nearly finish the bout. The contest went to the ground in the opening minute, allowing Cappelozza to land ground and pound for numerous minutes.
PFL’s broadcast listed Cappelozza as a steep -1000 favorite during his early beatdown.
Cappelozza later searched for an arm triangle choke from full mount, but he would soon lose that position as Delija escaped and returned to his feet. Delija showed life late in the round, throwing a wild flurry of punches that connected on Cappelozza.
Delija hurt Cappelozza with hooks on the feet to start the second round. He then scored a takedown, allowing him to unload with hard ground and pound shots that landed clean to a visibly stunned Cappelozza.
Delija attempted a north-south choke while on the ground, but later lost the position as Cappelozza took his back. Cappelozza unloaded with hooks to the head of Delija while on the back, although the fight wasn’t stopped from that position.
Cappelozza exploded forward with punches to start the third round. Delija shelled up and seemingly wasn’t about to respond, although he eventually answered back with punches that showed he was still in it.
The quick pace took a breather in the third round as the heavyweights engaged in a long clinch position.
Cappelozza took the back of Delija early in the second round, but it was Delija who notched a few minutes of control time later in the round.
Cappelozza had a good final round, controlling Delija in clinch and ground positions.
Cappelozza had defeated Delija in the regular season, stopping him in just 46 seconds in May.
Cappelozza later scored two more stoppage wins in the year, defeating Mo DeReese and Jamelle Jones.
Delija qualified for the playoffs with a first-round win against Chandler Cole in June. He won his semi-final fight against Denis Goltsov, defeating him in August.
Bout 6: Movlid Khaybulaev (18-0-1) vs. Chris Wade (20-6) (PFL Featherweight Championship)
Khaybulaev Sweeps Wade In Five-Round Performance To Earn PFL Championship
Movlid Khaybulaev put on a dominant performance to defeat Chris Wade via unanimous decision and become the new PFL Featherweight Champion in the main card opener (50-45, 50-45 & 50-45).
The fight saw Khaybulaev take every round of the bout, doing so with a mix of striking and wrestling.
Khaybulaev’s stand-up was on display more early in the fight, piecing Wade up with shots in the opening round. The wrestling of Khaybulaev was utilized heavily in the later rounds, taking Wade down numerous times and often using ground positions to do damage with striking. Wade seemed overwhelmed by the wrestling, not having an answer for most attempts.
Khaybulaev advanced his undefeated record to 19 wins with his five-round victory.
The win was Khaybulaev’s first championship victory through two seasons in the PFL. He made it to the playoffs in 2019, but was stopped by Daniel Pineda in the semi-finals. That result was later overturned due to a drug test on Pineda.
Wade, a three-season PFL veteran, had also made it to the finals with three wins.
Bout 5: Antonio Carlos Junior (12-5) vs. Mathin Hamlet (8-2) (PFL Light Heavyweight Championship)
UFC Vet Carlos Junior Secures First-Round Choke For PFL Championship
Former UFC fighter Antonio Carlos Junior had a quick win against Marthin Hamlet on Wednesday’s prelims, submitting him in the first round with a rear naked choke to become the PFL Light Heavyweight Champion.
The finishing sequence started when Hamlet was taken down. Carlos Junior remained mounted on the back of Hamlet as they got to the feet. He applied a rear naked choke from the upright position, bringing the fight back to the ground and causing Hamlet to tap out moments after.
Hamlet was able to show his striking skills earlier in the round, hurting Carlos Junior with a punch in the second minute.
Carlos Junior, now a prizewinner of $1 million, started the year in the UFC. After taking his third consecutive loss for the promotion, he departed the roster and joined the 2021 PFL season.
Carlos Junior scored a spot in the PFL playoffs with a first-round submission win against Tom Lawlor in April. He defeated former champ Emiliano Sordi in the semi-finals, setting him up for the fight in October.
Hamlet was one of the biggest underdogs heading into Wednesday’s title fights.
Like Carlos Junior, a submission win in the regular season earned Hamlet a playoff spot.
Hamlet had an odd semi-final fight, as opponent Cezar Ferreira suffered an injury only 13 seconds into the fight.
Bout 4: Loik Radzhabov (15-3-1) vs. Raush Manfio (14-3) (PFL Lightweight Championship)
Manfio Prevails In Close Five-Round Striking Battle Against Radzhabov, Becomes PFL Champion
Raush Manfio was crowned the new PFL Lightweight Champion in the first title fight on the card, going five rounds to defeat Loik Radzhabov via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46 & 49-46).
Manfio showed toughness in the fight, staying active in a stand-up battle to take most rounds against Radzhabov.
The fight was close at the start, as Radzhabov and Manfio engaged in a close striking battle through the first three rounds.
Manfio capitalized on a seemingly tired Radzhabov in the championship rounds, putting on the pressure with strikes and out-landing by a large proportion.
Manfio finishes 2021 with a flawless PFL record of four wins. He defeated Joilton Lutterbach and Anthony Pettis during the season portion of the year, then defeated Clay Collard two months back to make it into the finals.
Bout 3: Omari Akhmdeov (21-6-1) vs. Jordan Young (11-2) (Middleweight)
Young Makes Late Comeback, Picks Up First PFL Win
An explosive third round from Jordan Young earned him a finish win against Omari Akhmedov on Wednesday’s prelims.
Young hurt Akhmedov with punches at the start of the third round. He constantly hurt him with a right cross, stunning him numerous times with the shot.
Akhmedov eventually got dropped hard by a right uppercut, causing the referee to step in only moments after.
Young had struggled earlier in the bout, finding himself in tough positions on the ground.
Akhmedov had Young in trouble for a large portion of the second round. After Young was knocked down early in the frame by a leg kick, Akhmedov took his back and searched for a rear naked choke for numerous minutes.
Young got up to his feet late in the round, allowing him to unload with some damaging punches before the clock expired.
The fight was Young’s first win in PFL. The Bellator veteran lost his sole regular season bout earlier this year, losing a decision to Tom Lawlor in June.
Akhmedov was appearing for the first time after wrapping up a 15-fight UFC run earlier this year.
Bout 2: Julia Budd (15-3) vs. Kaitlin Young (12-11-1) (Lightweight)
Former Bellator Champ Budd Wins PFL Debut
Former Bellator Featherweight Champion Julia Budd had a successful PFL debut, defeating Kaitlin Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Budd was able to take Young down in every round, then using a full guard position to unload with ground and pound striking.
Budd was switching to the PFL after a 10-fight Bellator run. She was their 145-pound champ from 2017 to 2019, losing the belt in early 2020 against former UFC champ Cris Cyborg.
Budd moved up a weight class to fight at lightweight on Wednesday.
Young fought in PFL’s 2021 regular season, winning a fight against Cindy Dandois and losing her other to Mariana Morais.
Bout 1: Don Madge (9-3-1) vs. Nathan Williams (13-7) (Lightweight)
Two-Fight UFC Alum Madge Wins PFL Debut
Former UFC fighter Don Madge won in his return to action Wednesday, scoring a second-round submission win over Nathan Williams to open the prelims.
Madge capitalized on being taken down in the second round, taking the back of Williams for a rear naked choke. After sinking the submission under the chin of Williams, a tap finished the fight.
Madge had the better striking before the finish, but Williams was able to get the fight to the ground twice in the fight.
Madge was competing for the first time since 2019. He had a two-fight UFC stint before his PFL run, attaining a win in each of his appearances for the promotions.
Williams was also appearing in PFL for the first time. Most of his previous fights in his career have come in regional promotion NFC.