PFL 2022 #1 Live Coverage

Clay Collard and Jeremy Stephens stare each other down during the ceremonial PFL weigh-ins.
Clay Collard and Jeremy Stephens will headline PFL’s first event of 2022 (PFL)

PFL will kick off its 2022 season on Wednesday night from the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas, USA. In the first of six regular season events from the promotion, lightweight and light heavyweight fighters will compete for a spot in the playoffs.

Follow throughout the evening for updates on the event.

Click here to read a full preview of the show.

Quick Results

Preliminary Card (6:00PM EDT / 5:00PM CDT) (ESPN+ / TSN Direct)

Bout 1: Simeon Powell def. Clinton Williams via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 4:38)

Bout 2: Rob Wilkinson def. Bruce Suoto via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 0:46)

Bout 3: Omari Akhmedov def. Viktor Pesta via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:25)

Bout 4: Marthin Hamlet def. Teodoras Aukstuolis via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 5: Alexander Martinez def. Stevie Ray via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 6: Cory Hendricks def. Emiliano Sordi via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 2:13)

Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 8:00PM CDT) (ESPN / TSN 3)

Bout 7: Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Natan Schulte via Decision, Split

Bout 8: Antonio Carlos Junior def. Delan Monte via Submission, Darce Choke (RD 1, 0:29)

Bout 9: Raush Manfio def. Don Madge via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 2:42)

Bout 10: Clay Collard def. Jeremy Stephens via Decision, Unanimous

Live Coverage

Bout 10: Clay Collard (20-9) vs. Jeremy Stephens (28-19) (Lightweight)

Collard Defeats UFC Veteran Stephens In Main Event

Clay Collard prevailed in a fast-paced striking battle against PFL newcomer Jeremy Stephens, defeating him via unanimous decision after three rounds (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

Collard’s victory headlined PFL’s first event of the year and secured him three points in the promotion’s lightweight division.

Collard had quick combinations of straight punches throughout the fight that connected on Stephens. He had a hot start to the battle but slowed somewhat late, enduring late flurries from a strong-finishing Stephens.

Stephens was willing to engage with Collard in these stand-up exchanges, making it a back-and-forth fight at times.

Stephens was fighting for the first time since a decade-long run in the UFC. The result on Wednesday keeps him winless since 2018, with six losses and one no contest in that time.

Now with three points, Collard has started his second PFL run. He was a semi-finalist last year, scoring two wins in the regular season but getting stopped later on by Raush Manfio.

Bout 9: Raush Manfio (15-3) vs. Don Madge (10-3-1) (Lightweight)

Manfio Finishes Madge Late With Punch

2021 PFL Lightweight Champion Raush Manfio scored a late finish win against Don Madge for four points in Wednesday’s co-main event.

Manfio suddenly stopped Madge in the third round with a clean overhand right. This seated Madge immediately and caused the fight to end only seconds later.

Manfio was struggling earlier in a close fight. Per the broadcast, he was losing on scorecards prior to his finish in the third round.

Manfio had a perfect run in the 2021 season, scoring four consecutive decision victories to become a champion.

Madge, a former UFC fighter, was coming off a successful PFL debut last year against Nathan Williams.

Bout 8: Antonio Carlos Junior (13-5) vs. Delan Monte (8-1) (Light Heavyweight)

Carlos Junior Submits Monte In Just 29 Seconds

Defending champion Antonio Carlos Junior had a quick win to start his quest toward another $1 million grand prize, submitting Delan Monte in the first minute with a guillotine choke.

Carlos Junior scored a takedown on Monte early in the fight, just seconds after he connected with a combination of punches. On his way back up to the feet, Carlos Junior searched for a darce choke. He then pulled guard with this choke, causing Monte to tap out and end the fight.

Carlos Junior won his first PFL Light Heavyweight Championship last year, scoring three wins through four appearances. He now starts his 2022 season with six points in the standings.

Monte was making his PFL debut on Wednesday. He had won most of his previous performances in the first round on the regional scene in Brazil.

Bout 7: Natan Schulte (21-4-1) vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (13-5) (Lightweight)

Aubin-Mercier Defeats Two-Time Champion Schulte In Split Decision

Olivier Aubin-Mercier had a close split decision win to open the main card, defeating Natan Schulte after three rounds (29-28 Aubin-Mercier, 29-28 Schulte & 29-28 Aubin-Mercier).

Aubin-Mercier prevailed in a fight that was mostly a fast-paced fight on the feet. The first and second rounds saw Schulte constantly advance on Aubin-Mercier with strikes, although Aubin-Mercier proved to be accurate with returning shots on the feet.

Schulte, a two-time PFL Champion, has now started his year with a loss for the second consecutive time. He failed to make the playoffs in 2021 after scoring a win and a loss in the regular season.

Aubin-Mercier scored two wins in the PFL last year, defeating Marcin Held and Darrell Horcher.

Bout 6: Emiliano Sordi (23-9-1) vs. Cory Hendricks (8-4) (Light Heavyweight)

Hendricks Stops 2019 Champ Sordi

Cory Hendricks scored a finish win against former champ Emiliano Sordi, finishing him in the second round with strikes.

The finished capped off a strong round for Hendricks.

Sordi’s mobility was visibly hurt early in the round. A leg kick caused him to trip and made Hendricks press forward with strikes.

Hendricks scored a takedown in the second round after connecting with strikes on the feet. From full mount, Hendricks unloaded with ground and pound shots to a covered-up Sordi until the fight was stopped.

The fight was close earlier in the bout, as both Sordi and Hendricks attempted leg submissions.

Sordi, a 2019 PFL Light Heavyweight Champion, is competing in his fourth season for the promotion. Last year, he was eliminated in the semi-finals by Antonio Carlos Junior.

Hendricks earned a win and a loss in the 2021 PFL season.

Bout 5: Alexander Martinez (8-2) vs. Stevie Ray (23-9) (Lightweight)

Martinez Takes Close Decision Against PFL Newcomer Ray

Alexander Martinez spoiled the PFL debut of Stevie Ray on Wednesday night, defeating him via unanimous decision after three rounds (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).

Martinez won the fight through close battles in the first and third rounds of the bout. In these frames he secured ground control against Ray, scoring with submission attempts and strikes.

Ray’s best round was the second, both on the feet and on the ground.

Ray scored the sole knockdown of the fight in the second round, connecting with a left cross that dropped Martinez briefly. He then threatened Ray on the ground with a submission, getting a hold of one of his legs.

Martinez was a semi-finalist in the 2021 PFL season, getting eliminated in the playoffs by Loik Radzhabov.

Ray’s appearance Wednesday was the first time he fought since an 11-bout run in the UFC.

Bout 4: Marthin Hamlet (8-3) vs. Teodoras Aukstuolis (11-5) (Light Heavyweight)

Hamlet Begins Second PFL Run With Decision Win

2021 light heavyweight finalist Marthin Hamlet started his new year with a dominant performance, defeating Teodoras Aukstuolis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 20-27).

The victory earns Hamlet three points in the PFL standings to begin the season.

Hamlet mostly used his wrestling to win the fight, taking Aukstuolis down in every round to control him. While he mostly wrestled, Hamlet also was able to out-land Aukstuolis in brief stand-up exchanges.

Hamlet was stopped in the grand final of the 2021 season, getting submitted by Antonio Carlos Junior. He mentioned afterward that the grand final loss last year bothered him mentally heading into this fight, and the win Wednesday allowed him to overcome it.

“Today I beat that man on my shoulder telling me ‘hey you can’t do it,'” Hamlet said Hamlet in his post-fight interview.

Aukstuolis, a former RIZIN fighter, was appearing for the first time since 2017.

Bout 3: Omari Akhmedov (21-7-1) vs. Viktor Pesta (18-6) (Light Heavyweight)

UFC Alum Akhmedov Stops Pesta Early

Omari Akhmedov shot to the top of the light heavyweight ranks on Wednesday night, stopping Viktor Pesta early to earn six points in the PFL regular season.

Akhmedov hurt Pesta early in the fight with a series of overhand right punches. While returning to his feet after a failed takedown attempt, Pesta was knocked out by a right hook that put an end to the fight.

Akhmedov, a former UFC fighter, snapped a two-fight skid in this appearance. He lost his PFL debut last year, getting finished by Jordan Young.

Pesta was on a three-fight winning streak before Wednesday from performances in the Czech Republic.

Bout 2: Rob Wilkinson (13-2) vs. Bruce Suoto (15-3) (Light Heavyweight)

Wilkinson Secures Five Points With Finish Over Suoto

Rob Wilkinson earned five points in the first tournament bout of the fight, stopping Bruce Suoto early in the second round with strikes.

Wilkinson dropped Suoto with a series of knees to the body while in a clinch position on the feet. He then finished the fight on the ground with punches.

Wilkinson succeeded in the first round as well, controlling Suoto on the ground.

Wilkinson, who was making his PFL debut, is now on a three-fight winning streak in MMA.

Suoto secured a PFL contract earlier this year with a stoppage win on the “Challenger Series.” He entered Wednesday on a nine-fight winning streak.

Bout 1: Simeon Powell (5-0) vs. Clinton Williams (9-5) (Light Heavyweight)

Powell Knocks Williams Out With Knee Late

Undefeated light heavyweight Simeon Powell scored a knockout win late in his PFL debut, knocking Clinton Williams out with a knee to the head in a non-tournament fight.

Powell scored with a knee while exiting a clinch position in the final minute of their bout. This shot floored Williams, causing the bout to end immediately.

Powell had a solid lead earlier in this fight, using a significant reach advantage to land a high volume of jabs and straights to the head of Williams.

Powell joined the PFL roster just earlier this month through their “Challenger Series.” On that show, he went the distance against Tobias Baker for his fifth pro win.

Williams entered the bout on a two-fight winning streak from last year.

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