PFL confirmed their remaining playoff brackets as part of their final regular season event on Friday. It was welterweight and lightweight fighters that were the focus when the promotion held their recent card at the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, USA this weekend.
Harrison Keeps Third Run Going, Pacheco Takes Top Lightweight Seed
Two-time PFL Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison confirmed her spot in the playoffs this weekend, pulling off a first-round finish victory over short-notice opponent Kaitlin Young. The quick victory moved Harrison’s season total to nine points, which also accounts for a decision victory she earned earlier this year.
The top seed of the division is set to be UFC alum Larissa Pacheco, who finished the season with a flawless 12 points. Pacheco earned two first-round finish wins to take this spot, stopping Zamzagul Fayzallanova and Genah Fabian in recent months.
Olena Kolesnyk was the sole lightweight that made it into the playoffs despite never scoring a finish. She earned two decision victories during the regular season, defeating Abby Montes and Vanessa Melo.
The other spot in the playoffs will go to Martina Jindrova. Like Harrison, she finishes with nine points due to a decision victory and a first-round finish win.
Defending Welterweight Champion Cooper III To Miss Playoffs
It was confirmed Friday that 2021 PFL Welterweight Champion Ray Cooper III won’t be able to defend his belt in the playoffs this year.
Cooper III finished the season with five points, placing him two spots below playoff qualification. His few points came from a strong win on Friday’s main card, stopping Brett Cooper in just 24 seconds with strikes.
While the performance gave him six points, a one-point deduction for missing weight earlier this year meant that he finished the season with a total of five points overall.
The top seed for welterweight is expected to be veteran talent Rory MacDonald.
MacDonald suffered a massive upset loss this weekend, dropping a unanimous decision to Sadibou Sy. He will qualify despite this loss, as a first-round finish win from May earned him six points.
Sy’s win over MacDonald was his second decision win of the season. He’ll be appearing in the playoffs due to his consistent results.
The same can be said for former LFA Welterweight Champion Carlos Leal, who will appear in the third seed. Leal was initially scheduled to step in on short notice and face Nikolay Aleksakhin this weekend. After that fight was scrapped, Leal was given three points and earned him enough to secure a playoff spot.
The fourth and final welterweight spot went to Magomed Umalatov, who needed just one fight to take a playoff spot this year. His sole 2022 appearance thus far saw him score a finish victory against Jarrah Al-Silawi, catching him with a right hook in the first round.
That quick outing snuck Umalatov into the fourth spot, keeping his shot at earning a $1 million grand prize going.
Main Card (8:00PM EDT) (ESPN / TSN 2)
Bout 9: Kayla Harrison def. Kaitlin Young via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 2:35)
Bout 8: Sadibou Sy def. Rory MacDonald via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 7: Ray Cooper III def. Brett Cooper via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 0:24)
Bout 6: Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Dilano Taylor via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 3:26)
Bout 5: Larissa Pacheco def. Genah Fabian via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 2:39)
Preliminary Card (6:00PM EDT) (ESPN+ / TSN Direct)
Bout 4: Magomed Umalatov def. Jarrah Al-Silawi via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:33)
Bout 3: Marina Mokhnatkina def. Abby Montes via Decision, Split
Bout 2: Martina Jindrova def. Zamzagul Fayzallanova via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 4:04)
Bout 1: Olena Kolesnyk def. Vanessa Melo via Decision, Unanimous