PFL’s lightweight and light heavyweight grand final bouts were confirmed at their event on Friday night.
Light heavyweights Omari Akhmedov and Rob Wilkinson are expected to appear in the grand finals later this year. At lightweight, it will be Stevie Ray and Olivier Aubin-Mercier competing in the fall.
The grand final spots were decided with fights at the Hulu Theatre in New York City, New York, USA this weekend.
Ray Defeats Pettis In Rematch, Earns Playoff Spot
Stevie Ray earned a lightweight grand final spot in Friday’s main event, scoring his second consecutive unanimous decision win over high-profile veteran Anthony Pettis.
Ray’s victory came from a slow-paced fight that mostly took place on the feet. Ray was able to land the better strikes during these exchanges and also succeeded in brief grappling bouts.
Ray has now beat Pettis twice in 2022. Ray secured his playoff spot with a regular season win against Pettis in June, submitting him in the second round of a bout.
Pettis scored enough points to enter the playoffs earlier in the year, defeating Bellator alum Myles Price in the first round of a bout via submission.
Akhmedov Hands Silveira First Pro Loss
Omari Akhmedov secured the final light heavyweight playoff spot in the co-main event, earning a decision nod against then-undefeated Josh Silveira.
Akhmedov’s victory mostly came due to his ability to out-land Silveira on the feet. Silveira attempted to close the distance with grappling at times, but most of the fight took place at a stand-up range – where Akhmedov succeeded.
Silveira, a former two-division LFA champion, entered this tournament as an alternate. He replaced defending champion Antonio Carlos Junior, who had to withdraw from the card due to injury.
He had an undefeated record of nine wins before this weekend, including a first-round finish win over Marthin Hamlet from June.
Akhmedov, a former UFC fighter, had a strong regular season. He earned an 85-second finish over Viktor Pesta, and also submitted Teodoras Aukstuolis in the second round of a fight.
Aubin-Mercier Dominates Martinez For Decision Win
Olivier Aubin-Mercier showcased a well-rounded performance against Alexander Martinez on Friday night to win a unanimous decision and advance to the lightweight finals.
A mix of explosive striking and one-sided ground control allowed Aubin-Mercier to earn a comfortable decision win.
Aubin-Mercier was able to earn a knockdown early in the second round, dropping Martinez with a lead right hook and a follow-up left cross punch. Following the knockdown, Aubin-Mercier spent the rest of the round in control in grappling positions.
Another left cross connected for Aubin-Mercier clean to open the final round, allowing for a second knockdown. Much like the second frame, he remained on the back of Martinez for most of the round afterward.
Aubin-Mercier will now appear in his first-ever PFL grand final. He made it into the playoffs earlier this year with two wins, defeating Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio on scorecards.
Martinez was appearing in a PFL semi-final spot for the second time. He was eliminated last year by Loik Radzhabov, who beat him via unanimous decision in August 2021.
Wilkinson Stops Monte Early To Secure Grand Final Spot
Rob Wilkinson scored the sole finish win as part of Friday’s playoffs, putting away Delan Monte in the second minute with a brutal knee. The win put Wilkinson into the 2022 PFL Light Heavyweight finals.
Wilkinson knocked Monte out cold with a knee after piecing together a combination of punches on the feet. The referee was quick to step in and end the fight, earning Wilkinson a walk-off victory.
The finish win on Friday only continued an explosive year for Wilkinson. His two regular season wins also came via stoppage, defeating Viktor Pesta and Bruce Suoto.
Monte entered the PFL playoffs as the fourth seed due to a first-round finish victory over Emiliano Sordi in June.
Postlims (9:00PM EDT) (ESPN+)
Bout 10: Marcelo Nunes def. Dylan Potter via Submission, Arm Triangle Choke (RD 1, 1:47)
Bout 9: Alexei Pergande def. Elvis Lebron Quiles via Decision, Split
Bout 8: Elvin Espinoza def. Corey Jackson via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 7: Brahyan Zurcher def. Ricardo Jimenez via Decision, Unanimous
Main Card (7:00PM EDT) (ESPN / TSN 2)
Bout 6: Stevie Ray def. Anthony Pettis via Decision, Unanimous (PFL Lightweight Playoff Semi-Final)
Bout 5: Omari Akhmedov def. Josh Silveira via Decision, Unanimous (PFL Light Heavyweight Playoff Semi-Final)
Bout 4: Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Alexander Martinez via Decision, Unanimous (PFL Lightweight Playoff Semi-Final)
Bout 3: Rob Wilkinson def. Delan Monte via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:37) (PFL Light Heavyweight Playoff Semi-Final)
Preliminary Card (6:00PM EDT)
Bout 2: Itso Babulaidze def. Mahmoud Sebie via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 4:30)
Bout 1: Marthin Hamlet def. Cory Hendricks via Decision, Split