A rematch, a coin flip and two ladies on a collision course


Greater than 60 fighters competed throughout the 2021 Skilled Fighters League common season, however by the tip of the evening at PFL 6, that quantity had been minimize down to only 24. 4 fighters every, in six divisions, will compete for one in every of six $1 million prizes that stand a tantalizing two fights away.

Defending champions are solely again in three divisions, as gentle heavyweight Emiliano Sordi, welterweight Ray Cooper III and girls’s light-weight Kayla Harrison look to repeat. Two runners-up, in Larissa Pacheco and Loik Radzhabov, look to show the tide as they return to the fray. Again-to-back winners Lance Palmer and Natan Schulte each didn’t qualify for an opportunity at a three-peat.

The semifinal matchups, which occur over three weeks in August, run the spectrum from razor-thin margins to lopsided projections. There is a common season rematch the place the decrease seed already defeated No. 1. Two fighters had such comparable resumes that stood as much as tiebreakers {that a} coin flip was obligatory to find out the matchups. And there was just one division — ladies’s light-weight — wherein the highest two opponents each earned a pair of first-round finishes within the common season, as Harrison and Pacheco doubtlessly line themselves up for a rematch.

Let’s check out what’s to return within the PFL playoffs.

Heavyweight

No. 1 Bruno Cappelozza vs. No. 4 Jamelle Jones

Bruno Cappelozza (12 factors)

  • 12-5 (12 knockouts, Zero submissions)

  • 32 years previous | 6-foot-2 | 79-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Ante Delija (PFL 3); Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Muhammed Dereese (PFL 6)

Jamelle Jones (6 factors)

  • 12-6 (Eight knockouts, 2 submissions)

  • 33 years previous | 6-foot | 75-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (1-0): Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Klidson Abreu (PFL 6)

The matchup (Aug. 27): Cappelozza has been a terror this season, with two first-round finishes, whereas Jones had a Spherical 1 stoppage in his solely bout of the season. So do not count on a feeling-out course of. Do count on heavy palms to be thrown.


No. 2 Denis Goltsov vs. No. Three Ante Delija

Denis Goltsov (10 factors)

  • 26-6 (11 knockouts, 10 submissions)

  • 31 years previous | 6-foot-5 | 78-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Muhammed Dereese (PFL 3); Spherical Three KO/TKO over Brandon Sayles (PFL 6)

Ante Delija (6 factors)

  • 28-4 (7 knockouts, 7 submissions)

  • 30 years previous | 6-foot-5 | 79-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (1-1): Misplaced by Spherical 1 KO/TKO to Bruno Cappelozza (PFL 3); Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Chandler Cole (PFL 6)

The matchup (Aug. 22): That is Goltsov’s second straight time within the semifinals. He misplaced to eventual champ Ali Isaev in 2019. Now he has one other shot on the huge verify, however it will not be straightforward, judging from Delija’s first-round end on Thursday.


Mild heavyweight

No. 1 Antonio Carlos Junior vs. No. Four Emiliano Sordi

Antonio Carlos Junior (7 factors)

  • 11-5 (Zero knockouts, 9 submissions)

  • 31 years previous | 6-foot-2 | 79-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (1-0-1): Spherical 1 submission (guillotine) over Tom Lawlor (PFL 2); no contest vs. Vinny Magalhaes (unintentional low blow) (PFL 5)

Emiliano Sordi (Four factors)

  • 23-8-1 (16 knockouts, 6 submissions)

  • 30 years previous | 6-foot-2 | 77-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (1-0-1): Unanimous resolution over Chris Camozzi (PFL 2); unanimous draw vs. Dan Spohn (PFL 5)

The matchup (Aug. 19): For weeks, the narrative on Sordi was his tenuous spot within the standings. Was the defending champ even going to make the playoffs? He did make it, however his first impediment is formidable, particularly if Carlos Junior — a multiple-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion — can get the battle to the canvas.


No. 2 Cezar Ferreira vs. No. 3 Marthin Hamlet

Cezar Ferreira (6 factors)

  • 14-9 (Four knockouts, Four submissions)

  • 36 years previous | 6-foot-1 | 78-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (1-1): Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Nick Roehrick (PFL 2); misplaced by unanimous resolution to Chris Camozzi (PFL 5)

Marthin Hamlet (5 factors)

  • 7-2 (2 knockouts, Three submissions)

  • 29 years previous | 6-foot-1 |75-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (1-1): Spherical 1 technical submission (arm triangle) over Dan Spohn (PFL 2); misplaced by Spherical Three submission to Cory Hendricks (PFL 5)

The matchup (Aug. 19): Each males are coming off losses of their most up-to-date regular-season bouts after successful their openers, so each have confirmed each brilliant indicators and flaws. Between now and Aug. 19, one in every of these males goes to want to construct some confidence.


Welterweight

No. 1 Joao Zeferino vs. No. 4 Magomed Magomedkerimov

Joao Zeferino (Eight factors)

  • 26-9 (Four knockouts, 17 submissions)

  • 35 years previous | 5-foot-9 | 69-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Unanimous resolution over Gleison Tibau (PFL 2); Spherical 2 submission (arm triangle choke) over Jason Ponet (PFL 5)

Magomed Magomedkerimov (5 factors)

  • 27-5 (10 knockouts, 9 submissions)

  • 31 years previous | 6-foot-1 | 73-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (1-0): Spherical 1 submission (ezekiel choke) over Curtis Millender (PFL 5)

The matchup (Aug. 19): Magomedkerimov, the 2018 season champion, was robbed by damage of an opportunity to win once more in 2019, after which visa points saved him out of the cage till late within the 2021 common season. His fast submission was a reminder for the 170-pound division that the Russian goes to current issues.


No. 2 Rory MacDonald vs. No. 3 Ray Cooper III

Rory MacDonald (6 factors)

  • 22-7-1 (7 knockouts, Eight submissions)

  • 31 years previous | 6-foot | 76-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (1-1): Spherical 1 submission (rear-naked choke) over Curtis Millender (PFL 2); misplaced by break up resolution to Gleison Tibau (PFL 5)

Ray Cooper III (5 factors)

  • 22-7-1 (14 knockouts, 7 submissions)

  • 28 years previous | 5-foot-7 | 70-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Spherical 1 submission (arm triangle) over Jason Ponet (PFL 2); unanimous resolution over Nikolai Aleksakhin (PFL 5) (-1 level for lacking weight)

The matchup (Aug. 19): MacDonald fell into this battle after a questionable resolution went towards him in his second common season battle, whereas Cooper didn’t make weight forward of his second battle, costing him factors. However the result’s this matchup, which is the battle of the semifinals and pits the defending champion towards the star signee. The winner’s “reward”? Possibly a date within the cage with the relentless Magomedkerimov.


Males’s light-weight

No. 1 Loik Radzhabov vs. No. 4 Alexander Martinez

Loik Radzhabov (6 factors)

  • 14-3-1 (7 knockouts, Four submissions)

  • 30 years previous | 5-foot-8 | 68-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (1-1): Misplaced by break up resolution to Alexander Martinez (PFL 1); Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Akhmed Aliev (PFL 4)

Alexander Martinez (Three factors)

  • 8-1 (2 knockouts, Four submissions)

  • 27 years previous | 6-foot | 73-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (1-1): Cut up resolution over Loik Radzhabov (PFL 1); Misplaced by split-decision to Natan Schulte (PFL 4)

The matchup (Aug. 13): These two each went 1-1 this season, with Martinez getting his win by break up resolution in his opening bout towards … Radzhabov. Now they meet once more, after Radzhabov rebounded in a giant means with a 27-second knockout of Akhmed Aliev.


No. 2 Clay Collard vs. No. 3 Raush Manfio

Clay Collard (6 factors)

  • 20-8 (10 knockouts, Three submissions)

  • 28 years previous | 6-foot | 74-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Unanimous resolution over Anthony Pettis (PFL 1); break up resolution over Joilton Lutterbach (PFL 4)

Raush Manfio (6 factors)

  • 13-3 (7 knockouts, Zero submissions)

  • 29 years previous | 5-foot-9 | 73-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Cut up resolution over Joilton Lutterbach (PFL 1) | break up resolution over Anthony Pettis (PFL 6)

The matchup (Aug. 13): Each of those males obtained right here by beating Anthony Pettis, and each earned slim break up choices over Joilton Luttenbach. Collard had the extra dominant victory over Pettis, though he obtained clipped close to the ultimate horn whereas Manfio simply grew stronger and stronger in his Pettis battle.


Ladies’s light-weight

No. 1 Larissa Pacheco vs. No. 4 Taylor Guardado

Larissa Pacheco (12 factors)

  • 15-4 (6 knockouts, Eight submissions)

  • 26 years previous | 5-foot-6 | 69-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Julija Pajic (PFL 3); Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Olena Kolesnyk (PFL 6)

Taylor Guardado (6 factors)

  • 2-1 (Zero knockouts, Zero submissions)

  • 29 years previous | 5-foot-6 | 69-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Unanimous resolution over Olena Kolesnyk (PFL 3); Unanimous resolution over Laura Sanchez (PFL 6)

The matchup (Aug. 27): Ever since shedding to Kayla Harrison on New 12 months’s Eve 2019 — her second loss to Harrison that season — Pacheco has been aiming for a rematch. She must be cautious right here to not look previous Guardado, who’s inexperienced skilled, however has confirmed she will be able to grind out a win. Guardado returned to MMA after a nine-year hiatus in March 2020, and her lone loss in a 9-1 beginner profession was a 2011 loss to Ronda Rousey.


No. 2 Kayla Harrison vs. No. 3 Genah Fabian

Kayla Harrison (12 factors)

  • 10-0 (Four knockouts, Four submissions)

  • 30 years previous | 5-foot-8 | 66-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Mariana Morais (PFL 3); Spherical 1 submission (armbar) over Cindy Dandois (PFL 6)

Genah Fabian (Eight factors)

  • 4-1 (Three knockouts, Zero submissions)

  • 31 years previous | 6-foot | 74-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Unanimous resolution over Laura Sanchez (PFL 3); Spherical 2 KO/TKO over Julija Pajic (PFL 6)

The matchup (Aug. 27): Let’s exit on a limb and say Fabian goes to have her work minimize out for her. That might have been the case irrespective of who earned a spot throughout the cage from the defending champ, a two-time Olympic judo gold medalist.


Featherweight

No. 1 Brendan Loughnane vs. No. 4 Movlid Khaybulaev

Brendan Loughnane (9 factors)

  • 21-3 (12 knockouts, 1 submission)

  • 31 years previous | 5-foot-9 | 72-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Spherical 1 KO/TKO over Sheymon Moraes (PFL 1); majority resolution over Tyler Diamond (PFL 4)

Movlid Khaybulaev (6 factors)

  • 16-0-1 (6 knockouts, 2 submissions)

  • 30 years previous | 5-foot-6 | 70-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Unanimous resolution win over Lazar Stojadinovic (PFL 1); unanimous resolution over Lance Palmer (PFL 6)

The matchup (Aug. 13): Khaybulaev is 17-0-1 and bounced two-time champion Lance Palmer from playoff competition. Loughnane has gained seven in a row, hasn’t misplaced since 2017 and has been among the many most spectacular fighters within the PFL this season. There’s purpose to be excited for this matchup, which was determined by a coin flip for seeding between Khaybulaev and Jenkins.


No. 2 Chris Wade vs. No. 3 Bubba Jenkins

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Chris Wade lands a devastating knee to the top of Arman Ospanov to place him away early in Spherical 2 of their battle.

Chris Wade (Eight factors)

  • 19-6 (1 knockout, 5 submissions)

  • 33 years previous | 5-foot-10 | 70-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Unanimous resolution over Anthony Dizy (PFL 1); Spherical 2 KO/TKO over Arman Ospanov (PFL 4)

Bubba Jenkins (6 factors)

  • 16-4 (6 knockouts, Three submissions)

  • 33 years previous | 5-foot-8 | 72-inch attain

  • 2021 PFL outcomes (2-0): Unanimous resolution over Lance Palmer (PFL 1); unanimous resolution over Bobby Moffett (PFL 4)

The matchup (Aug. 13): Wade is coming off his first profession KO win and has the extra well-rounded ability set that was constructed off an beginner wrestling profession in junior faculty and Division III. However Jenkins’ wrestling background is a bit of bit deeper, as he is a 2011 NCAA Division 1 nationwide champ. Jenkins handed two-time defending champion Lance Palmer his first loss within the PFL in April.



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