PFL Continues 2018 Debut Season with Thrilling MMA Action in PFL2
Jun 22, 2018
Professional Fighters League (PFL) Continues 2018 Debut Season with Thrilling MMA Action in PFL2 – Its Second Regular Season Event—at the Chicago Theatre
Hometown Favorite “Ill” Will Brooks Earns a Unanimous Decision Win and Kayla Harrison Dominates in her MMA Debut
June 21, 2018
Chicago, IL – The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the first organization to showcase mixed martial arts in a true sport format, held their second regular-season event in front of a full house at the historic Chicago Theatre. The 13-bout card was the first regular-season fight for PFL’s lightweight and light heavyweight fighters and featured stoppages in all but three fights. PFL 2 also marked Kayla Harrison’s professional MMA debut, where the two-time gold medalist wowed fans as she embarked on her new career as a professional fighter with a first round submission win.
“Our second event showed the power of this format to MMA fans here in the Chicago Theatre and watching at home in the U.S. and globally on NBCSN and Facebook,” said Carlos Silva, League President of PFL. “Our lightweight and light heavyweight fighters took their first steps toward claiming their share of the $10 million postseason prize pool. And Kayla Harrison proved that the hype was real with her dominant first-round submission victory over Brittney Elkin We’re so proud that she made her professional debut under the PFL banner and expect big things to come.”
Kayla Harrison’s long-awaited professional MMA debut did not disappoint. She came out strong from the opening bell and was quickly able to control her opponent, Brittney Elkin on the ground. At 3:18 in the first round Harrison was able to lock in an armbar forcing Elkin to tap.
Chicago’s own Will Brooks went the distance against Luiz Firmino, earning a unanimous decision win and three crucial points on his quest to be one of the top eight lightweight fighters to fight in the PFL’s $10 million postseason and championship events.
Perhaps the most heated moments of the night came when lightweight Efrain Escudero was declared victorious over Jason High by submission in the third round. High was vehement in his objection to the call, which was ultimately upheld by the referee. A late replacement in PFL2, Escudero was lined up to fight only 10 days before the bell and missed weight, so his victory will yield him no points.
Sean O’Connell broke new ground in the sport by handling play-by-play duties for the Facebook broadcast before stepping into the cage and scoring a highlight-reel knockout over Ronny Markes to earn five points in the light heavyweight division.
“Fighters were definitely making their opponents work for every point tonight and the emotions were clearly running high. Everyone has their eye on the December 31st championship event, and these fighters know that their destiny is in their own hands and there is no easy path to the postseason.” said Ray Sefo, President of Fighting Operations of PFL. “I’m excited to see the intensity our middleweights and welterweights will bring to the cage in Washington, D.C. on July 5.”
Will Brooks (3 pts.) def. Luiz Firmino (0 pts.) by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 and 30-27)
Brian Foster (4 pts.) def. Ramsey Nijem (0 pts.) by TKO (strikes) at 0:23 of the third round
Kayla Harrison def. Brittney Elkin by submission (armbar) at 3:18 of the first round
Efrain Escudero (0 pts.—did not make weight) def. Jason High (0 pts.) by submission (guillotine choke) at 0:35 of the third round
Sean O’Connell (5 pts.) def. Ronny Markes (0 pts.) by TKO (strikes) at 0:41 of the second round
Brandon Halsey (4 pts.) def. Smealinho Rama (0 pts.) by TKO (referee stoppage) at 0:01 of the third round
Islam Mamedov (3 pts.) def. Yuki Kawana (0 pts.) by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 and 29-28)
Vinny Magalhaes (6 pts.) def. Jamie Abdallah (0 pts.) by submission (rear naked-choke) at 1:37 in the first round
Rakim Cleveland (4 pts.) def. Rashid Yusupov (0 pts.) by TKO (referee stoppage) at 0:01 of the third round
Maxim Grishin (6 pts.) def. Jason Butcher (0 pts.) by TKO (injury at 1:40 of the first round
Robert Watley (5 pts.) def. Thiago Tavares (0 pts.) by TKO (referee stoppage) at 0:35 of the second round
Natan Schulte (3 pts.) def. Chris Wade (0 pts.) by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28 and 30-26)
Dan Spohn (4 pts.) def. Bazigit Ataev (0 pts.) by TKO (referee stoppage due to strikes) at 4:31 of the third round
Light Heavyweight and Lightweight Standings After One Fight:
|PFL Light Heavyweight Standings|
|Fighter||Ranking||Points||PFL Record||Next Fight|
|Vinny Magalhaes (BRA)||1||6||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Maxim Grishin (RUS)||2||6||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Sean O’Connell (USA)||3||5||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Brandon Halsey (USA)||4||4||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Rakim Cleveland (USA)||5||4||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Dan Spohn (USA)||6||4||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Bazigit Ataev (RUS)||7||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Rashid Yusupov (RUS)||8||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Smealinho Rama (CAN)||9||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Ronny Markes (BRA)||10||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Jason Butcher (USA)||11||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Jamie Abdallah (AUS)||12||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|PFL Lightweight Standings|
|Fighter||Ranking||Points||PFL Record||Next Fight|
|Robert Watley (USA)||1||5||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Brian Foster (USA)||2||4||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Will Brooks (USA)||3||3||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Natan Schulte (BRA)||4||3||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Islam Mamedov (RUS)||5||3||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Yuki Kawana (JAP)||6||0||1-0||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Luiz Firmino (BRA)||7||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Chris Wade (USA)||8||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Jason High (USA)||9||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Ramsey Nijem (USA)||10||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Thiago Tavares (BRA)||11||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
|Efrain Escudero (MEX)||12||0||0-1||PFL 5—Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY|
The 2018 PFL season features 126 fights on Thursday nights in seven regular-season events, bracket-style “win or go home” playoffs, and a $10 million post-season prize pool—the largest prize pool in the history of MMA. The season began with 12 athletes in each of six different weight-classes. Eight fighters from each class will earn their way into the playoff round, and one fighter in each division will earn the title of champion.
U.S.-based and international fans can watch all PFL regular season, playoff, and championship fights—over 66 hours of live action—for free. In the United States, all of the PFL regular season events air live on Thursday in primetime exclusively on NBCSN, and stream live on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and pflmma.com. Outside the U.S., Facebook streams up to six hours of free, live coverage for each event. In the U.S., fans can watch the first three hours of coverage of each event on Facebook.
About Professional Fighters League™
The Professional Fighters League presents MMA for the first time in the sport format where individuals compete in a regular season, “win-or-go-home” post-season, and championship. Co-founded by Donn Davis, Russ Ramsey, and Mark Leschly, the Professional Fighters League is backed by an ownership group of sports, media, and business titans. The PFL 2018 Season has 72 fighters in six weight-classes, competing in the regular season on Thursday nights in June, July, and August. The top eight in each weight-class face off in single-elimination playoff fights on Saturday nights in October and the PFL season concludes December 31 with six championship bouts back-to-back with a $10 million prize pool. Watch the entire PFL season action live on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), Facebook Watch, and PFLmma.com. For more visit www.PFLmma.com.