Alexander Martinez has made the PFL Playoffs as a lightweight in each of his first two seasons, but he’ll need a big victory and some help in order to get to a third straight appearance. After coming up short against Loik Radzhabov in the 2021 semifinals, Martinez impressed in 2022 with regular-season victories over Stevie Ray and Clay Collard before losing to eventual champion Olivier Aubin-Mercier in the semifinals. He dropped to featherweight this season but dropped a decision in April to 2021 lightweight champion Raush Manfio.
This year marks the first PFL regular-season appearance for Bruno Miranda after he earned a PFL contract with a third-round TKO of Carson Frei last year during the Challenger Series. A striking specialist with experience in Muay Thai, Miranda is currently on a six-fight win streak. He scored a unanimous decision over Ahmed Amir in April.
Martinez must win to remain alive in the playoff race, but he’ll need to wait and see how other fights play out — even though he moves to first in the standings with a first-round finish here. Miranda, meanwhile, can’t be eliminated even in a loss. A finish for Miranda will clinch him a playoff spot.
Martinez quickly drops Miranda with a side kick to the stomach. Miranda fires off an overhand left, but Martinez counters and lands a low kick. Miranda catches a Martinez kick to the body. Miranda with a low kick. A one-two to the body by Miranda. Martinez fires off another kick that is caught by Miranda, but he rolls out of it and clinches Miranda up against the SmartCage. After they break off, Miranda lands a low kick, which Martinez answers with a combination.
The two trade low kicks again before Martinez lands a front kick to the body and a high kick. Miranda drops Martinez in a left hook exchange, but Martinez is able to get back to his feet. A heavy calf kick by Miranda. Martinez lands a body kick. Martinez fires off three left jabs that miss. Miranda sweeps Martinez’s legs, but Martinez right back up. The two briefly exchange hands. Martinez misses a spinning back kick. Martinez gets one more round kick to the body.
A couple of low kicks by Miranda to start the round. Martinez lands a left hand. Miranda with a low kick and Martinez lands a combination to the head and body. Big kick attempt to the head by Miranda. Miranda chasing down Martinez. Low kick by Miranda. A couple of left hands by Martinez. Miranda tries attacking the body. Miranda misses a couple of right hands. A left hand and a low kick by Martinez. Small combination by Martinez. Solid left by Miranda, but Martinez quickly gets Miranda against the fence. Miranda gets off it, but Martinez now comes forward. Miranda continues to focus on the body.
Front kick by Martinez as he continues to press forward. Martinez kicks Miranda’s legs out from under him and he comes forward. The two trading heavy shots in the pocket! Miranda lands inside before an outside low kick. Martinez with a jab and front kick, though he misses the spinning back fist. Miranda blocks a high kick. Martinez attacks the body with kicks. Miranda lands upstairs.
Combination by Miranda before the two briefly clinch up. Miranda comes forward and attacks the body. Martinez lands a solid double-leg takedown and he’s in Miranda's guard. Miranda tries to work a leg lock, but Martinez gets out of it, and he’s back in control on top in half-guard. Martinez tried to look for a guillotine, but Miranda went back flat on the ground before working his way back to his feet. Right hand by Miranda, and he shrugs off a clinch attempt by Martinez, who appears to be getting tired.
Miranda with another body shot, and Martinez lands a leg kick. The two look to land inside before Martinez pins Miranda against the SmartCage. The two break with about two minutes left, and Martinez lands a calf kick and right hand. Martinez initiates another clinch against the SmartCage, but Miranda gets him off easily. Low kick by Miranda. Round kick by Martinez to the body with about a minute left. The two exchanged inside, with Miranda seemingly getting the better of it. Martinez lands a strong jab.
The bell sounds to close out a back-and-forth, action-filled contest!
Bruno Miranda defeats Alexander Martinez by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), earning 3 points in the PFL Lightweight Division