The PFL Challenger Series is back after a successful debut season in 2022. The Welterweights kick us off tonight and we’ll be back on Fubo Sports Network every Friday at 9pm. Opening this season of 2023 PFL Challenger Series, we have a short notice 175lb catchweight bout between Kendly St. Louis (7-4) and Nick Alley (7-5). St. Louis steps in on 24 hours notice after Mostafa Rashed Nada was forced to withdraw from the bout. Alley has earned 5 of his 7 career victories by submission and will present a threat on the mat against the slightly smaller St. Louis who normally competes at Lightweight.
At the end of the night, the fans, the celebrity panel, and Ray Sefo (if needed) will vote to decide which fighter earns a PFL contract and a chance to compete in the 2023 PFL Regular Season.
The bell rings and the 2023 PFL Challenger Series is officially underway! Lots of feeling out early before Alley lands a nice shot, briefly staggering St. Louis. Alley overextends and slips, allowing St. Louis to fall into top half guard as Alley gets to work recovering full guard.
Alley is able to recover his full guard and is staying busy off his back throwing up different looks and looking to improve position before St. Louis is able to smash pass to half guard and posture up to land some damage. Alley is able to get a butterfly hook in and use it to sweep back to full guard.
St. Louis attacks a guillotine and it gets tight for a moment but Alley is able to create a scramble and wind up back on his back briefly before working back to his feet with about 90 seconds remaining in the round. The fighters exchange blows before Alley changes levels and shoots and finishes a single leg takedown, landing in top half guard with about 50 seconds to work.
Alley postures up and gets off some short punches to the body and head. Alley stays busy but doesn’t land anything that would threaten to end the fight, ending the round in dominant position landing blows.
Round two is off to a much faster start with both fighters coming out swinging. St. Louis appears to be landing the heavier blows but both men are having success early as St Louis lands nice one-two. St. Louis is doing an excellent job fighting behind his jab in this round and establishing his range as Alley ducks in behind a heavy body hook that lands flush on St. Louis.
St. Louis presses the action in the clinch, getting the takedown and instantly sliding into mount. Alley is in danger here as St. Louis begins raining down punches. Alley gives his back and just like that, St. Louis takes it and sinks in a rear naked choke! Alley taps and the first PFL Challenger Series bout of 2023 will end by submission.
Kendly St. Louis submits Nick Alley on 24 hours notice after initially showing up to corner his teammate Thad Jean!
Kendly St. Louis def. Nick Alley via 2nd Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke, 2:17)