It’s Friday night and that means we’re back for another edition of the PFL Challenger Series! Eight fighters compete for one PFL contract and tonight the Heavyweights are in action. We begin with Scotland’s Louie Sutherland taking on Alton Meeks. Sutherland made his PFL debut against Abraham Bably last year, dropping a close decision for his first career loss after finishing his first four career bouts in the first round. Meeks meanwhile was an Olympic wrestling hopeful but transitioned to MMA after a major back injury. Meeks only career loss came on Dana White’s Contender Series to Yorgan De Castro (who is main eventing PFL 2 this year against reigning champ Ante Delija).
The bell rings and Week 3 of the PFL Challenger Series is underway. Meeks comes out gunning early but Sutherland does a good job of staying out of range. Sutherland doesn’t have long however as Meeks uses the missed hooks to change levels and blast a double leg takedown.
Sutherland quickly gets back to his feet but Meeks executes a picturesque mat return and lands in top half guard with a full four minutes to work. Meeks is staying heavy on top and peppering ground and pound before Sutherland manages to work back to his feet once again.
And again, it’s up and straight back down for Sutherland as Meeks lands 2 heavy suplexes. Meeks will need to be careful to ration his energy however as he’s using a lot of very high output techniques early.
Halfway through the round, Meeks is on the back and throwing knees at the butt and thigh of Sutherland as Sutherland tries to build back to his feet. Meeks is staying busy with those knees but Sutherland is eventually able to get back to his feet again, however Meeks very smoothly transitions to a single leg. This time Sutherland is able to fight off the takedown attempt and reset, firing a big looping right hand with a flurry behind it that doesn’t land flush but would surely terrify anyone with a brain.
Sutherland is picking up steam now, landing two big knees to the head of Meeks before beginning to work the body with some kicks. Sutherland lands a nice inside leg kick that briefly takes Meeks off his feet as the round winds down, and we’ll finish on the feet with Sutherland picking up momentum.
The second round begins and this time Sutherland seems to be in control, claiming the center of the SmartCage and starting to find his range with some low kicks and hooks. Meeks is beginning to drop his hands and may have emptied the tank a bit with all those suplexes.
Sutherland lands an overhand right followed by a nice kick to the body and there’s a big knee up top behind it! Meeks is hurt badly, collapsing and turtling up as Sutherland rains down hammerfists until the referee decides he’s seen enough! What a finishing sequence!
Louie Sutherland redeems himself in the SmartCage with a huge come from behind TKO!
Louie Sutherland def. Alton Meeks via 2nd Round TKO (Knee to hammerfists, 1:25)