PFL 2019, Playoffs 1 results: Michaud-Cooper III, Harrison-Pacheco set for finals

PFL 2019, Playoffs 1 takes place Friday in Las Vegas, and you can join us for live results of all of the action.

The event marks the start of the playoffs for PFL’s 2019 season, the second in the upstart league’s history, and takes place at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

The card sees action from the PFL’s eight-man welterweight field, as well as the four women involved in the women’s lightweight playoffs.

The men’s competitors will look to fight twice in a single night and earn their way to the PFL 2019 Championship, which takes place Dec. 31, where playoff winners will take home $1 million prizes.

Meanwhile, the female competitors have already been narrowed to four and will need to compete just once on Friday to earn their finals ticket.

Enjoy the fights, everyone.

* * * *

LAS VEGAS – In a true battle of will, David Michaud (18-5) closed Friday’s PFL 2019, Playoffs 1 in spectacular fashion, earning a hard-fought majority decision over Glaico Franca (22-6).

The contest served as the featured bout the ESPN2-broadcast event, which took place at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Franca took the center to start, and he was patient as he looked to attack. Michaud occasionally teased a rush forward, but he was careful not to overcommit. Meanwhile, Franca switched stances a bit and looked for openings, also careful not to expose himself to any dramatic counters.

Michaud began to find his rhythm as the fight unfolded, and he had success countering over the top of his opponent’s low kicks. Franca appeared a little wobbled, but he shook it off and continued his patient attack. A quick clinch closed the round.

Franca continued chopping at the legs to open the second and then shot forward and earned a takedown. Michaud worked quickly back to his feet but couldn’t get space, so he sacrificed on a guillotine choke that missed, costing him position. Michaud worked back to his feet again, but Franca was there to pull him back to the canvas. Franca tried to slip around to the back, but Michaud used the fence to protect the advance and again worked back to his feet.

Franca was relentless in his efforts, and he was able to take the fight to the floor again, this time firmly establishing a dominant position. Michaud did his best to work off his back, and didn’t take any real damage from the position, but Franca finished the round on top.

At the start of the third, Franca landed a knee to his opponent’s groin. Michaud leaned over, seemingly recoiling from the blow, and Franca threw another knee than struck his opponent in the forehead, opening up a cut. Michaud took a brief timeout, and referee Keith Peterson didn’t have the wound checked, so we carried on.

On the restart, Michaud rushed forward and latched on to the neck, dropping for a guillotine choke. The two rolled and adjusted and switched positions, all with Michaud controlling the beck and hoping for the finish, but Franca was able to last through it. Once the hold was released, the two fighters scrambled to the feet, where Michaud continued with forward pressure. His face covered with blood, Michaud remained on the attack against a clearly tiring foe.

Franca did his best to hang on, clearly exhausted and trying to clinch when possible or fire back punches when necessary. The wild round ended with some dirty boxing, and the crowd offered their appreciation of the effort at the final bell. In the end, Michaud was granted the majority decision 29-28, 29-28 and 29-28.

Ray Cooper III (20-7) punched his ticket to the welterweight finals, quite literally, with a devastating knockout of a courageous Chris Curtis (21-8), who had retired earlier in the night after losing a decision to Magomed Magomedkerimov (26-5), only to be called back into action when the Russian couldn’t continue due to health concerns.

Cooper III took the center to start, patiently working a jab and feeling his range. Curtis tried briefly to clinch but felt some resistance and backed away, looking to strike. Once they reset, Cooper III changed levels and got deep on the legs, dragging the action to the canvas and taking the dominant spot. Curtis stayed there briefly before turning to his knees and getting back to his feet, where Cooper III was able to chain wrestle his way back to side control in a slick series.

Cooper III maintained control in the latter stages of the frame, stepping over to mount, where he finished the round.

Curtis came out swinging in the second, but it backfired. Cooper III landed a huge right hand to the chin, sending Curtis crashing to the canvas. Cooper III followed with additional punches, but it was hardly necessary, with his opponent out cold 11 seconds into the round.

Kayla Harrison, Larissa Pacheco set for women’s lightweight final

In the night’s first women’s lightweight semifinal, No. 1 seed Kayla Harrison (6-0) booked her trip to the finals with a dominant first-round finish of late replacement Bobbi Jo Dalziel (5-2), who replaced No. 3 seed Genah Fabian at Thursday’s official weigh-ins.

Harrison took the center to start, and she quickly jabbed her way into a clinch, pushing the action to the cage. An inside trip saw her take the fight to the floor, landing in side control. Dalziel wisely posted to a knee and worked to rise, using the cage to prevent Harrison from taking the back and working back to her feet. Still, Harrison had her hands tied around the body, and she quickly brought the action to the canvas again, moving back to side control. From there, Harrison stepped over to mount, grabbed the arm and rolled off. First it was a belly down attempt, but she flipped back over to a more traditional variety and earned the tap at the 3:32 mark of the first frame.

In a stunning upset, No. 4 seed Larissa Pacheco (13-3) not only upset No. 1 seed Sarah Kaufman but actually dominated her over the course of 15 minutes to book her spot in the women’s lightweight final.

Pacheco certainly seemed intent to strike early, moving forward and firing punches up the middle. Kaufman kept her hands high and looked to strike back, but Pacheco seemed just a touch faster and was able to cut her opponent in the early going. Pacheco then drove forward and took the action to the canvas, earning top position in the transition to the floor.

Kaufman did her best to escape from the canvas, but Pacheco kept her pinned to the floor, moving to side control and staying heavy on top. Pacheco delivered a few punches and elbows when she could, but the key focus was maintaining her dominant position.

Kaufman moved forward to start the second, but Pacheco was there to meet her with quick, straight punches. Kaufman kept the pressure high, winging hooks from both sides as Pacheco shifted laterally on the outside. The two continued to slug it out on the feet, with Kaufman’s nose bloodied, before Pacheco again looked to push inside. This time, Kaufman was up to the challenge and tried to control the neck on the feet, but Pacheco was able to pop free and resume her attack.

Pacheco did finally score a takedown in the final seconds, but it was too late to capitalize.

Kaufman was aggressive to open the third, but Pacheco remained light on her feet and seemed to have plenty of energy as she danced about the cage. Kaufman kept pressing, but she struggled to find the mark. She briefly seemed to think takedown but was tagged with a knee and pushed away, slowing her attack.

Kaufman never did slow her advances, but Pacheco was able to grab hold and take her to the floor late in the round. Kaufman crawled to her feet and worked from the clinch, briefly putting herself in a position to threaten the arm, but she slipped off without ever really causing any trouble. Pacheco finished on top, cruising to a decision win in the semifinal bout, 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.

She now meets Harrison in the season finals, marking a rematch Pacheco lost by decision when they met earlier this year.

Judges needed in all four welterweight quarterfinals

In the night’s fourth and final welterweight quarterfinal, No. 5 seed Michaud was able to outwork No. 4 seed John Howard (28-16-1) en route to a unanimous decision

It was wild striking in the opening seconds, as both men flurried to start before Michaud looked for the takedown. Howard tried for the guillotine as he fell, but Michaud made sure there was no pressure on the neck. Howard quickly scrambled back to the feet, where they started wailing away again. However, Michaud eventually changed levels and drove his opponent to the canvas once again.

Howard crawled up again in the final seconds, but Michaud quickly brought him to the floor again, briefly trying for a guillotine before letting it go and ending the round in top position.

Howard came out looking to strike in the second. He struggled to land clean, but he was able to move forward and clinch before tripping the action to the canvas. Michaud worked hard to get to his feet, then found space to turn inside, but Howard was relentless with his forward pressure.

Michaud eventually circled off the cage, driving a few punches inside, but he couldn’t get space. Howard was happy to exchange some dirty boxing inside, holding a collar tie and punching inside. Michaud finally created some space late in the round, but Howard punches his way back into the clinch. Howard tried to change levels late, but Michaud sprawled well and punched the body until the bell, taking the fight with scores of 20-18 across the board.

In the night’s first ESPN2-broadcast contest, No. 2 seed Magomedkerimov was able to advance by outgrappling No. 7 seed Chris Curtis (21-7) en route to a unanimous decision.

After an early exchange, Magomedkerimov was able to drive the action to the canvas and set up in his opponent’s guard, where he looked to strike from the top. Curtis turned to his knees to try and escape, but Magomedkerimov happily slipped to the back and started hunting for the choke. Curtis defended the hands well, but he simoly couldn’t get away from the pressure. Magomedkerimov found a way to stay on the back, even as Curtis rose to his feet and then tried to roll on the floor, and the round ended in the position.

Curtis hoped to strike in the second, but Magomedkerimov looked comfortable in the early exchanges and eventually was able to work to the clinch. Curtis made sure not to stay there, backing away and looking to strike again. He was certainly the man advancing, but he struggled to land clean.

In the latter stages of the frame, Curtis complained of a kick to the groin, but referee Keith Peterson didn’t oblige, and Magomedkerimov kept fighting, using the brief lapse in his opponent’s concentration to again move inside and into the clinch. To his credit, Curtis was able to stay upright, and they exchanged punches until the end, where Magomekerimov was granted a decision win, 20-17, 20-18 and 20-18.

In the night’s final preliminary bout, No. 1 seed Franca punched his ticket to the welterweight semifinals with a gutsy win over No. 8 seed Andre Fialho (10-3), surviving some late trouble to make it out with majority decision win.

After a rather lengthy feeling out process, Franca changed levels and drove forward for the takedown. Fialho sprawled well initially, landing a few big hammerfists, as well. However, Franca tucked his head and was able to pull his opponent to the canvas. However, once on top, he wasn’t able to stay busy enough to keep it there, and the fight was brought back to the feet.

On the restart, Fialho was aggressive with his punches. However, it was France who landed the bigger shots before once again driving forward and taking the action to the floor, nearly sneaking to the back before the end of the round.

Fialho came out swinging in the second, and a huge right hand clearly dazed Franca, who retreated to recover and was eventually able to shoot forward and take his opponent to the floor. It was a massive swing in momentum, and Franca made sure he was busy this time around, punching at every clear opportunity and maintaining top control until the final minute.

Back on the feet, Fialho tried to summon a little magic, but his punches had lost some zip, and Franca walked through them to earn another takedown, sealing the win, which he took home with scores of 20-18, 20-18 and 19-19.

In the night’s first welterweight quarterfinal, No. 6 seed Cooper III appeared to have done enough for a clear decision win over No. 3 seed Sadibou Sy (8-6-1) but was forced to wait for a majority draw read to find out he would advance to the semifinals.

Cooper III wasted little time trying to negate the massive reach advantage, shooting on the legs almost immediately. Sy battled to stay upright, sprawling against the cage and looking to dig underhooks, but Cooper III was relentless with his effort. Eventually, Sy was able to scramble free, but Cooper III clipped him with a flurry of punches that sent the Swede crashing to the floor. Cooper III followed and looked for the finish, but Sy was able to slow things down and stay alive while working from his back.

Cooper III again pushed forward quickly to start the second, looking to get the fight to the floor. Sy again defended well against the cage, but he struggled to pull free. A Sy knee to the groin earned him a restart, albeit at Cooper III’s expense. However, once the action resumed, Cooper III was able to sprint forward on a takedown and drive the action to the canvas, where it remained until the end of the frame.

In the end, judges declared the fight a majority draw with Cooper III taking once card 20-18 but the other two scoring it 19-19. However, all three judges awarded Cooper III the tiebreaker, and he was awarded the win.

Aleksakhin, Loughnane win in non-tourney fights

In the second of two “new fighter showcase” contests, Russia’s Nikolay Aleksakhin (24-5) was able to take out Canada’s Jesse Ronson (20-10) in the first round.

Ronson controlled the center of the cage in the early going and looked to pick his foe apart with punches to the head and body. However, Aleksakhin was able to weather the early attacks before countering with strikes of his own, and it was clear they packed a bit more power.

Ronson tried to shift his focus to wrestling, but Aleksakhin was able to stuff the attempts and land a big knee inside before unleashing a vicious barrage of punches, dropping him to the canvas and finishing the fight at the mark of the opening round.

In the night’s first contest, Brendan Loughnane (18-3) debuted with a clearcut decision win over an outgunned Matt Wagy (13-7). The featherweight prospect used a non-stop barrage of kicks to the legs and body to chop down his opponent over the course of three rounds.

To his credit, Wage did his best to stand in the pocket and fire heavy punches in reply, but Loughnane was able to get the best of the exchanges and walk away with a decision win, 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.

MAIN CARD (ESPN2, 10 p.m. ET)

  • David Michaud def. Glaico Franca via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28) – welterweight semifinal
  • Ray Cooper III def. Chris Curtis via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 0:11 – welterweight semifinal
  • Kayla Harrison vs. Bobbi Jo Dalziel – women’s lightweight semifinal
  • Larissa Pacheco def. Sarah Kaufman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – women’s lightweight semifinal
  • David Michaud def. John Howard via unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18) – welterweight quarterfinal
  • Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Chris Curtis via unanimous decision (20-17, 20-18, 20-18) – welterweight quarterfinal

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Glaico Franca def. Andre Fialho via majority decision (20-18, 20-18, 19-19) – welterweight quarterfinal
  • Ray Cooper III def. Sadibou Sy via unanimous judges’ award (20-18, 19-19, 19-19) – welterweight quarterfinal
  • Nikolay Aleksakhin def. Jesse Ronson via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:37
  • Brendan Loughnane def. Matt Wagy via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

View full post on MMA Junkie

, , , , ,

Comments are closed.

© 1992-2019 DC2NET™, Inc. All Rights Reserved