PFL 5 results: Natan Schulte chokes out Jason High in first round

Natan Schulte’s stock continues to grow with another win over a UFC veteran.

Schulte showed off his judo skills before choking Jason High unconscious with a rear-naked choke at the 1:34 mark of the opening frame.

The lightweight fight headlined PFL 5 on Thursday at NYCB LIVE in Uniondale, N.Y. The event’s main card aired live on NBCSN following early prelims on Facebook Live.

“It was a very tough fight,” Schulte said afterward. “I admire Jason a lot. I’ve had him as a training partner.”

For the second time in a row, High didn’t go quietly with his loss. When he came to, he pulled referee Dan Miragliotta into a clinch and fired off a knee. But Miragliotta was a good sport and merely smiled at the waking fighter, who batted chairs when the referee ruled him the loser by submission in a previous fight against Efrain Escudero.

Schulte and High traded kicks early, with Schulte attacking the calf and High going to the body. High made the first throw attempt, but Schulte stayed upright and shortly afterward excuted his own throw, the first of three techniques that put High on the mat.

High’s fourth trip southward wasn’t the result of a throw, however, but a kick that swept him off his feet. Schulte hopped on the back and simultaneously secured the choke, and High had nowhere to go.

Schulte (13-3), who previously put away Chris Wade in his promotional debut, has now won two straight and clinches a playoff spot with a six-point finish. High (21-8) drops to 1-3 in his past four bouts for the WSOF and PFL.

Magalhaes makes quick work of Halsey

Vinny Magalhaes fights Brandon Halsey at PFL 5

Vinny Magalhaes fights Brandon Halsey at PFL 5. (PFL)

Brandon Halsey tried to stay in Vinny Magalhaes’ face with punches and pressure. Then he ran into a head kick.

Halsey toppled over and tried to grab a leg as Magalhaes pounced for a finish. Rejecting the single leg, Magalhaes secured a hook and trapped Halsey against the fence, pounding away until referee Todd Anderson stopped the fight at 1:34 mark of the opening frame.

Magalhaes (15-9) picks up six points, the No. 1 seed in the light heavyweight playoffs and his second straight PFL win. Bellator vet Halsey sees a two-fight streak snapped.

Brooks smothers Watley for scorecard shutout

Will Brooks fights Robert Watley at PFL 5

Will Brooks fights Robert Watlery at PFL 5. (PFL)

Former Bellator champion Will Brooks grappled his way to a trio of 30-27 scorecards, but he probably didn’t win a whole lot of fans in the crowd.

Brooks smothered Robert Watley against the fence, countering all of his opponent’s sharp counterattacks with trips to the canvas.

Brooks afterward gave the verbal finger to boo-birds that voiced their disapproval of his approach, telling them they don’t pay his mortgage.

Every moment Watley spent on his feet, he showed an unpredictable striking attack that several times caught Brooks by surprise. But Brooks’ wide taekwondo stance was just a misdirection for his takedown-centered approach. When he couldn’t seal the deal after twice taking back control, a stalemate settled in.

The unanimous call left no doubt, however, of the victor as Brooks (20-4) picks up three points and Watley (11-2) suffers his first loss since his professional debut four years and 12 bouts earlier.

Grishin uses side-naked choke to tap Cleveland

Maxim Grishim fights Rakim Cleveland at PFL 5.

Maxim Grishim fights Rakim Cleveland at PFL 5. (PFL)

Maxim Grishin’s two takedown attempts were met with guillotine replies from Rakim Cleveland. But on the second, he turned the tables and got his own choke.

Cleveland tapped at the 4:03 mark of the second round to a rear-naked choke, or more accurately, a side-naked choke as he tried in vain to escape Grishin on the canvas.

The toughest part of the opening frame for Grishin was the hard low blow that put him on his knees. Cleveland’s initial submission attempt wasn’t a strong enough deterrent, and on the feet, he attacked hard to the body, prompting a flurry of wild hooks from Cleveland.

Cleveland got more aggressive in the second, trying to get back in the game. It worked, because he slapped Grishin with a pair of head kicks. An inevitable takedown attempt led to another guillotine, but Grishin escaped and took the back, eventually sinking in the fight-ending choke.

Grishin (28-7) now has won five straight and picks up five points for the post-season, while Cleveland loses after a 3-0-1 run.

Magomedov outstrikes Firmino in slugfest

Rashid Magomedov’s PFL debut was successful, even if it wasn’t easy.

Luiz Firmino refused to back down despite Magomedov’s accurate counterstriking over three rounds, resulting in a three-round slugfest that Magomedov took via unanimous decision.

The final scorecards were 30-27 twice and 29-28, bringing Magomedov three points toward his post-season total.

Magomedov did his best to deter Firmino from closing distance, launching heavy kicks only to fall into back control with an early scramble. Firmino might have sunk a choke right there, but Magomedov made his neck scarce and eventually spun into guard. It was Firmino’s time to make his head scarce.

Magomedov again used his legs to keep Firmino at distance in a middle frame that never got out of second gear. Magomedov’s counters were on point, and he clinched Firmino when the Brazilian came swinging hard. Firmino tried to take things to the mat, only to eat jabs and body shots.

Firmino slung heavy leather to even the scores and wound up wobbled from a counter hook. Like his scrap with Justin Gaethje, though, he contined to press forward. Magomedov caught a hard left hook, and the two matched more power shots. Firmino’s efforts to take the fight down were stymied, and Magomedov’s persistent jab kept him at bay.

After a 5-1 UFC stint that ended in a failure to negotiate a new contract, Magomedov (21-2) starts anew in the PFL while Firmino (20-10) drops to 1-4 in PFL and WSOF competition.

Full PFL 5 results include:

MAIN CARD

  • Natan Schulte def. Jason High via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:18
  • Vinny Magalhaes def. Brandon Halsey via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:34
  • Will Brooks def. Robert Watley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Maxim Grishin def. Rakim Cleveland via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:03
  • Rashid Magomedov def. Luiz Firmino via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

PRELIMINARY CARD

  • Chris Wade def. Yuki Kawana via submission (guillotine choke) –
    Round 1, 4:24
  • Dan Spohn def. Artur Alibulatov via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27)
  • Thiago Tavares def. Arthur Estrazulas via unanimous decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

For more on PFL 5, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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