The subsequent three Skilled Fighters League playing cards, which all happen in Atlantic Metropolis, New Jersey, signify a key alternative for everybody in every of the six PFL divisions who’s hoping to contend for $1 million. Determined opponents will look to capitalize on their final alternative to get into the playoffs, whereas contenders in prime place look to strengthen their place inside their bracket.
Each matchup to return within the playoffs will probably be decided by the outcomes of those second regular-season fights, however a number of matchups particularly ought to go a good distance towards defining how the postseason is laid out.
Kayla Harrison picked up a transparent determination win over Larissa Pacheco in her opening battle of the PFL season, however wasn’t completely happy about her lack of ability to safe a end. Ryan Loco/PFL
Kayla Harrison (three) vs. Morgan Frier (zero)
After her win over Larissa Pacheco at PFL 1, Harrison cried as a result of a call victory — albeit a dominant one over a late alternative — was under her requirements. Pacheco was even in a position to take Harrison’s again and fought for a rear-naked choke, although she by no means secured it. Total, Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, showcased the athleticism, power and expertise that inspired the PFL to construct a ladies’s division round her. The Harrison-Sarah Kaufman matchup is the one most followers wish to see on the finish; let’s examine how Harrison does in opposition to Frier, whom Kaufman submitted within the first spherical of their PFL 1 bout.
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Sarah Kaufman (6) vs. Roberta Samad (three)
Kaufman is Harrison’s most harmful potential opponent on this subject. She’s a confirmed veteran who has fought in each notable promotion. She stayed affected person and strategically attacked Frier on the PFL 1 card till she secured an arm triangle submission within the opening spherical. Samad’s inexperience (six professional bouts) could possibly be a major drawback in opposition to Kaufman, who has repeatedly said she’s right here with one main objective in thoughts — to “spoil” Harrison’s get together.
Magomed Magomedkerimov (6) vs. Chris Curtis (four)
Curtis shocked lots of people at PFL 1 when he bought a TKO win over Bellator veteran Andre Fialho. He is a savvy veteran who has been ready for his second within the highlight. However Magomedkerimov, the reigning PFL welterweight champion, is a monster. He is the very best grappler within the division and only a headache to take care of. John Howard, whom he submitted within the opening spherical of their matchup, is a great, skilled fighter, however Magomedkerimov overwhelmed him. Curtis must be flawless to get the win right here.
Sadibou Sy (6) vs. Glaico Franca (6)
Sy fought at middleweight in final season’s PFL. At 170 kilos, nonetheless, he is likely to be the welterweight division’s most harmful fighter. Simply ask David Michaud, who fell to his knees after taking a tough kick to the ribs from Sy on the PFL 1 card. Franca completed Gamzat Khiramagomedov with a rear-naked choke within the first spherical on the identical evening. This battle will possible be determined by the place it finally ends up, on the ft or on the bottom.
Ray Cooper III (5) vs. John Howard (zero)
Cooper misplaced to Magomedkerimov within the PFL welterweight title battle a yr in the past, however his win over his cousin Zane Kamaka at PFL 1 was extra proof that he is able to profitable this complete event. Cooper ought to get previous Howard, too. However Howard, a former UFC fighter, is determined after dropping his opening bout, so Cooper cannot take something as a right.
Defending PFL featherweight champion Lance Palmer is seeking to enhance upon his place after a call win over Alex Gilpin at PFL 2. Ryan Loco/PFL
Lance Palmer (three) vs. Luis Rafael Laurentino (6)
Laurentino, who has gained three consecutive fights since struggling the one lack of his profession, threw a vicious head kick to get a TKO victory over Jeremy Kennedy at PFL 2. Kennedy and Palmer, who’s final yr’s PFL featherweight champion and $1 million winner, are buddies and former coaching companions. There is likely to be some unhealthy blood on this one because of this, with Palmer looking for slightly revenge, though Palmer did change camps forward of the second season of the PFL so as to work with Mark Henry amid visions of capturing one other title. This battle is a vital step towards that mission, after he didn’t get a end in his battle at PFL 2.
Andre Harrison (three) vs. Movlid Khaybulaev (6)
Harrison is doing all the things in his energy to get a rubber match in opposition to Palmer, a fighter he defeated in 2017 earlier than dropping within the PFL featherweight event semifinals to Palmer a yr in the past. However a call win over late alternative Peter Petties in PFL 2 did not assist Harrison within the standings, the place he is in a tie for second place. His opponent, Khaybulaev, is a harmful contender who went viral after he KO’d Damon Jackson with a flying knee 10 seconds into their battle at PFL 2. Count on fireworks on this one.
Emiliano Sordi opened lots of eyes at PFL three together with his second-round TKO of Vinny Magalhaes. Ryan Loco/PFL
Kelvin Tiller (6) vs. Denis Goltsov (6)
Each of those heavyweights impressed of their first fights of the season at PFL three. Tiller ended his bout in opposition to Muhammed DeReese at PFL three with a candy Kimura within the first spherical to safe the win and the three bonus factors for the end. Goltsov shocked the sector when he hit UFC veteran Jared Rosholt, a semifinalist a yr in the past, with a fast left hook after which ended the battle with heavy proper palms to his downed opponent. The winner of this bout will depart understanding he is the highest heavyweight within the subject coming into the playoffs.
Bozigit Ataev (6) vs. Emiliano Sordi (5)
Vinny Magalhaes entered his bout in opposition to Sordi at PFL three with eyes towards a second consecutive championship battle. However Sordi peppered him with quite a lot of pictures to get the win and appeared like a harmful mild heavyweight in that matchup. Ataev, 40, is the oldest fighter within the mild heavyweight division. However in his first-round TKO of Dan Spohn on the PFL three card, Ataev proved that he is a critical opponent who cannot be missed. This can be a matchup between two fighters who do not take care of determination victories. They need finishes.
The remainder of the PFL6 card: