The 2019 Professional Fighters League (PFL) season continued with Featherweight and Lightweight action at PFL 2 in front of a raucous crowd at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, on Long Island, N.Y. The ten-fight event featured home victories for Long Island natives Chris Wade and Andre Harrison, impressive wins by Natan Schulte and Lance Palmer, both of whom are looking to repeat as champions, and the fastest knockout in PFL history by newcomer Movlid Khaybulaev.
“PFL is changing the game with Thursday Night MMA on ESPN. Our season-format means every round matters in the hunt for a playoff spot and million-dollar prize,” said Peter Murray, CEO of the PFL. “As a result, fight fans around the world and in an electric Nassau Coliseum witnessed the fastest knockout in PFL history, four fights ending by stoppage in dramatic fashion and 2018 Champions earning dominant wins as they look to repeat. Real-time delivery of dynamic, fighter performance data through our proprietary SmartCage technology added additional context to their impressive feats of athleticism.”
“Our Featherweight and Lightweight fighters began their journey to a championship and million-dollar prize in truly spectacular fashion,” said Ray Sefo, President of Fighter Operations of the PFL. “It’s important to earn maximum points heading into the second half of the season. These are tone-setting matches, and 10 fighters are now closer to securing a coveted playoff spot. The others have some work to do, but what’s special about the season-format is they still have a shot to bounce back. The fight is not over.”
Looking to repeat, 2018 Lightweight Champion Natan Schulte began his 2019 campaign with a dominant first-round submission (rear-naked choke) of PFL newcomer Bao Yincang. The win earned Schulte 6 points toward a playoff spot. Schulte remains unbeaten in PFL competition, with a 5-0-1 record since the beginning of last season. He has just one loss in his last 17 fights. Chris Wade defeated a game Nate Andrews by unanimous decision, fueled by “let’s go Wade” chants from the crowd and multiple takedowns over the course of the three-round bout. Wade improves to 15-5-0, rebounding from a 2018 Lightweight semifinal loss to Schulte.
In additional Lightweight action, last season’s runner up Rashid Magomedov defeated Loik Radzhabov by unanimous decision, earning 3 points. Islam Mamedov defeated Ylies Djiroun by split decision, earning 3 points. PFL newcomers Akhmed Aliev and Carlao Silva squared off, with Aliev winning by first-round KO, earning 6 points, his eighth-straight win and first place in the division.
In Featherweight action, PFL newcomer Movlid Khaybulaev started his season with a bang, knocking out Damon Jackson with a flying knee just 10 seconds into the fight. The fastest knockout in PFL history earned Khaybulaev 6 points, putting him atop the division heading into the second half of the season.
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The crowd erupted when Long Island native Andre Harrison entered the cage, and the ovation continued following a unanimous decision victory over Peter Petties that earned Harrison 3 points. Harrison took Petties to the mat in all three rounds in the win. He improves his record to 21-1-0, bouncing back from his first career loss, which he suffered in the semifinals of last season against Lance Palmer. In a battle between two of the most highly anticipated additions to the Featherweight Division, Luis Rafael Laurentino defeated Jeremy Kennedy by 1st round TKO, earning 6 points. Laurentino’s 29th win by stoppage moves his career record to 34-1-0.
The night began with Gadzhi Rabadanov defeating Steven Siler in his PFL debut by unanimous decision, earning 3 points and improving his career record to 11-3-1.
The first half of the 2019 PFL season concludes on Thursday night, June 6, with Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight action at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 2018 PFL Light Heavyweight Vinny Magalhaes returns to the cage, looking to bounce back from a loss in the championship last season. Magalhaes finished the 2018 season with the most submissions (3) and tied for the most stoppages in the league (4). Jordan Johnson, who joins the PFL from the UFC with a perfect 10-0 record, will make his debut versus Maxim Grishin.