October is the time for postseason fun. The Major League Baseball playoffs are underway, with eight teams still on the hunt for the league’s top honors. Meanwhile, the Professional Fighters League has made sure that October is also the time for an MMA postseason. We won’t know the ultimate winners until the end of the year, but the organization is set to determine the finalists, beginning with the women’s lightweight and men’s welterweight divisions.
There are only four ladies left in the lightweight field. Kayla Harrison is the star of this show. The Olympian remains undefeated through five professional contests, and she only needs a win over Bobbi Jo Dalziel on Friday night to secure her spot in the championship bout. Former Strikeforce champion and UFC fighter Sarah Kaufman appears to be her most likely dance partner in the finals, but the Canadian athlete will have to get past Bobbi Jo Dalziel to make this dream match-up a reality.
The welterweight men have an even more rigorous night ahead of them. The emerging finalists will be able to boast two victories in a single night by the close of Friday’s festivities. The defending 2018 champion, Magomed Magomedkerimov, is on the hunt for a repeat, but he’ll have to fend off Chris Curtis in the quarterfinal round. Ray Cooper III, last year’s runner-up, clashes with Sadibou Sy. UFC veterans John Howard and David Michaud look to spark their own career resurgences when they battle. The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 Glaico França is also seeking redemption when he meets Andre Fialho. The winners of these four bouts will return later in the evening for the semifinal match-ups.
The Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas will host all three of the PFL’s October playoff events. This particular show took place on Friday, Oct. 11. The prelims aired live on the ESPN+ streaming service at 8 p.m. ET. The main card followed on ESPN 2 at 10 p.m. ET.
Ray Cooper III def. Chris Curtis by knockout (punches). Round 2, 0:11 – welterweight semifinal
Kayla Harrison def. Bobbi Jo Dalziel by submission (armbar). Round 1, 3:32 – women’s lightweight semifinal
Larissa Pacheco def. Sarah Kaufman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – women’s lightweight semifinal
David Michaud def. John Howard by unanimous decision (20-18 x3) – welterweight quarterfinal
Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Chris Curtis by unanimous decision (20-17, 20-18, 20-18) – welterweight quarterfinal (Magomedkerimov was unable to compete in the semifinals and Curtis replaced him against Ray Cooper III)
Glaico Franca def. Andre Fialho by majority decision (20-18, 20-18, 19-19) – welterweight quarterfinal
Ray Cooper III vs. Sadibou Sy ruled a majority draw (20-18, 19-19, 19-19) – welterweight quarterfinal (the judges awarded Cooper the victory)
Nikolay Aleksakhin def. Jesse Ronson by TKO (punches). Round 1, 3:37
Brendan Loughnane def. Matt Wagy by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)