On Thursday, Oct. 31, the Professional Fighters League concluded its 2019 playoffs as eight men in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions took to the cage at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. First, they had to make it through a quarterfinal match-up. The fortunate few who advanced returned to the cage later in the night for the semifinals. The eventual winners secured a Dec. 31 date to compete for their division’s title and a $1 million payday.
No returning champs here. There was only one returning finalist in contention. That man is light heavyweight Vinny Magalhães. The Brazilian was joined by fellow 2018 playoff qualifiers Maxim Grishin, Bozigit Ataev and Emiliano Sordi. The other four men were making their first PFL postseason appearances. This included huge UFC acquisition Jordan Johnson, as well as Rashid Yusupov, Viktor Nemkov and Sigi Pesaleli.
The heavyweight field also included four returning fighters, but none of them advanced beyond the semifinals last season. Jared Rosholt and Alex Nicholson found the most success in 2018, but Francimar Barroso and Kelvin Tiller also qualified for the postseason. This quartet was joined by first-timers Denis Goltsov, Satoshi Ishii, Muhammed De’Reese and Ali Isaev.
Check below for the full results.
Jared Rosholt def. Kevin Tiller by unanimous decision (30-27 x3) – heavyweight semifinal (Tiller re-entered the playoffs after both Barroso and Nicholson could not participate in the semifinals)
Emiliano Sordi def. Bozigit Ataev by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:26 – light heavyweight semifinal
Jordan Johnson def. Rashid Yusupov by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27) – light heavyweight semifinal
Francimar Barroso def. Alex Nicholson by unanimous decision (20-17,19-18, 19-18) – heavyweight quarterfinal
Denis Goltsov def. Satoshi Ishii by majority decision (18-18, 20-18, 20-18) – heavyweight quarterfinal
Jared Rosholt def. Muhammed DeReese by TKO (punches). Round 1, 3:41 – heavyweight quarterfinal
Ali Isaev def. Kelvin Tiller by unanimous decision (20-17, 20-16, 20-17) – heavyweight quarterfinal
Jordan Johnson vs. Maxim Grishin ruled a majority draw (19-19, 19-19, 20-18, all three judges picked Johnson as the winner) – light heavyweight quarterfinal
Rashid Yusupov def. Vinny Magalhaes by knockout (punches). Round 1, 2:46 – light heavyweight quarterfinal
Bozigit Ataev vs. Viktor Nemkov ruled a unanimous draw (19-19, two of three judges picked Ataev as the winner) – light heavyweight quarterfinal
Emiliano Sordi def. Sigi Pesaleli by TKO (punches). Round 1, 1:13 – light heavyweight quarterfinal