PFL 2019 #9 Live Report

Happy Halloween! PFL held their final quarter-final and semi-final evening of fights in 2019 on Halloween night. The show showcased their light heavyweight and heavyweight fighters aiming to reach the New Year’s Eve grand finals.

All of the quarter-final fights this evening were two-rounds long, with the semi-final bouts being three-rounds.

Bout 1: Emiliano Sordi (19-8) (#1) vs. Sigi Pesaleli (1-2) (#8) (Light Heavyweight Quarter-Final)

The evening opened up with a quarter-final fight between top seed Emiliano Sordi and Sigi Pesaleli. Sordi was the more dominant striker from the start. Sordi started to pour on punches and kicks early on to Pesaleli, who was up against the cage. Pesaleli was dropped from uppercuts, getting hit a couple more times before the referee stepped in.

Bout 2: Bozigit Ataev (21-4) (#4) vs. Viktor Nemkov (30-7) (#5) (Light Heavyweight Quarter-Final)

The next light heavyweight bout was between the two closest light heavyweight seeds, Bozigit Ataev and Viktor Nemkov. Nemkov got a takedown in the first minute of the fight. They stood back up, with Nemkov keeping Ataev in a clinch against the cage. Ataev dropped Nemkov with strikes while in clinch. Nemkov was able to recover and stayed on the ground until the referee stood him back up. Ataev kept coming forward, landing punches. Nemkov stopped Ataev’s momentum with a headlock. Ataev got a takedown in the final minute of the round, catching a leg of Nemkov and throwing him.

In the second minute of the final round, Nemkov put Ataev up against the cage, attempting a takedown. Nemkov tried for another takedown which was stuffed. Not much more happened before the fight concluded. When heading to the scorecards, the fight was ruled a draw. When the judges were asked to pick one fighter, two of the three fighters chose Bozigit Ataev.

Bout 3: Maxim Grishin (30-7-1) (#2) vs. Jordan Johnson (11-1) (#7) (Light Heavyweight Quarter-Final)

The third light-heavyweight quarter-final saw the more experienced Maxim Grishin face Jordan Johnson. Johnson got a takedown in the first minute of the fight, taking the back of Grishin. They got back up shortly after, where Johnson pursued another takedown. Grishin was taken down by a strike and a shove, although he got back up quickly. Grishin had Johnson backing up in the final moments as he landed some good strikes.

At the very start of the second round, Johnson got another takedown. They stood back up after a minute or so. Grishin stopped another takedown attempt but was put up against the cage for some time. When going to the scorecards, the fight was ruled a majority draw. The tiebreaker had all three judges pick Jordan Johnson move on to the semi-finals.

Bout 4: Vinny Magalhaes (19-11) (#3) vs. Rashid Yusupov (11-2) (#6) (Light Heavyweight Quarter-Final)

The final light heavyweight quarter-final fight was between Rashid Yusupov and Vinny Magalhaes. After a close striking competition for a few minutes, Yusupov  dropped Magalhaes with a two-punch combination, earning a walkoff knockout victory.

Bout 5: Kelvin Tiller (11-3) (#4) vs. Ali Isaev (6-0) (#5) (Heavyweight Quarter-Final)

The first heavyweight quarter-final of the evening was between Ali Isaev and Kelvin Tiller. Tiller clinched up early, although it was Isaev that got the takedown. Isaev did ground and pound on top of Tiller for most of the round.

Tiller found himself in the same position that he was in the round before, as Isaev took top position and continued ground and pound. When going to the scorecards, all judges favoured Ali Isaev in moving on (20-16, 20-17 & 20-17).

Bout 6: Mo DeReese (8-1) (#2) vs. Jared Rosholt (18-7) (#7) (Heavyweight Quarter-Final)

The next heavyweight bout saw Jared Rosholt face Muhammed DeReese. A leg kick brought Rosholt to the ground early. Rosholt took lots of damage on the ground but after a few minutes got up. Rosholt got a takedown and took the back of DeReese. Rosholt kept throwing punches from the back, with DeReese not doing anything to fight out of it. The referee eventually got involved, giving Rosholt a win.

Bout 7: Denis Goltsov (24-5) (#1) vs. Satoshi Ishii (22-9-1) (#8) (Heavyweight Quarter-Final)

Moving from ESPN+ to ESPN 2, the heavyweight quarter-finals continued. Satoshi Ishii faced top seed Denis Golstov. Ishii had Mirko Cro Cop cornering him for this fight. After a minute of slow striking from both fighters, Ishii tried for a single leg takedown. The referee stood them back up. Ishii eventually got a takedown, taking top position with a minute left in the round.

The second round was another slow one. Ishii stayed on his back for a lot of the round, while Goltsov threw strikes while standing. Selected to move on via majority decision, Denis Goltsov got the win (19-19, 20-18 & 20-18).

Bout 8: Alex Nicholson (14-8) (#3) vs. Francimar Barroso (24-7-1) (#6) (Heavyweight Quarter-Final)

The final quarter-final fight of the evening was between Alex Nicholson and Francimar Barroso. In the first minute of the fight, Barroso got a takedown. When they stood back up, both fighters were trading hard punches. Barroso landed an overhand right that shoot Nicholson. He later connected with another overhand, this time it dropped Nicholson. Barroso took top position on the ground. They got back up, with Nicholson throwing bombs. Nicholson landed a low blow knee to Barroso while up against the cage, causing a pause in the fight. They eventually resumed, with Barroso trying for a single leg. They went to the ground for a short moment. Nicholson stormed forward with punches as the round ended.

Nicholson started the second round with another charge forward of strikes. Nicholson slipped while doing a kick, hitting Barroso in the groin once again. Referee Herb Dean did not opt to take a point away from Nicholson. When they resumed, Nicholson landed a push kick which hit Barroso in the groin. A point was taken away that time. Nicholson got hurt by a punch from Barroso, falling to the ground. He recovered and got back up, but was taken down moments later. Nicholson tried for a kimura from the bottom position but couldn’t secure it. After going the distance, all three judges put Francimar Barroso to the semi-finals (20-17, 19-18 & 19-18).

Bout 9: Jordan Johnson (11-1-1) (#7) vs. Rashid Yusupov (12-2) (#6) (Light Heavyweight Semi-Final)

The first semi-final fight of the evening was between Jordan Johnson and Rashid Yusupov. The first round was a striking battle, with both fighters having good combinations.

Johnson got a takedown halfway through the second round. While both fighters were active strikers, it was clear that Johnson was the more active striker.

Johnson dumped Yusupov onto the ground in the opening of the second round as well. He kept the pressure from top position for the whole round. When going to the scorecards, all three judges selected Jordan Johnson as the winner (30-26, 30-26 & 29-27).

Bout 10: Bozigit Ataev (20-4-1) (#4) vs. Emiliano Sordi (20-8) (#1) (Light Heavyweight Semi-Final)

To find the grand final opponent of Jordan Johnson, Emiliano Sordi and Bozigit Ataev faced off next. This was a rematch from August, where Sordi beat Atave in the first round. Sordi had the better striking early on, although Ataev landed a punch which stunned Sordi for a moment late in the round. Sordi got a takedown, eventually took the back of Ataev and put in a rear naked choke which made Ataev tap out. After quite the quick and successful evening, Emiliano Sordi punched his ticket to PFL 10.

Bout 11: Kelvin Tiller (11-4) (#4) vs. Jared Rosholt (19-7) (#7) (Heavyweight Semi-Final)

In the first of two heavyweight semi-final fights, Jared Rosholt and Kelvin Tiller competed. Tiller was the replacement fighter after neither Francimar Barroso or Alex Nicholson were able to fight. Rosholt looked like he was in pain when doing his walkout. Rosholt got a takedown in the second minute of the fight. He stayed in that position until the round concluded.

After Rosholt was on top of Tiller on the ground for a while, the referee stood them back up for the final 30 seconds of the second round.

Rosholt got a takedown early in the final round, assuming the position he was in for the two prior rounds as well. They stayed on the ground until the fight concluded. Jared Rosholt won over the judges with his performance, moving on to the finals (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

Bout 12: Ali Isaev (7-0) (#5) vs. Denis Goltsov (25-5) (#1) (Heavyweight Semi-Final)

The main event of the evening determined the final entrant into the PFL finals. Undefeated heavyweight Ali Isaev went up against top seed Denis Goltsov. The first round was a very methodical one from both fighters.

In the second minute of the second round, Isaev tried for a takedown but Goltsov got out of it shortly. Isaev got a takedown again, but it was Goltsov who got the better position. Isaev eventually got in top position and kept control until the round ended.

The final round was mostly inactive until the final moments when Isaev dropped Goltsov with a punch. He continued to throw down punches from above until the referee stepped in with only a few seconds left. Ali Isaev is the final entry into the PFL 10 grand finals.

PFL 2019 #6 Live Report

On Thursday night, the Professional Fighters League wrapped up their final regular season show. This show had the light heavyweights and heavyweights on the card. Live from the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, it was PFL 2019 #6.

For first time viewers, PFL fighters earn points in the regular season based off if and how they win. A victory by default earns a fighter three points. A first round stoppage gives you three more points, a second round stoppage gets you two more points and a third round stoppage gives you one extra point. In regular season bouts, elbows are not allowed.

Here were the standings before the evening of fights.

Light Heavyweight Standings

Place Fighter 2019 Record Points
1 Bozigit Ataev 1-0 6
2 Emiliano Sordi 1-0 5
3 Dan Spohn 1-1 3
4 Rashid Yusupov 1-0 3
5 Maxin Grishin 1-0 3
6 Viktor Nemkov 1-0 3
7 Sigi Pesaleli 1-0 3
8 Jordan Johnson 0-1 0
9 Rakin Cleveland 0-1 0
10 Mikhail Mokhnatkin 0-1 0
11 Vinny Magalhaes 0-1 0
12 Ronny Markes 0-2 0

Heavyweight Standings

Place Fighter 2019 Record Points
1 Denis Goltsov 1-0 6
2 Kelvin Tiller 1-0 6
3 Ante Delija 1-0 3
4 Ali Isaev 1-0 3
5 Francimar Barroso 1-0 3
6 Satoshi Ishii 1-0 3
7 Alex Nicholson 0-1 0
8 Zeke Tuinei-Wily 0-1 0
9 Valdrin Istrefi 0-1 0
10 Carl Seumanutafa 0-1 0
11 Muhammed Dereese 0-1 0
12 Jared Rosholt 0-1 0
13 Ben Edwards 0-0 0

Bout 1: Jordan Johnson (10-1) (0-1) vs. Sigi Pesaleli (1-1) (1-0) (Light Heavyweight)

The evening started on ESPN 2 with four preliminary bouts. The first fight of the evening was a light heavyweight bout between Jordan Johnson and Sigi Pesaleli. While Johnson had more career experience, Pesaleli has a win this season while Jordan doesn’t. In the first minute, Johnson landed an overhand right then got a takedown. He was in top position for a minute or so on the ground before they got back up. Johnson got another takedown with over a minute left in the first. The round concluded in this position. Johnson got in top position yet again early in the second round. After Johnson got yet another takedown, the fight was paused so that Johnson could get some tape cut off his glove. They resumed on the ground and stayed on the ground until the round ended. The third round was the most decisive one for Johnson, taking it to the ground immediately and landing strikes periodically from top position. The fight was a textbook example of “lay and pray,” which awards you the least amount of points in the PFL system. The fight went all three rounds, with Jordan Johnson winning via unanimous decision and earning three points (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Johnson 10 10 10 30
Pesaleli 9 9 9 27

Bout 2: Alex Nicholson (13-8) (0-1) vs. Zeke Tuinei-Wily (3-2) (0-1) (Heavyweight)

Heading up to the heavyweight division, the next fight was between two fighters who have yet to win this season. Nicholson doesn’t have a perfect record by any means, but he has all of his wins via stoppage. After a few minutes of stand-up striking, Nicholson landed a right cross which dropped Teinei-Wily. Tuinei-Wily retreated before then, getting hit with a kick to the mid-section.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 3: Bozigit Ataev (21-3) (1-0) vs. Emiliano Sordi (18-8) (1-0) (Light Heavyweight)

The next light heavyweight bout was the first fight of the evening where two 2019 season 1-0 record fighters faced off. Unlike some people in the league, these two fighters have very extensive records. In the first minute of a fight, Sordi was hit in the eye. Sordi took out Ataev with punches mid-way through the first round. Ataev didn’t really get clipped with anything clean on the feet, but once he was wobbled and fell, punches on the ground made it a decisive finish. Emiliano Sordi earned six points, making it 11 points in total as his regular season comes to a close.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 4: Kevin Tiller (11-2) (1-0) vs. Denis Goltsov (23-5) (1-0) (Heavyweight)

The next fight was two heavyweights who, like in the last fight, have yet to lose this season. Even though he only has one inch of an arm reach advantage, Goltsov had a five inch height advantage in this bout. Goltsov had his powerful jab showcased from the start. Tiller’s mouthpiece fell out in the first minute. Tiller was completely eating punches and was a living, breathing punching bag by the time the second minute had ended. His mouthguard fell out two more times. Goltsov got a takedown after being clinched up against the cage for a few moments. Tiller’s mouthguard fell out yet again. Goltsov’s flurry was slowed down on the ground. Tiller started the second round with two leg kicks. Tiller landed a takedown, but Goltsov quickly flipped over into top position. The referee eventually stood up both fighters due to inactivity, and then took a point off of Tiller due to losing his mouthguard so many times. Tiller got another takedown, and like last time, immediately lost the dominant position. Goltsov put in a ezekiel choke, which made Tiller tap out. Denis Goltsov earned five points for his second round stoppage.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Tiller 8
Goltsov 10

Bout 5: Francimar Barroso (23-7-1) (1-0) vs. Ben Edwards (3-0) (0-0) (Heavyweight)

The final preliminary fight was Francimar Barroso versus Ben Edwards. Edwards, unlike most people on this show, was making his PFL debut. In the first minute of the fight, Edwards was landing good punches. Barroso, who has a BJJ background, scored a takedown. They stayed on the ground for a few minutes with Barroso on offense the whole time. They went back down with a minute left in the first round. At the start of the second round, Barroso was coming forward with strikes. He caught a kick and turned it into a takedown. Barroso tried for a head and arm choke but couldn’t finish the fight with it. Apart from a couple seconds as the round ended, Barroso was in the dominant position on the ground for the rest of the round. Edwards was cut open by an accidental headbutt as Barroso scored a takedown. The fight was paused as the referee wanted to take a look at Edwards’ cut. Edwards took top position on the ground as the final round concluded. He threw some shots as the fight clock ran out. Francimar Barroso earned three points with a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Totalq
Barroso 10 10 10 30
Edwards 9 9 9 27

Bout 6: Umar Nurmagomedov (10-0) vs. Sidemar Honorio (13-6) (Bantamweight Showcase)

Switching to ESPN+, PFL 6 continued with a showcase bout between bantamweights Umar Nurmagomedov and Sidemar Honorio. This fight was not a part of the 2019 season. A large difference between these two fighters was a 16 year age difference, with Nurmagomedov being the younger of the two (23). Nurmagomedov did a head kick, and then Honorio pulled guard, letting Nurmagomedov take top position on the ground. Not much happened on the ground, with the fight going back to the feet eventually. Nurmagomedov had some good striking before the fight went to the ground once again. Nurmagomedov’s striking was showcased well in the second round. His counter-striking had great reads of Honorio’s moves. Nurmagomedov landed a takedown in the third round, but the referee stood them up due to inactivity eventually. The fight went the distance with Umar Nurmagomedov getting a unanimous decision victory, with a clean sweep on the cards (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27). 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Nurmagomedov 10 10 10 30
Honorio 9 9 9 27

Bout 7: Valdrin Istrefi (13-3) (0-1) vs. Muhammed DeReese (7-1) (0-1) (Heavyweight)

Kicking off the PFL season fights on the main card, heavyweights Valdrin Istrefi and Muhammed DeReese fought. Both fighters have yet to see a victory in the PFL 2019 season. The first two minutes of the fight was stand-up. With Istrefi being the more dominant fighter. DeReese was kicked in the groin, causing a pause in the fight. When they resumed Istrefi was dropped by punches, and then finished on the ground. Istrefi came in aggressive after the break and it cost him. DeReese survives in the 2019 PFL season, earning six points from this fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 8: Maxim Grishin (29-7-1) (1-0) vs. Mikhail Mokhnatkin (11-4-2) (0-1) (Light Heavyweight)

In the first light heavyweight main card fight, Maxin Grishin fought Mikhail Moknatkin. Not a lot happened, until Grishin came forward with a right cross punch which knocked out Mokhnatkin. The referee was able to storm in before Grishin was able to get any real insurance shots in.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 9: Ali Isaev (5-0) (1-0) vs. Carl Seumanutafa (13-10) (0-1) (Heavyweight)]

Undefeated fighter Ali Isaev fought Carl Seumanutafa in the next bout. Isaev was a -2400 favourite heading into this fight. Isaev scored a single leg takedown in the first round. Seumanutafa tried for a guillotine from the bottom. Isaev popped out of the position and started to wail punches at Seumanutafa. He tried for a head and arm choke, and landed some punches in the position as well. Isaev let go of the hold, in side position now. The rounded concluded in this position. In the second round, Isaev got in top position again. They were stood up by the referee, although Isaev didn’t like that. The final round was a slow one from both fighters, who were definately tired. The fight relied on the judges to find a winner, with Ali Isaev being favoured unanimously (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28)

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Isaev 10 10 10 30
Seumanutafa 9 9 9 27

Bout 10: Rashid Yusupov (11-1) (1-0) vs. Viktor Nemkov (29-7) (1-0) (Light Heavyweight)

In the second last light heavyweight fight of the evening, Rashid Yusupov fought Viktor Nemkov. This was a rematch between the two fighters, as they faced off in 2016 in M-1 with Yusupov coming out victorious. Nemkov landed a takedown early in the fight, but they went back to the feet shortly after. They had quite evenly matched striking throughout the round. The second round was close as well, with Nemkov scoring another takedown as the round was closing. Halfway through the final round, Yusupov dropped Nemkov with punches. Nemkov was able to recover quickly and stay in the fight. Yusupov took top position on the ground. The fight ended in this position. The judges had a split decision, with two of the three judges giving the fight to Viktor Nemkov (29-28 Nemkov, 29-28 Yusupov & 29-28 Nemkov). This fight made the feud between these two fighters 1-1.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Yusupov 9 9 10 28
Nemkov 10 10 9 29

Bout 11: Vinny Magalhaes (18-11) (0-1) vs. Rakin Cleveland (19-12-1) (0-1) (Light Heavyweight)

In the final light heavyweight bout of the evening, Vinny Magalhaes fought Rakin Cleveland. Both fighters have yet to win this season. The crowd seemed to disappear significantly after the last fight. It was past midnight New Jersey time at this point, and keep in mind, it’s a Thursday night. Magalhaes landed a takedown in the first minute. He put in an armbar which made Cleveland tap out quickly. Magalhaes got six points, and advanced to the PFL playoffs.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 12: Satoshi Ishii (22-8-1) (1-0)  vs. Jared Rosholt (17-7) (0-1) (Heavyweight)

Finally, in the main event of the evening and the final fight of the PFL Regular Season, Satoshi Ishii fought Jared Rosholt. Ishii already has three wins, while Rosholt’s playoff chances hang in the balance. The first round was slow paced and methodical, with Rosholt out-striking Ishii. When the corner for Rosholt was shown during the second round, the only person in-shot had their phone out, glancing up periodically. Rosholt laneded another takedown as the fight was concluding. The fight went all three rounds with the judges choosing Jared Rosholt (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Ishii 9 9 10
Rosholt 10 10 9

PFL will take a break before they start their playoffs in October. The three shows in the month will all take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The light heavyweights and heavyweights, who were showcased tonight, will have their playoff fights on Halloween.

Here’s how the standings for both divisons looked after tonight. Worth noting, only the top eight advance to the playoffs.

Light Heavyweight:

Place Fighter 2019 PFL Record Points
1 Emiliano Sordi 2-0 11
2 Maxim Grishin 2-0 9
3 Vinny Magalhaes 1-1 6
4 Bozigit Ataev 1-1 6
5 Viktor Nemkov 2-0 3
6 Rashid Yusupov 1-1 3
7 Jordan Johnson 1-1 3
8 Sigi Pesaleli 1-1 3
9 Dan Spohn 1-1 3
10 Rakim Cleveland 0-2 0
11 Mikhail Mokhnatkin 0-2 0
12 Ronny Markes 0-2 0


Place Fighter 2019 PFL Record Points
1 Denis Goltsov 2-0 11
2 Muhammed DeReese 1-1 6
3 Alex Nicholson 1-1 6
4 Kelvin Tiller 1-1 6
5 Ali Isaev 2-0 6
7 Jared Rosholt 1-1 3
8 Satoshi Ishii 1-1 3
9 Ante Delija 1-0 3
10 Carl Seumanutafa 0-2 0
11 Zeke Tuinei-Wily 0-2 0
12 Valdrin Istrefi 0-2 0
13 Ben Edwards 0-1 0

The quarter finals of the playoffs will look like this:

Light Heavyweight:

Emiliano Sordi (2-0) (#1) vs. Sigi Pesaleli (1-1) (#8)

Maxim Grishin (2-0) (#2) vs. Jordan Johnson (1-1) (#7)

Vinny Magalhaes (1-1) (#3) vs. Rashid Yusupov (1-1) (#6)

Bozigit Ataev (1-1) (#4) vs. Viktor Nemkov (2-0) (#5)


Denis Goltsov (2-0) (#1) vs. Satoshi Ishii (1-1) (#8)

Muhammed DeReese (1-1) (#2) vs. Jared Rosholt (1-1) (#7)

Alex Nicholson (1-1) (#3) vs. Francimar Barroso (2-0) (#6)

Kelvin Tiller (1-1) (#4) vs. Ali Isaev (2-0) (#5)