Power punching volleys, a shut-down sprawl and well-timed takedowns paired with ground-and-pound carried the undefeated Harrison to a unanimous decision over the Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran in the Professional Fighters League 1 headliner on Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York. All three cageside judges scored it for Harrison (18-0, 2-0 PFL): 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
Tuerxun (20-7-1, 0-1 PFL) was essentially a non-factor. Harrison either sprawled into top position or executed a takedown in all three rounds, short-circuiting his opponent’s efforts. The 30-year-old Bellmore Kickboxing Academy representative saved some of his best work for the second round, where he threatened Tuerxun with a brabo choke, punished him with heavy artillery and generally made life miserable for the Chinese featherweight.
In the featherweight co-main event, Xtreme Couture’s Lance Palmer submitted Bekbulat Magomedov with a second-round rear-naked choke; it was the former World Series of Fighting champion’s first finish in more than three years. Magomedov (19-2, 0-1 PFL) conceded defeat 3:21 into Round 2, his three-fight winning streak at an end.
Palmer (13-3, 2-0 PFL) broke down Magomedov with an effective sprawl and intermittent leg kicks before securing a leg-sweep takedown with roughly 90 seconds left in the first round. The two featherweights jockeyed for position in the clinch for much of the middle stanza. Palmer snuck behind Magomedov, jumped to his back and cinched the choke, slowly but surely tightening his grip. After a brief struggle, Magomedov gave up the fight.
A four-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Ohio State University, the 30-year-old Palmer has won six of his past eight bouts.
Meanwhile, Ricardo Almeida protégé Timur Valiev pushed his run of consecutive victories to three with a unanimous decision over Max Coga in a three-round featherweight feature. Valiev (13-2, 2-0 PFL) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 nods from the judges.
Takedowns and positional control provided the difference. Valiev assumed top position in all three rounds, applied his ground-and-pound in tactical spurts and bled time off the clock. Coga (19-5, 0-1 PFL) had his moments -- he sat down the Dagestani sambo practitioner with a left hook in the second round -- but too often found himself playing defense. Valiev more than held his own in the standup exchanges, utilizing kicks and punches from a variety of angles while switching stances in an effort to confuse his German counterpart.
The loss snapped Coga’s eight-fight winning streak.
Finally, UFC castoff Alex Nicholson knocked out former University of Hawaii linebacker Jake Heun with a flying knee in the second round of their heavyweight showcase. Nicholson (11-5, 1-0 PFL) brought it to a close 58 seconds into Round 2, as he won for the fourth time in five appearances.
Heun (11-7, 0-1 PFL) led the dance at the start, utilizing stiff jabs, damaging leg kicks and effective counterpunches. Early in the second round, Nicholson took flight and delivered the decisive blow. Heun ducked into the knee, enhancing the impact before collapsing backward in a dazed-and-confused state. No follow-up shots were required.
In other action, Nazareno Malegarie (29-4, 1-0 PFL) took a unanimous decision from Marcos Galvao (18-10-1, 0-1 PFL) in a three-round collision at 145 pounds, drawing 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 marks from the judges; Kelvin Tiller (9-1, 1-0 PFL) knocked out Caio Alencar (11-3, 0-2 PFL) with a vicious counter right hook 3:34 into the first round of their heavyweight pairing; Steven Siler (30-17, 1-1 PFL) tapped the previously unbeaten Magomed Idrisov (8-1, 0-1 PFL) with a triangle choke 4:19 into the first round of their featherweight encounter; Jared Rosholt (16-4, 2-0 PFL) cruised to a unanimous decision over Valdrin Istrefi (12-2, 0-1 PFL) in a three-round heavyweight tussle, earning 30-26, 30-25 and 29-28 scores from the cageside judges; Alexandre Almeida (19-7, 1-0 PFL) submitted Lee Coville (2-2, 0-1 PFL) with an armbar 1:22 into the first round of their featherweight tilt; Francimar Barroso (20-7, 1-0 PFL) stopped Daniel Gallemore (7-5, 0-2 PFL) on a technical knockout 3:57 into the first round of their heavyweight scrap, as referee Dan Miragliotta deemed Gallemore unfit to continue due to a badly swollen left eye; and Jack May (10-3, 1-0 PFL) put away Josh Copeland (14-5, 1-1 PFL) with a kick to the body and follow-up punches 4:30 into the first round of their of their heavyweight affair.