The light heavyweight had to dig deeper than ever before in his all-out war with Jamie Abdallah in the main event of PFL 7 at Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Thursday night. Rama, from Canada but fighting out of New York, stood toe-to-toe with Abdallah as they exchanged heavy hands from the opening bell until the fight ended.
Both men were rocked badly in the contest from wicked punches upstairs, with each pouring blood from various cuts on their faces. But “The Prince” landed the heavier, more damaging blows throughout and wound up scoring an exciting finish, though it wasn’t without a bit of intrigue.
In order to advance into the playoffs, either man had to score a stoppage within two rounds. However, as soon as the third frame was about to begin, the cage side physician deemed Aussie Abdallah (7-4) was too beaten up and stopped the contest. A few minutes of discussion ensued and officials deemed that since the bell never officially sounded the start of the third round, Rama (11-4) had won within the timeframe of the bracket and was awarded entry into the postseason.
Double duty did not work for Sean O'Connell tonight. He is bowed by a spinning back kick and punches from Bozigit Ataev (18-2) in the first, cinching the RINGS and PRIDE FC vet a spot in the playoffs. The 39-year-old has finished 17 of 18 victories, 16 in the first round. #PFL7 pic.twitter.com/wwexmxWGLB— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) August 31, 2018
Bozigit Ataev (18-2) was like a man possessed against Sean O'Connell (18-10) as he battered him with an array of strikes from the start. The Dagestani fighter tore into O’Connell with punches to the head and body as well as kicks to the midsection. O’Connell was eventually wrecked by a kick to the guts, followed by a swarm of punches and was finally rescued by referee Bill Bookwalter.
The end came officially at 3:30 of the first, allowing Ataev to earn six points and a spot in the 2018 PFL Playoffs at light heavyweight. O’Connell already had a spot in the bracket locked up entering tonight’s contest.
What a knockout from Alexandre Bezerra! "Popo" (22-5) lands a picture-perfect flying knee on Magomed Idrisov, vaulting into the playoffs with a first-round win! The Bellator vet has finished 19 of 22 victories, 15 in the first round. #PFL7 pic.twitter.com/LsaCPhSvLL— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) August 31, 2018
Alexandre Bezerra (22-5) was sensational against Magomed Idrisov (8-2), knocking him out with a flying knee and follow-up punches in the opening frame. “Popo” ignited the crowd with the dazzling display of striking, earning six points and sixth seed in the 2018 PFL Playoffs at featherweight. Idrisov was eliminated from playoff contention.
Handesson Ferreira has made the PFL playoffs. The former Jungle Fight champ (12-1-1) overwhelms Paul Bradley in 20 seconds, scoring his sixth knockout win in the process. The last man to defeat top seed Ray Cooper III, he is one to watch. #PFL7 pic.twitter.com/ijpclqbnc9— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) August 31, 2018
Handesson Ferreira (12-1) obliterated veteran Paul Bradley (23-10), sending him into next week with punches to the head in merely 20 seconds. “Boy Doido” stormed out of his corner and tore into the Californian, ending the fight as soon as it began. The TKO win gave the Brazilian six points; Ferreira cinches the fifth seed in the 2018 PFL Playoffs at welterweight.
Caio Alencar (12-3) edged Mike Kyle (23-16-1) via decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) to earn three points but missed out on the heavyweight divisional playoffs; Sadibou Sy (7-3) took out Caio Magalhaes (10-6) with a head kick and follow-up punches at 2:06 of the first round to earn six points and clinch a spot in the middleweight playoffs; and Emiliano Sordi (17-7) destroyed Jason Butcher (11-4) by knocking him out with punches in just 16 seconds to earn six points to secure a spot in the light heavyweight playoffs.
Muhammed DeReese (6-0) makes good on a 2.5-year layoff, flattening Leroy Johnson with a vicious walk-off knee! The TUF 23 alum has a combined amateur and pro record of 14-0; he has finished nine of those victories (six in the first round). #PFL7 pic.twitter.com/msH36HjW2U— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) August 30, 2018
In non-playoffs-related results, featherweight Umar Nurmagomedov improved to 8-0 with a three-round unanimous decision win over Saidyokub Kakhramonov (5-1); Ramazan Kuramagomedov (4-1) defeated fellow welterweight Robert Hale (5-3) via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3); and heavyweight prospect Muhammad Dereese (6-0) flattened Leroy Johnson (8-3) with a knee to the face at 2:25 of the first.
The quarterfinals and semifinals happen on the same night. Two weight classes per event. These cards will be chaos. pic.twitter.com/eYqwtacZ5A— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) August 31, 2018