Fight Facts: PFL 2019 Championship

By: Jay Pettry
Jan 3, 2020

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Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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The Professional Fighters League concluded its second season on New Year's Eve, with six belts on the line once more. The event featured multiple repeating champs, a new millionaire that smashed his way through the season and a few undefeated fighters keeping their "0" intact.

Makes For A Long Evening: Like the PFL 2018 Championship, this event contained the most title bouts (six) on a single card in major MMA organizational history.

A Yearly Stat: Including the six title bouts and one non-title affair at featherweight, the seven fights on PFL 2019 Championship is the fewest since PFL 2018 Championship.

Pays To Be Number One: Three of six number one seeds took home the $1 million prize and a title this season, including Natan Schulte, Lance Palmer and Emiliano Sordi.

They Hate Surprises: Of the six fights on the card with one favorite and one underdog, three included a favorite with odds at -1000 or above. All three massive favorites won in dominant fashion.

King Kayla: Winning the women's lightweight crown via decision, Kayla Harrison improved her record to 7-0, with all seven of her victories coming inside the PFL cage. It was her second decision win in her career, and both have come over Larissa Pacheco.

She Is The Division: Harrison extended her lead for the most appearances and wins in PFL women's divisional history by beating Pacheco. No other female fighter has more than three wins (Jessica Aguilar) or four appearances (Pacheco).

Rampaging Ray: Ray Cooper III returned after an unsuccessful trip to the finals in 2018 by knocking out David Michaud to take the title and the giant check. Across his 20 career victories, all 20 have ended inside the distance.

Six Is In The Mix: Winning as the six seed at welterweight, Cooper was the lowest seeded fighter to win this season's tournament.

Knock 'Em Out, Bradda: As he dispatched Michaud in the second round with a wicked body shot, Cooper earned his seventh stoppage victory with the promotion. Only Justin Gaethje (nine) recorded more.

Make Way For Prince Ali: Ali Isaev scored $1 million and the heavyweight strap by knocking out Jared Rosholt in the fourth round. Isaev is now 9-0 in his career, winning all five bouts this season.

Glacially Paced Destruction: The stoppage for Isaev came at 4:09 of Round 4, the third-latest in company history and the fifth to take place after the third round. The only two to come later were courtesy of David Branch in 2014 and 2016.

Big Loss For Big Show: "Big Show" suffered his fifth loss with the promotion when Isaev knocked him out, tying Steven Siler for the second-most in organizational history. Only Mike Kyle (six) holds more.

Rock-Em Rosholt: The knockout loss for Rosholt was his fourth as a PFL fighter, setting the record for the most defeats due to strikes in promotional history.

$chulte: In his 10th career bout in the PFL tournaments, Natan Schulte captured the belt for the second time and became the second two-time tourney champ in company history. Schulte has yet to taste defeat in the PFL, although he did suffer a loss under the World Series of Fighting banner in 2017.

One-Third Of Colonel Steve Austin: Lance Palmer became the first fighter to win two seasons in the PFL by capturing a decision over arch-rival Alex Gilpin. Palmer has won all 10 bouts in the PFL playoff system.

The Palmer Awards: By beating Gilpin, Palmer earned his 15th career win in the WSOF-PFL cage, extending his lead for the most all-time. His 18 appearances are far and above the next closest fighters, the two of whom both hold 11.

New Belt, New Year: Re-capturing the featherweight strap, Palmer has now officially won the 145-pound belt on four separate occasions.

Looking Forward To The Quadrilogy: Across major MMA organizations, no fighter had ever recorded three victories over the same opponent in the span of less than eight months until Palmer defeated Gilpin thrice in 2019.

Dashing Through The Show: Destroying Jordan Johnson in the first round, Emiliano Sordi won light heavyweight gold by finishing each of his five opponents this season. No PFL champ had ever won out the season by stopping every opponent.

He Has The Power! In his 22 career wins, including his battering of Johnson, "He-Man" maintains a perfect 100 percent finish rate. Four of his five victories this year came in the opening round, with 17 throughout his career ending in the first frame.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into the PFL 2019 Championship, Johnson had never been finished (14 fights); Harrison (six fights), Pacheco (16 fights) and Isaev (eight fights) had never competed beyond the third round and no fighter from Argentina had ever won a major MMA title (Sordi). Advertisement

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