Fight Facts: PFL 5 2019 Regular Season

By: Jay Pettry
Jul 29, 2019

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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 on Thursday completed the opening rounds of the featherweight and lightweight competitions in Atlantic City, New Jersey. PFL 5 featured a few fighters qualifying for the playoffs despite never suiting up, a significant upset that has become commonplace this year and a submission specialist earning his first knockout.

NEXT UP, YAHYA: Lance Palmer earned his first career knockout when he stopped Luis Rafael Laurentino with strikes in Round 3. Prior to his win, all eight of his stoppage victories came by submission.

PARTY BEATS MAGIC: With his win, Palmer moved into first place for the most wins in promotional history with 12, breaking a tie with Marlon Moraes.

HOME HERE NOW: After appearing for the 15th time inside the World Series of Fighting-PFL cage, Palmer has competed in this organization more than any other fighter. No other fighter on the active roster has more than nine fights with the company.

LEAVE THEM OUT OF IT: When he beat Rashid Magomedov on the scorecards, Nate Andrews picked up the first decision win of his career. All 15 of his prior victories had come by stoppage, while his two career losses had gone to the judges.

PAR FOR THE COURSE: Andrews’ win over Magomedov was a significant betting upset, as Andrews closed as a +400 underdog against Magomedov (-500) favorite. Normally considered a major upset, Andrews is the fourth underdog to come in at +400 or greater to win during the PFL’s 2019 regular season. In comparison, over in the Ultimate Fighting Championship an upset of this magnitude has only occurred once this year, when the +435 Chance Rencountre beat -570 favorite Ismail Naurdiev at UFC 239.

GILPINTINE: Alex Gilpin put Freddy Assuncao to sleep with a guillotine choke and in doing so earned the fifth technical submission of that type in promotional history. He is also only the second featherweight to ever pull off a technical submission; fellow PFL 5 2019 competitor Steven Siler used the same maneuver to finish Alexandre Almeida in the 2018 tournament.

THE GUILLOTINE GIVETH: Assuncao scored his last victory in the Titan Fighting Championships cage three years ago by putting Gesias Cavalcante to sleep with a guillotine choke. In his return to the WSOF-PFL cage, he was in turn rendered unconscious by that same move.

NOT SO SUPER: Siler dropped a decision to Jeremy Kennedy walked away with his fifth loss under the WSOF-PFL banner. “Super Steven” becomes the second fighter to suffer defeat at least five times with the promotion. Mike Kyle was the first.

PFL LOVES DRAWS: With Movlid Khaybulaev earning a 10-8 opening round and Andre Harrison winning the others on two judges’ scorecards, their fight was scored a majority draw. Although it was the 12th draw in company history, it was only the third to come in a three-round fight. Both men earned one playoff point for the draw, with Khaybulaev ending the season as the No. 2 seed. Harrison will be seeded fifth.

WHAT WAS THE PROP BET ON IT GOING THE DISTANCE?: After earning a draw against Khaybulaev, Harrison has now gone the distance in 18 of his 23 career fights, including each of his last eight.

UNPROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE: Three fighters could not make weight -- Ramsey Nijem, Carlos Silva and Gadzhi Rabadanov -- and all three were pulled from the card.

WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL?: Nijem tried to weigh in twice, but the New Jersey Athletic Control Board did not count either of his attempts, as he “wouldn’t put his full feet on the scale.”

THESE THINGS SHOULDN’T HAPPEN IN MMA: Despite missing weight for this event, Nijem qualified for the PFL playoffs without ever stepping foot in the cage this season. His previous opponent, Ronys Torres, was pulled from their scheduled contest in May after failing medicals.

THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM: Daniel Pineda was originally slated to face Rabadanov, but because Rabadanov missed weight, Pineda earned three points in the walkover win. As a result, “The Pit” earned the No. 7 seed at featherweight despite never competing for PFL.

AM I THE ONLY ONE AROUND HERE …: Jesse Ronson’s opponent, Silva, hit the scales at 159 pounds and was pulled from the matchup. Instead of awarding Ronson three points and a walkover win like others at this event and in the past, Ronson was reportedly forced to face 2018 champion Natan Schulte or not get paid. Ronson lost.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into PFL 5, Chris Wade had never beaten a Russian opponent (three losses), no fight had ever been declared a draw in either of the PFL’s regular seasons and Laurentino had never lost a fight that went beyond the second round (35 fights).

Sherdog contributing editor Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012 and working for Vice Sports and Combat Docket along the way, he put together many fight result and entrance music databases to better study the sport. You can find him on twitter at @jaypettry.

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