Fight Facts: PFL 9

By: Jay Pettry
Aug 29, 2021

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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 wrapped its playoffs not with a bang but a whimper as the tournament-based organization lumbered towards its October conclusion. Coupled with a lengthy delay for the main card, an unfortunate result in its opener and a few slow-paced decisions, the train agonizingly lurched its way to the station. PFL 9: 2021 Playoffs featured an injury with an obvious cause in hindsight, a prospect with a way of influencing judges and a pulse-pounding flying knee knockout.

Slave to the Broadcasters: Due to a high school football game between two Georgia teams on ESPN2, the PFL elected to delay its main card until the airwaves were clear. As a result, there was a roughly 70-minute gap between the prelims and main card.

Only Semifun: None of the six PFL tournament divisions saw finishes in both semifinal matches. The three lightest categories including welterweight, lightweight and featherweight from this card had both semis end on the scorecards.

The Stage is Set: This last stage of the 2021 playoffs saw the featherweight and light heavyweight brackets come to a head. In the finals on Oct. 27 will be Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Chris Wade at 145 pounds, while the 205-pound championship will see Antonio Carlos Jr. take on Marthin Hamlet.

Killer Record, No Rankings: Snagging a decision over Brendan Loughnane in the main event, Khaybulaev is now unbeaten in after 20 professional bouts. “Killer” posts 18 wins – this was his 10th on the scorecards – while he holds a draw and a no contest in a career that began nearly a decade ago.

Wading into Deep Waters: Overcoming Bubba Jenkins to win a decision, Wade reached the featherweight finals as he became the fifth fighter in company history to compete under its banner 12 times. The first four to do so were Lance Palmer, Vinny Magalhaes, Natan Schulte and Ray Cooper III.

A Winner is Wade: Wade picked up his eighth win under the WSOF-PFL banner, tying Joao Zeferino and Timur Valiev on the list with that total. Only eight competitors have notched more wins than Wade in organizational history.

Blame it on the Break: After throwing a single kick, Cezar Ferreira injured his leg and subsequently lost by technical knockout to Hamlet. The stoppage coming at 13 seconds is the second-quickest in company history, just behind Khaybulaev’s 2019 10-second flying knee knockout of Damon Jackson.

Hamstring Ping: Throughout World Series of Fighting and PFL history, eight fights have now ended due to injury following Ferreira going down. Half of those injuries have come to a competitor’s leg.

I See You: Although he missed weight, Bobby Moffett picked up his first win in over three years by outworking Jason Knight in a three-round decision. Before then, the last win for Moffett came over fellow PFL 9: 2021 Playoffs competitor Jacob Kilburn.

Friend of the Judges: As a professional, Alejandro Flores Garcia has now earned 11 of his 19 career victories by decision, following a split verdict over Carl Deaton. “El Gallito” has never fallen short on the scorecards.

Apt Nickname: In the card opener, Brandon Jenkins scorched Jacob Kilburn with a flying knee in the opening round. “The Human Highlight Reel” improved his career finish rate to 86 percent with the victory.

Light Enough to Fly: Jenkins’ flying knee knockout became the seventh of its kind in organizational history, and the second for a lightweight. The first at 155 pounds came from Brian Foster against Ramsey Nijem in 2018.

Never Say Never Again: Coming into PFL 9: 2021 Playoffs, Jenkins had never dropped a decision (20 fights), Jesse Stirn (16 fights) and Carl Deaton (18 fights) had never lost consecutive bouts and Kilburn had never been knocked out (12 fights).

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