Fight Facts: PFL 9 2019 Playoffs 3

By: Jay Pettry
Nov 4, 2019

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Fight Facts is a breakdown of all 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 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas staged the quarterfinals and semifinals for the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. PFL 9 2019 Playoffs 3 featured a de facto heavyweight semifinal round robin, the latest non-title stoppage in company history and a finalist who kept his 100 percent finish streak intact with two huge first-round stoppages.

ONES AND SEVENS: Three of six top-seeded fighters advanced to the finals: featherweight Lance Palmer, lightweight Natan Schulte and light heavyweight Emiliano Sordi. Meanwhile, four of five brackets that had eight competitors will feature the seventh-seeded competitor in the final, with the only No. 7 seed not fighting in the championship being Chris Curtis at welterweight.

PRINCE ALI! FABULOUS HE!: Ali Isaev remained unbeaten at 8-0 by finishing Denis Goltsov and taking a decision over Kelvin Tiller. He is one of two defeated fighters vying for a championship in December, along with Kayla Harrison (6-0).

BUZZER-BEATING BEATDOWN: In the last fight of the night, Isaev knocked out Goltsov with one second remaining on the clock. In doing so, Isaev earned the latest finish in a non-title fight and the seventh-latest stoppage in company history.

A VERITABLE HE-MAN: By tapping Bozigit Ataev and knocking out Sigi Pesaleli in the first round, Sordi advanced to the final by keeping his finish rate at 100 percent over 21 career wins. All 21 of those stoppages have come within two rounds, including 16 in the opening stanza.

A GUY IN THE CROWD WAS WARMING UP: Although he defeated Alex Nicholson, Francimar Barroso was unable to continue in the competition. Nicholson was slated to take his place, but after his medical test, he was also not cleared. In stepped Tiller, who dropped an aforementioned decision to Isaev earlier in the night.

RIDING OUT THE STORM: Barroso beat Nicholson by unanimous verdict. All four times that Nicholson has left his fate in the hands of the judges, he has lost. He still sports a 100 percent finish rate.

A MODERATELY LARGE SHOW: For the first time in his PFL career and the first time since 2015, Jared Rosholt finished a fight when he stopped Muhammed DeReese with punches. In that span, “The Big Show” won six fights on the scorecards. By the end of the night, he improved his finish rate to 40 percent.

THE MIGHTY DECISIONATOR: As Rosholt also won a decision over Tiller, he extended his own record for the most decisions in PFL heavyweight history with five.

EACH ONE GETS WORSE: Rashid Yusupov knocked out Vinny Magalhaes with one punch to move on to the semifinals and in doing so handed Magalhaes his third knockout loss with the promotion. That defeat ties him with Rosholt, Luis Palomino and Daniel Gallemore for the most knockout losses in WSOF-PFL history.

VINNY, VIDI, VICI: Although he lost, Magalhaes competed for the 11th time in the PFL cage and is now tied with Marlon Moraes for the second-most bouts in company history. Only Lance Palmer (17) has more.

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF: During the 2018 season, Maxim Grishin was eliminated from playoff contention after a majority draw against Smealinho Rama in which the latter won the first round and the tiebreaker. Much to Grishin’s chagrin, the exact same thing happened in in 2019, when he fought to a draw with Jordan Johnson but lost on a tiebreaker.

YE OLDE DRAWING BOARDE: Grishin is now the second fighter in WSOF-PFL history to fight to multiple draws, as this previously occurred for Sadibou Sy, also during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

DOUBLE DRAWGON: Johnson-Grishin and Ataev-Viktor Nemkov went to draws in back-to-back bouts, making this the third time in company history where consecutive fights were scored as draws. This first occurred at PFL 8 2018 and then again at PFL 9 2018.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into PFL 9 2019, DeReese had never been knocked out (nine fights), no PFL heavyweight had ever lost twice in one night (Tiller) and no fighter had ever made it into the playoffs with a record below .500 (Pesaleli).

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