2018 PFL Championship Play-by-Play, Results & Round-by-Round Scoring

By: Tristen Critchfield
Dec 31, 2018



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PFL Middleweight Championship Final
Abusupiyan Magomedov vs. Louis Taylor

Round 1

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Taylor cashed in early.
Magomedov lands a hard outside low kick upon taking the center of the cage. Moments later, Taylor jumps into a left hook, catching his opponent on the temple and sending Magomedov stumbling backward to the canvas. Magomedov’s head bounces off the floor when he lands and he’s out. Taylor rushes in to drop one standing-to-ground punch before referee Dan Miragliotta can jump in to wave off the contest. Taylor is the first $1 million winner of the night as well as the PFL middleweight champion.

The Official Result

Louis Taylor def. Abusupiyan Magomedov via KO (Punch) R1 0:33

PFL Featherweight Championship Final
Steven Siler vs. Lance Palmer

Round 1

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Palmer dominated Siler for 25 minutes.
This rematch of a November 2017 PFL bout won by Palmer via unanimous decision is underway. Palmer opens things up with an inside low kick, and Siler answers with one of his own. Palmer utilizes a methodical approach, chipping away with leg kicks in the first couple minutes. Palmer steps in and partially lands an overhand left before following up with another leg kick. “The Party” lands another pair of low kicks before landing another overhand. The pace picks up, and Palmer takes his opponent down, but Siler is able to scramble up in short order. A straight left from Palmer lands clean. Palmer blocks a high kick from Siler, who is pressing the action. The UFC vet can’t find the range, but he catches a body kick and shoves Palmer into the cage. Siler connects with a kick and has Palmer on retreat. Siler rushes forward and eats a left hook, which cause him to fall to the mat. He shakes it off, and the round ends moments later. 10-9 Palmer.

Round 2

Palmer again begins by landing an inside low kick. Siler presses the action and connects with a straight right. Siler keeps moving forward now and dodges a big left hand from Palmer. However, Palmer follows the punch with a takedown and he plants Siler on his back. Siler works his way to the cage, where he posts and stands. Palmer maintains a body lock, and he just misses a spinning backfist as the combatants briefly separate. Palmer drives Siler back into the fence with a little more than a minute left in the round. Siler is able to free himself momentarily, but Palmer quickly closes the distance and takes his man down in the center of the cage. Siler works his legs up, looking to frame an armbar. Palmer stands to free himself before the horn ends the frame. 10-9 Palmer.

Round 3

Palmer slips during an exchange but he throws Siler off when he attempts to lock in a guillotine. Siler follows a blocked high kick with a two-punch combination. Palmer drops low for a double leg and Siler is on his back. The former Ohio State wrestler is in side control near the fence, landing short knees to the ribcage. Siler gives up his back and Palmer gets both hooks in, although he’s a little high in this position. Palmer is hunting for the rear-naked choke, but Siler does a decent job of fighting off his opponent’s hands. Siler is working to slip out the backdoor, and Palmer counters by trying to frame an armbar. Siler escapes and the featherweights briefly exchange on the feet before Palmer lands another takedown with about a minute remaining in the period. Palmer spends the last seconds of the period landing punches from top position. 10-9 Palmer.

Round 4

Siler retreats to the cage and Palmer lands an inside leg kick. Another leg kick lands on Siler, whose left quad is red from absorbing kicks throughout the fight. Palmer follows a low kick with a takedown, and Siler is on his back in the middle of the cage. Palmer finds space to land some punches to the head of his opponent from half guard. Palmer grabs a headlock and lands some right hands to Siler’s ribs. Palmer is grinding away on Siler this round, controlling the fight from top position. Palmer traps Siler’s right arm and unloads with a flurry of hard left hands. With 30 seconds left, Palmer smothers Siler, ending the frame with more punches to the body. 10-9 Palmer.

Round 5

Palmer follows a low kick with a shot, but this time Siler sprawls nicely. Siler pressures Palmer and defends another takedown. The UFC veteran seems to realize he’s down on the cards as he ups his aggression early. Siler comes forward with punches, and Palmer changes levels, this time getting his desired takedown with a little more than 3:00 left in the fight. Palmer works inside his foe’s guard, landing short punches to the ribs. Siler tries to neutralize Palmer by placing his shin on his opponent’s neck, but “The Party” still finds room to land more ground-and-pound. Siler seems to be protesting something to the official, but that only allows Palmer to land more punches to the face. Palmer controls Siler’s right arm and throws some powerful left hands from above. Siler looks hopeless here as time winds down, and Palmer ends the contest throwing short punches from top position. 10-9 Palmer (50-45 Palmer).

The Official Result

Lance Palmer def. Steven Siler via Unanimous Decision (50-43, 50-45, 49-46) R5 5:00

PFL Lightweight Championship Final
Natan Schulte vs. Rashid Magomedov

Round 1

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Schulte also became a millionaire.
Schulte takes the center of the cage as he looks to navigate the reach of Magomedov. Schulte eats a punch before tying up his foe against the fence. Schulte lands a few knees to the thighs from this position as Magomedov attempts to free himself from the clinch. Schulte continues to grind away from this position, landing periodic knees to the thighs and midsection. Magomedov finally turns off the catch, only to be hip tossed to the ground. The Russian is up quickly and he snaps a front kick to Schulte’s face. Magomedov lands a left hook to the body and Schulte answer by making his Russian foe stumble with a right low kick-left hook combo. Magomedov lands a body kick and then circles away from Schulte’s advance. A short Superman punch lands for Magomedov before Schulte forces the clinch against the fence. Magomedov is able to separate quickly this time. Another nice low kick-left hook combination lands for Schulte before the horn. 10-9 Schulte.

Round 2

Magomedov goes to the body with a kick, then throws a left hook that’s partially blocked. Schulte connects with a sharp low kick and Magomedov answers with a side kick to the midsection. Schulte continues to keep Magomedov off balance with low kicks. A hard rear body kick lands for Magomedov. The Russian hits a jab to the body, then clips Schulte with a right hand. Schulte keeps pressing the action. A right hook to the body finds a home for Magomedov. An inadvertent eye poke from Magomedov results in a pause in the action. Rather than issue a warning, referee Todd Anderson deducts a point from Magomedov. Magomedov comes out firing off his jab with a sense of urgency when the bout resumes. Another body kick lands for the Russian. Magomedov moves forward and connects with a right hook to the body. The UFC veteran goes back to the body again, and Magomedov keeps applying pressure until the horn. 9-9.

Round 3

Magomedov begins working behind his jab and lead left hook. A low kick from Schulte spins his opponent around. A right hook connects for the Brazilian, who is pressuring early. A body kick lands for Magomedov. Schulte shoots for a takedown following a two-punch combination. Magomedov defends and Schulte pushes his man into the cage. They separate and Schulte moves forward with punches, but Magomedov digs to the body with a pair of uppercuts. The Russian stays active with his jab, circling away from Schulte. Another body shot connects for Magomedov, who connects with a liver kick a few moments later. Magomedov continues to find success landing left hooks to the body of Schulte. Schulte forces the clinch , but Magomedov is able to free himself, and he tags his Brazilian foe with straight punches before ending the frame with a glancing spinning back kick. 10-9 Magomedov.

Round 4

Schulte moves forward with a jab and a low kick, but Magomdov answers with a hard straight counter. A body punch follows for the Russian before Schulte briefly trips him to the canvas. Magomedov is up, but Schulte maintains the clinch and presses his man into the fence. Schulte has double underhooks, and he’s content to grind away here. Magomedov is doing his best to land punches with his back to the cage. They separate, and Magomeov lands some clean straight shots before Schulte shoves him back into the fence. Schulte can’t quite trip his foe to the mat, but he maintains a body lock and eventually guides his opponent into the fence. Magomdov turns off the cage. Schulte trips his opponent down but Magomedov scrambles right back up. Schulte continues to maintain a body lock, however. The Brazilian has set a grinding pace for this frame as we come upon one minute to go. Magomedov tries to free himself, but Schulte is relentless with his forward pressure. Magomedov attacks the body with punches and kicks when he gets space, but Schulte has been successful at forcing the clinch more often this frame. The round ends with Schulte pressing Magomedov into the cage. 10-9 Schulte.

Round 5

Schulte again begins with forward pressure. The Brazilian forces a tie-up and lands a knee. Schulte punches his way into the clinch, but Magomedov escapes. Schulte has a body lock, and he looks to drag Magomedov to the mat. The Russian keeps his feet, but he can’t escape from Schulte, who continues his grinding approach. Schulte keeps the pressure on against the fence, making Magomedov work to free himself. The Russian frees himself for a second, only to see Schulte press him right back into the fence. Magomedov fails on a trip attempt, then has a kick caught by Schulte, who shoves his adversary back into the cage. We’re approaching one minute to go in the fight, and Schulte’s pressure and clinch have defined this round. Schulte tries for a trip, but Magomedov keeps his feet. He can’t separate from the Brazilian. The frame ends in the clinch. 10-9 Schulte. (48-46 Schulte).

The Official Result

Natan Schulte def. Rashid Magomedov via Unanimous Decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46) R5 5:00

Kayla Harrison vs. Moriel Charneski

Round 1

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Harrison moved to 3-0 with ease.
After a brief exchange on the feet, Harrison locks up a clinch and tosses Charneski to the mat. Harrison moves to full mount and drops some vicious ground-and-pound. Charneski does her best to hold Harrison close and neutralize the offense of her opponent. Harrison postures up and lands more powerful lefts and rights. The Olympic judoka pins Charneski’s arm across her face and lands punches with her free hand. Harrison relinquishes that position but doesn’t relent with her ground-and-pound assault. Charneski gives up her back. Harrison stands, lets her opponent get up and emphatically tosses her back to the canvas. Harrison gets full mount, then looks to transition to an armbar but she’s too close to the fence. Harrison recovers back mount, flattens Charneski out and hammers away with punches to the head. Charneski can’t defend herself from this position. Mercifully, this one-sided contest is finally stopped, giving Harrison her third professional victory.

The Official Result

Kayla Harrison def. Moriel Charneski via TKO (Punches) R1 3:39

PFL Light Heavyweight Championship Final
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Sean O'Connell

Round 1

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O'Connell called it a career on a high note.
Magalhaes opens with a leg kick before the light heavyweights trade heavy shots in close quarters. Magalhaes pulls guard near the fence and hunts for a heel hook. O’Connell defends and then drops some heavy punches on his opponent. Magalhaes pushes O’Connell away with his guard and a stanup is orderd. O’Connell and Magalhaes are swinging wildly, with both landing before Magalhaes shifts gears and shoots for a takedown against the fence. Magalhaes gets the takedown near the fence. O’Connell gives up his back in order to stand, and Magalhaes gets both hooks in. O’Connell is carrying all of his opponent’s weight, as Magalhaes lands some punches to the head. O’Connell manages to free himself form one hook, but there’s no relief here. Magalhaes regains back control and pulls O’Connell back with him. Magalhaeshas a body triangle locked in, and he’s raining punches and hammerfists to his opponent’s head. O’Connell escapes and Magalhaes rolls for a another leg lock with less than a minute to go. O’Connell defends the hold and survives until the horn. 10-9 Magalhaes.

Round 2

A straight right lands for Magalhaes, but O’Connell answers by rocking the grappler with heavy punches. Magalhaes invites his foe to the ground, but O’Connell isn’t having it. Magalhaes lands a body kick and then shoots for a takedown. O’Connell sprawls and they’re standing again. A two-piece combo lands for O’Connell and he rocks his man against the fence. O’Connell sprawls on a takedown, and Magalhaes hunts for a leg lock. O’Connell frees himself and walks away, forcing Magalhaes to stand. Magalhaes shoots again, and O’Connell defends. O’Connell lands a left and then stuffs a takedown. A combination lands for Magalhaes, but O’Connell clips his opponent in an ensuing exchange. Magalhaes is stuffed on another takedown. O’Connell pressures, lands more shots and stops another low single. O’Connell sprawls and lands punches to the body. Magalhaes clings to the leg as O’Connell peppers his body with shots. O’Connell’s punches aren’t especially heavy here, but he’s maintaining the position as the round winds down, and that’s how the stanza ends. 10-9 O’Connell.

Round 3

O’Connell lands a leg kick and is countered by a Magalhaes right. O’Connell is swinging with a purpose and he rocks Magalhaes with a two-punch combo, and then he drops his foe for a moment with a follow-up shot. O’Connell stops a takedown and lets his foe back up. Another big shot lands for O’Connell, and he again stuffs a takedown. Magalhaes eats more shots, then dives for a single to slow O’Connell down. O’Connell lands some standing to ground punches before backing away. Another combination lands before Magalhaes shoots again, as this is becoming quite repetitive. O’Connell again tags Magalhaes against the fence before stuffing another takedown. A standup is ordered, and Magalhaes falls into a left hook from O’Connell. Magalhaes rolls to his back, and O’Connell can’t resist dropping a few punches from above before escaping Magalhaes’ guard. O’Connell goes back to work with punches and Magalhaes falls lazily to the canvas on what appears to be an exhausted takedown attempt. O’Connell makes him get up and goes back on the attack. Magalhaes is badly gassed as O’Connell attacks with ground-and-pound. Magalhaes threatens with an armbar, but he doesn’t have the strength to finish it. O’Connell lands another solid two-piece combination before the round ends. Referee Keith Peterson waves off the fight before it reaches the fourth round when Magalhaes' corner calls a halt to the bout.

The Official Result

Sean O’Connell def. Vinny Magalhaes via TKO (Corner Stoppage) R3 5:00

PFL Heavyweight Championship Final
Philipe Lins vs. Josh Copeland

Round 1

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Dan Miragliotta saved Copeland.
Copeland comes out in a low stance, using plenty of feints. “Cuddly Bear” eats a shot from Lins as he moves forward. Copeland lands a jab. Copeland steps in and lands a left. Lins flicks out a jab but comes up short and then lands a glancing right over the top. Both heavyweights throwing heavy shots, but neither is landing clean. A three-punch combo connects for Lins. A left hook finds the range for Lins in another exchange. A right uppercut makes Copeland back away for a moment. A two-punch counter lands for Lins as Copeland moves forward. When Copeland drops his head moving forward, Lins lands an uppercut. 10-9 Lins.

Round 2

Copeland pumps his jab at the outset. Lins backs off, then counters with a flurry of big hooks. Copeland is able to cover up for most of it. Copeland goes back to the jab. Copeland lands a left before forcing a tie up. The heavyweights quickly break and Lins lands a combination on the inside. Lins catches Copeland with a right hook as the American comes forward. A low kick lands for the Brazilian. Copeland responds with an inside leg kick of his own. Lins jabs to the body and circles out of danger. A left jab lands clean for Lins, who follows with a low kick. Lins is varying his offense now, as he fires off a kick to the body. A counter right connects for Lins. Lins makes Copeland stumble with a low kick and hits his wobbly foe with a left hand. Lins is really getting comfortable, and he tags Copeland with a three-piece combo. Another low kick sends Copeland to the floor, and Lins pounces with a flurry of ground-and-pound. “Cuddly Bear” will survive until the horn. 10-9 Lins.

Round 3

Copeland begins with a right hand, but it’s only a glancing blow. Lins circles away from the cage and lands a kick to the body. Lins tags Copeland with a combination, and the American’s face is wearing the damage. Lins with another hard leg kick, and he’s landing easily now while moving out of danger. Lins follows a low kick with a big right hand. Copeland is just eating shots and walking forward now. Lins is bleeding from what seems to be an accidental clash of heads. He asks for a reprieve, but Copeland just keeps marching forward. Lins goes back to work, teeing off with punches and the occasional low kick. Lins lands about five right hands in the clinch before switching to knees. Copeland continues to eat short punches and knees with his back to the fence, but he’s still standing. Lins fires off short punches to the body. Copeland walks forward like a zombie, taking everything Lins has to offer. Lins goes back to landing knees in the clinch against the fence. It looks like Copeland is going to survive another round. 10-8 Lins.

Round 4

A cageside physician comes in to examine Lins and Copeland before the start of the round and both heavyweights are cleared to begin the championship frames. Lins starts with a purpose, landing a knee, then a low kick followed by a punching combination. Lins secures the clinch and unloads with about eight unanswered knees. The Brazilian releases the clinch and lands a couple more punches on Copeland, who isn’t coming close to defending himself. Dan Miragliotta has seen enough, and he steps in to save Copeland from absorbing further punishment.

The Official Result

Philipe Lins def. Josh Copeland via TKO (Knees and Punches) R4 0:30

PFL Welterweight Championship Final
Ray Cooper III vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov

Round 1

Cooper comes forward with aggression, swinging wildly. A scramble ensues and Magomedkerimov takes the Hawaiian’s back. Magomedkerimov has two hooks in and he’s landing short shorts on his opponent, who is on a knee. Magomedkerimov flattens Cooper out and lands some heavier shots. Magomedkerimov looks to sink a choke under Cooper’s chin but he doesn’t quite have it yet. Cooper separates the hands and then Magomedkerimov loses his back control. Cooper is up and Magomedkerimov presses his foe into the fence. Magomedkerimov tries for a hip toss but fails and Cooper fires off an uppercut in close. Cooper is able to separate but he eats a jab. Cooper presses the action, but he gets sucked into the clinch. Magomedkerimov shoves Cooper back into the fence. Magomedkerimov grinds away against the fence, landing the occasional knee. They separate with less than aminute to go. Cooper stalks his foe, looking to headhunt. Cooper stuffs a takedown and lands a hard knee. Magomedkerimov ties up Cooper and lands a couple knees of his own. Magomedkerimov lands a punch to the chin before the end of the round. 10-9 Magomedkerimov.

Round 2

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Magomedkerimov forced a tap.
Cooper lands a left hook right off the bat. Magomedkerimov uses his reach and kicks to keep Cooper at bay. A leg kick lands for Magomedkerimov. Magomedkerimov forces the clinch and Cooper lands a hard shot in close before they break. Magomedkerimov circles away with Cooper in pursuit. Cooper closes the distance and lands a right before attempting a single leg. He switches to a body lock, but moments later, Magomedkerimov locks up a guillotine and jumps guard. He applies the squeeze and while Cooper does his best to defend, there’s nothing he can do. In a matter of seconds, the powerful Hawaiian is forced to tap out, ending his memorable 2018 campaign in defeat.

The Official Result

Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Ray Cooper III via Submission (Guillotine Choke) R2 2:18

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