Professional Fighters League light heavyweight Jordan Young will be left without a dance partner on Thursday after all.
Young (11-1) was originally booked at light heavyweight against Smealinho Rama for PFL 2: 2021 Regular Season, which takes place on April 29 at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. The 2019 PFL semifinalist withdrew, and fellow 2019 playoff participant Vinny Magalhaes joined in his stead. Magalhaes, a finalist in the 2018 season, was also forced out after he was hospitalized due to a bad weight cut. On a day’s notice, Askar Mozharov (21-8) was in as a replacement, but he too has now pulled out from the event, per ESPN on Thursday. PFL has confirmed it on its own site, while Young has since voiced his frustrations on his Instagram account.
“After Vinny pulled out on 24 [hours] notice due to his weight cut - I accepted a fight with an unknown steroid head Ukrainian [and] after this little sucker [pulled] s--- [at] the weigh ins [and] he pulled out of the fight due to ‘medical reasons,’” Young wrote. “He was my [third] opponent in 30 days - I’m a big ol solider [sic] and I’m living that. I said yes to every name to keep the show going but ultimately I will be a spectator tonight and return to the playoffs in June with 3 points.”
The promotion has awarded Young three playoff points in a walkover win after his opponents bowed out. There are four spots in the playoffs of each division, and the highest point totals will advance – it is not a foregone conclusion that Young will reach the playoffs, should other fighters finish their foes early and earn more points than Young can manage. PFL 2 will carry on with eight bouts, as multiple other fighters have been forced out of their matchups including David Michaud, Alexey Kunchenko and Magomed Magomedkerimov.
Young was set to make his promotional debut after nearly three years and seven bouts inside the Bellator MMA promotion. His first six wins under the Bellator banner resulted in five different submissions using four different maneuvers, and the Iowa native suffered his first career defeat his last time out against Julius Anglickas in 2019. Young has not competed since.
Mozharov was looking to make his own PFL debut on the heels of a trio of first-round knockouts in the Professional Pankration Championship organization. The Ukrainian holds a disputed record of 21-8, with the fighter or his representatives claiming he has more wins and fewer losses than can be authenticated. “No Mercy” sports a career finish rate of 90 percent, although all of his losses have come inside the distance as well.
PFL 2: 2021 Regular Season goes down at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., on April 29. It will feature welterweights and light heavyweights, with a newly arranged headliner between Rory MacDonald and Curtis Millender at 170 pounds. The prelims will air on ESPN+, while the main card takes place on ESPN2.