PFL 2021 Championships Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Lev Pisarsky
Oct 27, 2021
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Don Madge (155.6) vs. Nathan Williams (155.4)

Round 1

Kicking off the final PFL card of 2021, we have Don Madge (9-3), who was an undefeated 2-0 in the UFC before leaving the promotion, facing Nathan Williams (12-7). Andrew Glenn is your referee for this one. Williams opens up wiht a leg kick, although there isn't much on it. Madge scores with a more signification body kick, but Williams uses the opportunity to clinch and get a takedown. Williams grinds his head against Madge's against the cage, as Madge tries to wall-walk back up, but to no avail. Madge is doing a good job of using his legs to push off, and he eventually does so, standing up with about 3:30 left in the round. Williams clinches and goes for a single-leg, but there is nothing available. Madge turns him around and pushes him into the cage. On the break, Madge scores a nice uppercut and they are back at range, striking. Madge scores with a nice jab, but Williams comes back with two solid leg kicks. Williams scores with a straight punch. Madge lands a right hook to the head, and Williams retaliates with another leg kick. Madge goes back to the jab, touching Williams with two of them. Madge scores a body kick and then another jab. Madge connects with a solid 1-2. Madge with another punishing body kick, as Williams is simply standing there and eating many of these shots. Madge now connects with a hard leg kick and then a jab. He follows it up with another short right hook. A wild attempt at kicks by Williams misses. Madge scores on another 1-2 as Williams retreats along the fence. Madge scores with another leg kick now. Williams lands two leg kicks of his own, but it's just not enough. Madge lands a nice shovel punch to the body and then another jab as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Madge
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Madge
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Madge

Round 2

Williams comes out with a 1-2 to begin the stanza, but it misses. After a missed 1-2 by Madge, Williams shoots in on a double, but Madge is ready this time and stuffs him effectively. He even trips him to his knees, gaining separation. After landing a few punches, Madge goes for a body kick, and Williams catches it, looking for a single-leg. He is successful this time. Madge immediately works for an omoplata off his back, which Williams has trouble with. Madge uses the submission attempt to sweep, ending up in side control. Madge is working for a crucifix position, and when Williams turns his backs, Madge takes it with a body triangle with both hooks in. With 3 minutes left, Madge is already threatening the rear-naked choke. Williams does a poor job of hand-fighting, and suddenly, Madge has the submission fully locked in! Williams has no choice but to tap. A very impressive performance by Madge after having gone undefeated in the UFC, showcasing both his striking and submission skills.

The Official Result

Don Madge def. Nathan Williams via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 2:15 of Round 2

Julia Budd (154.6) vs. Kaitlin Young (155.6)

Round 1

Coming up next, long-time Bellator female featherweight Julia Budd (15-3) making her debut at lightweight against long-time Invicta veteran Kaitlin Young (12-11-1), who lost a split decision to Mariana Morais in her last appearance in the PFL. Refereeing this one will be Keith Peterson. Budd starts cautiously, as usual. She partially lands a front push-kick. Budd throws a 1-2 that misses but then gets into a Thai clinch. Young lands a few small knees and they disengage. Young lands a leg kick. Young comes forward with a jab that Budd just barely dodges. Budd returns the favor with a straight right hand. Young lands another leg kick, and after that, Budd goes back to the Thai clinch. Budd lands a few small punches on the inside before Young pushes her off. Young throws a leg kick but Budd checks it. Budd throws a 1-2 but Young moves her head out of the way. As Budd goes for a kick, Young scores a short left hand that gets Budd's attention. Young partially scores with a 1-2 soon after. Young doubles up on her jab, and connects with the second one. Budd throws a leg kick that misses. Finally Budd gets tired of the striking and shoots a double-leg, which puts Young down on the canvas. However, Young is sitting up, and Buddy methodically stretches her fully onto the canvas. She has just 20 seconds left to work with, and besides a few insignificant punches, she lands nothing.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Young
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Budd
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Young

Round 2

Budd throws a couple of jabs to begin the stanza, which miss. She lands a few push-kicks and then decides to clinch again. Young is tough, however, and throws her off easily enough. They briefly go back to the clinch and Young lands a knee to the body. They then both connect on jabs, although Young's is harder. On yet another clinch, Young partially lands a jab on the break. They throw simultaneous punches and this time it's Budd who gets the better of it with a right hand. Young scores with an inside leg kick, dodging the Budd punch that follows. Budd goes for a knee to the head when Young ducks, and barely misses. After a series of Buddy punches miss, it's shockingly Young who decides to shoot and she completes a takedown! However, Budd simply muscles her way back up, leaving an arm that Young was unable to even try to attack. After scrambling up, Budd pushes Young onto her own back. Young is partially propped up against the cage, as Budd lands the occasional punch to the body. With about 90 seconds left, the action has slowed, with Budd only throwing the occcasional punch to the body, little else. Budd then gets Young's shoulders firmly onto the canvas, as she tries to work in the half-guard. She throws a few shoulder strikes from the top that land, but is otherwise largely inactive. Budd throws a few small arm punches to the head as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Budd
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Budd
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Budd

Round 3

Budd scores with a front push-kick to begin the final stanza. Budd throws a 1-2 and then a knee to the head that partially connects. Budd goes for a double-leg shot and while Young sprawls on it initially, she doesn't turn the angle, allowing Budd to muscle it through and get top position yet again. Budd goes to work with punches to the body more energetically now. Budd throws the occasional small punch to the head. With a little over 3 minutes remaining, Young throws up an armbar attempt. Budd is patient, though, and simply angles off, getting to side control. Budd tries to step over to mount but isn't successful, allowing, Young to regain full guard. With half a round remaining, Keith Peterson temporarily stops it to replace Young's mouthpiece, although he could have stood them up, something I rarely encourage. Budd lands a few small arm punches to the head. Budd moves to half-guard, but again, does little with it. Young soon regains full guard. Budd seems to be going for a shoulder choke of some kind, but it's not especially close. She lands a few more small punches to the head. With 20 seconds, Young tries to get up, but simply allows Budd to get to mount. Budd goes for an arm triangle choke, but she doesn't have enough time for it. A victory for Budd, but not a very impressive one.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Budd (29-28 Budd)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Budd (30-27 Budd)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Budd (29-28 Budd)

The Official Result

Julia Budd def. Kaitlin Young via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Omari Akhmedov (203.6) vs. Jordan Young (206)

Round 1

Moving on, we have long-time ranked UFC contender Omari Akhmedov (21-6) facing Jordan Young (11-2), who suffered a shocking defeat as a heavy favorite to Tom Lawlor in his PFL debut in June. Not surprisingly, Akhmedov is a roughly -800 favorite. Referee Gary Copeland will keep the big men honest. Young begins the contest with a solid leg kick. Akhmedov answers with one of his own, but it's not as hard. He corrects this a short while later, as Akhmedov lands a sharp leg kick. Akhmedov brawls his way onto the inside with punches and works for a single against the cage. Young's balance holds up and he stays upright, although Akhmedov has a rear waistlock. He isn't able to convert, and Young turns into him, as Akhmedov continues grinding against the cage. Young looks close to being taken down a few times, but hangs tough with about 3 minutes left. Young manages to eventually get both underhooks and shoves Akhmedov off, gaining separation. Both men are cautious once at distance. Akhmedov throws a few punches, but they're all solidly blocked by Young. Akhmedov scores on another leg kick, though. Akhmedov continues throwing punches, but they're all blocked by Young. Another combination is blocked but lands Young against the fence, allowing Akhmedov to clinch. This time, Akhmedov picks Young up and slams him down. Young, however, uses the cage to sit up. Akhmedov lands a few short punches. Akhmedov tries to establish control, but Young fully stands up, using a nice whizzer to do so. After a while, they push off, returning to the striking with 45 seconds left. Akhmedov lands a jab with about 30 seconds remaining. A left hook by him misses, though. Young goes for a leg kick and is countered with an Akhmedov jab.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Akhmedov
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Akhmedov
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Akhmedov

Round 2

Akhmedov goes for more punches, but Young's defense continues to be solid, avoiding all of them. Akhmedov throws a couple of hooks, but Young blocks both of them. Young scores with a jab but misses a follow-up cross. A minute into the round, Akhmedov lands a HUGE leg kick that knocks Young off his feet and keeps him down. Akhmedov is all over him now, pounding away with punches. Young offers little resistance and gives up his back, which Akhmedov happily takes with both hooks in. Young tries to stand, but Akhmedov is too heavy from the back and he soon returns to his knee, with Akhmedov in the backpack position, punching away. Young then posts up with all four limbs against the canvas, but again, Akhmedov stays glued to his back. Young soon returns to his knees. Akhmedov, meanwhile, is working to flatten Young out. With about half a round remaining, Akhmedov slowly but sneakily locks in a rear-naked choke. Young is tough though, moving his head away and showing the referee a thumbs-up with his hands. Akhmedov eventually lets go and as Young tries to get up, briefly has mount. However, Young manages to scramble to his feet and is now the one pushing Akhmedov against the cage! What an amazing job at survival by Young! The pace slows with a minute remaining. Akhmedov decides to separate himself soon after. They trade jabs. Akhmedov throws a leg kick but it's checked by Young. Akhmedov scores with a nice 1-2, his best punches of the contest. Akhmedov goes for a double and partially eats a knee. Young stays upright as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Akhmedov
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Akhmedov
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Akhmedov

Round 3

Akhmedov scores with a leg kick to begin the final round. Young goes for blows of his own, but they miss, and Akhmedov lands a 1-2 and then a leg kick. Young is undeterred and he scores with a right cross. He then scores with a second one that leaves Akhmedov a little wobbled. Soon after, he scores with another one, and this one badly staggers Akhmedov! Not long after, Akhmedov goes for a desperation takedown, but Young easily stuffs it! Young goes back to work with his striking, landing a huge right uppercut that floors an exhausted Akhmedov. After just a single hard punch from the top, referee Gary Copeland stops the contest, as Omari Akhmedov is done. What a sensational comeback by Young, who was a monster +600 underdog!

The Official Result

Jordan Young def. Omari Akhmedov via TKO (Punches) at 1:32 of Round 3

PFL 2021 Season Lightweight Championship:
Loik Radzhabov (155) vs. Raush Manfio (155)

Round 1

In the first million dollar five round match, Raush Manfio (14-3) battles Loik Radzhabov (15-3-1) for the PFL Lightweight Championship. Getting this assignment is referee Andrew Glenn. Radzhabov begins with a series of leg kicks. However, Manfio counters one of them with a hard right cross that connects. Manfio then follows it up with a big 1-2 that gets Radzhabov's attention. Not long after, Manfio scores with another 1-2. Suddenly, Radzhabov isn't so aggressive with his kicks. Instead, Radzhabov clinches, but Manfio easily defends and pushes him off. Not long after, Manfio stalks Radzhabov along the cage and lands another nice 1-2. Radzhabov lands a small leg kick but doesn't commit as much to it, for fear of a counter. Manfio unloads with a beautiful 1-2-1 that partially lands. Radzhabov throws a series of powerful right hooks and they partially connect, driving Manfio back. Radzhabov gets a clinch against the cage with it, too. Not for long, however, as Manfio pushes him off. Radzhabov throws a straight right that Manfio blocks. Radzhabov throws a leg kick and again gets countered by a Manfio right cross. Another Manfio 1-2 finds the mark and this time, he blocks the overhand right. Manfio scores with a big leg kick that spins Radzhabov around. Radzhabov brawls his way onto the inside again, pushing Manfio against the cage. Manfio gets an underhook and turns Radzhabov around, soon disengaging at range. Manfio scores with a series of right hands, and Radzhabov's attempt to counter is unsuccessful. Radzhabov misses a right cross and now it's Manfio clinching and trying to take him down. A very impressive round 1 for Manfio.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Manfio
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Radzhabov
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Manfio

Round 2

Manfio continues firing the 1-2, and Radzhabov fires an overhand right that partially lands. He clinches, and eats a big knee from Manfio. Manfio lands a nice 1-2 and Radzhabov's attempts miss the mark. It's then Manfio connecting with an overhand right. However, Radzhabov isn't giving up, and on the approach, lands a big right hand, the biggest connect of the stanza thus far. Radzhabov manages to push Manfio against the cage, too. They disengage, but Radzhabov gets aggressive, throwing a series of combinations, especially a series of hooks. However, he is a little too reckless, and Manfio counters him with a right hand, producing a flash knockdown. Radzhabov recovers very quickly, however. Manfio lands a couple of leg kick as one of the commentators notes Radzhabov's leg may be compromised. The pace slows now, which is reasonable considering the furious energy with which both men have been fighting up until now. Radzhabov scores with a spinning back-kick, but there isn't much on it. A second such attempt misses and Radzhabov loses his balance, having to post against the canvas with one hand. Manfio stays disciplined. With 30 seconds left, Manfio lands a huge leg kick that has Radzhabov hobbling away. With 15 seconds left, Manfio lands a head kick that partially gets through.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Manfio
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Manfio
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Manfio

Round 3

Radzhabov comes forward to clinch, but Manfio is ready and lands a nice right hook on the inside and partially lands a knee on the break. Radzhabov tries to clinch again, but misses his punches and gets pushed off. Radzhabov does land a body punch soon after, though. Both men miss on big overhand rights. Radzhabov comes forward and lands a jab and then a leg kick. Soon after, Radzhabov lands another punch, showing he isn't going away. Radzhabov ducks under a Manfio overhand right and he keeps coming forward. However, he runs into a Manfio knee to the body that halts his aggression for a stretch. He eventually resumes, missing a series of jabs as they briefly clinch and Manfio pushes him off. Both men miss jabs. Radzhabov comes forward a little sloppy, missing his punches. Radzhabov misses an overhand right but uses it to clinch with about 2 minutes left in the round. Manfio misses a 1-2, notably slower than it was during the first two rounds. Radzhabov comes forward and lands a nice right hand. Off of this, Radzhabov sucks out Manfio's hips and gets takedown against the cage. Manfio soon hip-escapes neatly and gets back up. However, Radzhabov is working the single. Manfio's balance holds up and he pushes Radzhabov off. They clinch again, now with Manfio pushing Radzhabov against the cage. They exchange some dirty boxing, briefly separating until clinching again with about 15 seconds left. Radzhabov hits a nice foot-sweep at the end of the round, but Manfio instantly gets up.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Radzhabov
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Radzhabov
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Radzhabov

Round 4

Manfio tries to counter a Radzhabov leg kick with a 1-2 but it misses. They exchange big punches and when Radzhabov clinches, he eats a couple of big knees. However, Radzhabov gets a double-leg takedown. Not for long, however, as Manfio springs up to his feet. Radzhabov lands a nice overhand right but eats a Manfio knee to the body. As they separate, Radzhabov looks tired and Manfio lands a big 1-2. Manfio is now teeing off, landing a series of brutal front-kicks to the body, as Radzhabov retreats. Radzhabov desperately clinches to give himself a breather. Manfio separates and hits him with a couple of punches upstairs. Soon after, he lands a body kick and goes back to another gut-busting knee. Radzhabov is tired with his hands down, retreating. Manfio is tired too, but has more left. He lands a huge right uppercut to the body and then goes back to the Thai clinch, landing a brutal series of knees. Radzhabov retreats and when Manfio clinches again, he blasts him with more knees, now to the head. Radzhabov retreats again and Manfio follows him with punches, though few land flush. Manfio goes back to the Thai clinch and lands more big knees. Radzhabov throws a few punches, but they do little. Manfio lands a few uppercuts on the inside and then a leg kick that nearly knocks Radzhabov off his feet. Clinching in the center of the cage, Manfio lands another knee to the head. Radzhabov throws a series of wild hooks, but they hit nothing but air. Manfio continues abusing Radzhabov against the cage with short uppercuts and knees as the man from Tajikistan is taking a lot of punishment. Manfio scores with a left hook with 30 seconds remaining. Manfio returns to the clinch and lands two more powerful knees to the body. With 10 seconds left he lands another knee.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-8 Manfio
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Manfio
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Manfio

Round 5

Radzhabov slowly lumbers to the center of the cage to begin the round. Radzhabov misses a left hook and soon after, an overhand right. Radzhabov comes forward and lands a left hand. He continues throwing punches and sneaks another left hand through. They clinch soon after, but not for long, going back to striking at range. Radzhabov continues coming forward and throwing punches, partially connecting on a straight right against the cage. Manfio clinches in the center of the cage and lands a few knees to the body, although there isn't as much on them now. Manfio is very tired himself now, throwing labored punches that miss. Radzhabov is tired now too though, throwing a very slow overhand right. They clinch, and shockingly, it's Manfio who gets a takedown with an inside trip. Radzhabov soon rises easily enough, though he eats another knee in the process. Manfio lands a leg kick and while it's light, Radzhabov is so compromised that he lamost falls. Radzhabov goes for a single-leg with a little over 2 minutes left, but has nowhere near the energy to finish it. Manfio clinches and lands a couple of knees in the clinch. Radzhabov throws a couple of tired overhand rights and left hooks, with one overhand right partially connecting. Radzhabov brawls on the inside and lands an uppercut. Manfio lands a right hand with a minute left, then a left hook, and finally, another knee. They clinch to catch their breathes, but then push off with 30 seconds left. Manfio ducks under a Radzhabov punch then lands a few left hooks. Manfio then clinches and lands a few knees to the body to end the round. A very close final round, which didn't seem like it would be the case after a Round 4. A fine win and a million dollars for Manfio, by the looks of it.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Manfio (49-45 Manfio)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Manfio (48-47 Manfio)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Manfio (49-45 Manfio)

The Official Result

Raush Manfio def. Loik Radzhabov (48-46, 48-46, 49-46)

PFL 2021 Season Light Heavyweight Championship:
Antonio Carlos Jr. (204.4) vs. Marthin Hamlet (205)

Round 1

Moving back to the big men, Marthin Hamlet (8-2) and Antonio Carlos Jr. (12-5) compete for the PFL Light Heavyweight Championship. Hamlet actually lost by submission during the regular season, but finds himself in a championship after Cezar Ferreira went down with a leg injury against him in the playoffs. Referee Keith Peterson will try to keep order between the two large, powerful grapplers. Carlos begins with a jab, which Hamlet barely dodges. Carlos continues pumping the jab, which doesn't land, but causes Hamlet to retreat. Carlos throws a 1-2 that Hamlet sidesteps. Carlos misses a jab, but scores with a follow-up leg kick. Carlos throws another jab that is blocked, but he scores with a second one. He throws a third one that partially gets through, too. Hamlet throws a few jabs, but they all miss. Hamlet lands a left hand, and retreating, Carlos loses his footing, tumbling backwards. Hamlet clinches, but Carlos soon pushes him off. Carlos comes forward and lands another jab. Carlos throws a 1-2 and the straight right lands to the body against Hamlet. Carlos continues firing the jab. Hamlet lands a leg kick. Carlos lands another straight right to the body. Carlos lands a 1-2 and then uses it to shoot a double-leg which works. Almost immediately, as Hamlet tries to get up, Carlos Junior takes his back with both hooks in. He has the backpack position as Hamlet attempts to stand. Out of nowhere, Carlos instantly wraps up the rear-naked choke. Hamlet falls back onto the canvas with the Brazilian draped over him, and once there, he has no choice but to tap. A fantastic victory for the BJJ legend Antonio Carlos Junior, whose striking looked sharp, too.

The Official Result

Antonio Carlos Junior def. Marthin Hamlet via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:49 of Round 1

PFL 2021 Season Featherweight Championship:
Movlid Khaybulaev (145) vs. Chris Wade (145)

Round 1

Moving down to the featherweights, undefeated Movlid Khaybulaev (18-0-1) faces Chris Wade (20-6), who has looked great this season in the PFL, including garnering the first knockout victory of his career. Despite being undefeated, Khaybulaev is only a modest -175 favorite as both are superb grapplers, and that may result in a close striking fight. Calling this intriguing battle will be referee Gary Copeland. Wade begins with a front kick to the head, but Khaybulaev easily evades it. Khaybulaev goes for an overhand right but Wade evades it. An overhand left from Khaybulaev now misses, too. Khaybulaev misses with a right cross, but a Wade front kick to the body misses the mark as well. Khaybulaev comes forward with punches now and a straight left hand connects, snapping Wade's head back. Khaybulaev grapples for a while and then gets Wade down against the cage. Wade is tough however and wall-walks back up with the cage. They exchange a 50/50 position, with each having an underhooks, and trade short arm punches and knees to the body. Khaybulaev is a little more active here with punches to the body. The referee warns them for more action. Khaybulaev obliges, with a hip toss that brings Wade to his knees. Wade tries to quickly get up but gives up his back, which Khaybulaev obliges by taking with both hooks in. Wade keeps scrambling, but Khaybulaev has the back and ends the round threatening from there.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev

Round 2

Wade starts out with a roundhouse kick to the head, but Khaybulaev avoids it easily enough. Wade is undeterred, and tries two more head kicks, but again, Khaybulaev simply darts out of range. Khaybulaev clinches and spins Wade around, but the American stays upright as Khaybulaev pushes him against the cage. Khaybulaev goes for a nifty inside foot sweep, but Wade's legs are strong and he avoids going down. They trade knees to the thighs. After a lack of activity, the referee separates the two men with 3:30 left in the round. Khaybulaev is throwing combinations while Wade is throwing a punch at a time, and while he doesn't land anything hard, Khaybulaev is touching Wade more. He soon scores with an overhand right and Wade partially counters with a jab. Khaybulaev lands a right cross and soon gets a rear waistlock off it, working for a takedown against the cage once more. They go back to the 50/50 position, and Wade manages to partially push the Russian off. Khaybulaev isn't bothered, however, and simply pushes him back into the cage. Wade tries some uppercuts, but they're very weak and don't land. Khaybulaev continues controlling Wade in the clinch and lands a couple of knees to the body, although nothing hard. They exchange short uppercuts as they clinch in the middle of the cage, a rarity in the modern game. Khaybulaev eventually pushes Wade back against the cage and continues the occasional annoying strike. Wade gets double underhooks and pushes off with about 50 seconds left. They brawl with neither man landing, although Wade is bleeding badly near his eye. Khaybulaev scores a beautiful hip-toss against Wade, having him in a front headlock. He switches to the back with about 15 seconds left, landing a few punches to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev

Round 3

Khaybulaev throws a left hook that misses. Khaybulaev suddenly bursts forward with a flying knee and uses it to clinch, from which he gets Wade down, though Wade is on his knees against the fence. Wade soon wall-walks back up. Khaybulaev is still on him though, switching to a rear waist-lock. Khaybulaev goes for a trip which doesn't quite work. Wade turns around into him. Khaybulaev tries a few old-school foot stomps. Wade uses his 50/50 to turn Khaybulaev around and push him against the fence. Wade drops levels to try a takedown, but Khaybulaev stuff it and is heavy on his shoulders. Khaybulaev lands a knee as Wade stands up. They continue grappling, and with a little under 2 minutes left, Khaybulaev turns Wade back into the fence. With about 90 seconds, Gary Copeland separates them. Khaybulaev fires off several punches and connects with a straight right. Yet again, he uses his striking success to attain a clinch, this time with another rear waist-lock. Wade tries for wrist control but can't get it. Khaybulaev lands knees to the back of Wade's thighs. He breaks the base with about 15 seconds left, again ending the round with dominant back control.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev

Round 4

Khaybulaev fires off a combination punctuated with an overhand right, which miss, but he uses it to get a double-leg takedown, this time solidly putting Wade on his back. Khaybulaev doesn't do much from the top, chipping away with the occasional punch to the body. However, his top control is suffocating. An attempt by Wade to scramble up allows Khaybulaev to take his back. He gets both hooks in, with Wade however on top now, trying to turn into him. That's easier said than done, as Khaybulaev is controlling Wade's wrists well. Wade eventually scrambles his feet, but Khaybulaev pursues him and takes him right back down again. Khaybulaev is in half-control now, utterly stifling Wade. Wade again tries to get up, but yet again, a superb grappler like Khaybulaev takes his back and is again threatening with a minute remaining. Khaybulaev throws the occasional annoying punch to the head as Wade looks on helplessly. Wade, however, in a burst of agility, turns right into Khaybulaev to gain top position. It's very short-lived, though, as Khaybulaev scrambles up and takes Wade back down immediately.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev

Round 5

Khaybulaev scores with a leg kick to begin the round. Wade jumps forward with a knee, Khaybulaev side-steps it and fires off punches. None land hard but Khaybulaev again gets the clinch. He pushes Wade against the cage and pulls his hips out, getting the double-leg takedown. Wade immediately tries to post up and Khaybulaev has his back. Wade does manage to get to his feet, but Khaybulaev stays on him like glue with a rear waist-lock, landing the occasional knee to the thigh. Wade fights the lock, but Khaybulaev refuses to let go, exercising the same iron control he has for the past 22 minutes. Wade eventually turns into him, and Khaybulaev briefly picks him up in the air, but Wade lands on his feet. Khaybulaev has another rear waist-lock from it though, and he uses it to continue grinding down Wade. After a knee to the thigh, Wade, refusing to give up, goes for a straight armbar, but Khaybulaev soon gets his arm out, and now has the back. They tumble to the ground, and Khaybulaev briefly has a wrestling ride, but Wade again valiantly stands up and gets to the cage. Khaybulaev continues throwing knees to the thighs, and eventually trips Wade back down to the canvas. Wade looks for a possible kneebar, but that's exceedingly hard against the likes of Khaybulaev. Khaybulaev lands a few punches to the body while Wade holds onto the kneebar with 45 seconds left. Wade tries for a few hammerfists from distance and then goes for hammerfists on Khaybulaev's ankle. It's not likely to work, but give Wade credit for refusing to quit! The fight ends. An utterly dominant victory by Khaybulaev against a very tough foe, if not the most exciting one.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev (50-45 Khaybulaev)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev (50-45 Khaybulaev)
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Khaybulaev (50-45 Khaybulaev)

The Official Result

Movlid Khaybulaev def. Chris Wade via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

PFL 2021 Season Heavyweight Championship:
Bruno Henrique Cappelozza (236.4) vs. Ante Delija (243)

Round 1

Contending for the PFL Heavyweight Championship, Bruno Henrique Cappelozza (13-5), who has looked sensational in the PFL this season, winning all 3 fights by knockout, including his opener against Ante Delija (19-4) in just 46 seconds. Delija recovered well to win his next two PFL fights to find himself in the finals, but the Brazilian is a -220 favorite. Referee Keith Peterson will be the third man in the cage. Delija immediately shoots a double to begin the contest, but Cappelozza sprawls and stuffs it. They get up and Cappelozza clips Delija with a right hook that instantly floors Delija. Cappelozza dives on top and soon lands vicious ground-and-pound, with a series of powerful punches, as Keith Peterson is close to stopping it. To Delija's credit, he manages to temporarily tie him up. It's not for long, however, as Cappelozza unloads on a series of piston-like right hands, bouncing Delija's head off the mat over and over again. The referee is very, very close to stopping it as the Brazilian hammers away. Eventually, he takes a respite with about 3:30 remaining. He postures up massively some moments later and again unloads on more devastating right hands, with Delija not even thinking off standing back up. Cappelozza is in half-guard now and batters away with short right hands against Delija, who is already severely battered and bloody. Cappelozza now goes to work with the left hand, landing short left hands and then punctuating it with short right hands. Cappelozza works to get his leg out and attains full mount with just under 90 seconds remaining. Cappelozza is patient from the top, solidifying his base before doing anything. Cappelozza lands a series of hard right hands and then looks for an arm triangle, although he is too high, as the commentators point out. Delija finds an opportunity and sweeps to get up! Delija throws a series of punches, a few of which land, until Cappelozza responds with a series of hooks of his own. Delija comes forward with another blistering flurry to end the stanza, with the two men ending in a clinch.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-8 Cappelozza
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-8 Cappelozza
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Cappelozza

Round 2

Delija dives for a double-leg takedown almost immediately again, but Cappelozza sprawls and easily defends. They clinch against the cage, with the Brazilian pushing the Croatian. Cappelozza lands a few knees and then disengages back to range, a smart move. After Cappelozza misses a leg kick, Delija dives for another takedown from very far away. Cappelozza again easily defends and pushes Delija against the cage until disengaging again. Cappelozza lands a crunching jab. Cappelozza touches him with a 1-2 now. Suddenly, Delija lands two big right hands, with the second hurting Cappelozza. Delija decides to clinch and he gets a double-leg from the clinch. Out of nowhere, Delija lands absolutely hellacious hammerfists that badly hurt Cappelozza, who appears to be completely out at one point. Cappelozza continues eating these monster shots, however, and eventually covers up. What an insane and sudden turn-around! Delija goes to work with big left hands and further hammerfists as the Brazilian looks tired and hurt. Delija goes for a North-South choke that fails and he goes for an Anaconda that slips right off. This allows the Brazilian to get up and suddenly he takes Delija's back, with both hooks in! Out of nowhere, it's Cappelozza landing a series of devastating right hands to the head and threatening with a RNC! Wow! Delija is in complete survival mode yet again, only seeking to protect his neck, but eating a large series of punches. The round ends with Cappelozza scoring more punches. Tough one to judge.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Delija
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Delija
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Delija

Round 3

Cappelozza stars the round with a jab, which misses. Suddenly, Cappelozza lands a big 1-2 that hurts Delija, then goes to work with a series of hooks, right hook into left hook, that have Delija covering up and badly hurt. The referee is taking a close look but suddenly Delija opens up, throwing a series of huge hook counters of his own! This fight is incredible! Delija then shoots for a double-leg. Cappelozza defends it and both men find themselves again clinching against the cage. Naturally, the pace slows now. After taking almost a full minute off, Cappelozza lands several knees to the body and then a few short uppercuts. Cappelozza goes for a double-leg with half a round remaining, but he can't quite muscle it through. Cappelozza lands a few more punches on the inside, mostly right uppercuts to the head and body. Keith Peterson separates them with 1:45 left in the round. Cappelozza throws a few nice jabs, which touch the Croatian. Delija comes forward with punches, misses, and then tries another double-leg against the cage. Cappelozza pushes Delija off. Cappelozza misses a jab to the head, but lands one to the body. Cappelozza scores with a nice right cross. Delija tries for another takedown, but they're increasingly slow and sloppy. Cappelozza punishes him with a few hammerfists to the ears.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Cappelozza
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Cappelozza
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Cappelozza

Round 4

Cappelozza opens the championship round with a 1-2 which touches Delija. After Cappelozza misses a jab, Delija shoots a double-leg, but the Brazilian still defends. This time, he takes Delija's back with both hooks in. Cappelozza goes to work with short right hands to the head, as Delija battles for the Brazilian's wrists. Delija gets to his feet while eating punches, and makes it to the fence, with both men clinching once more. The pace slows until Cappelozza disengages once more. Delija pursues and throws a 1-2 that misses, but leads to yet another takedown attempt. Cappelozza defends and spreads his base. However, Delija manages to lift him up and slam him to the canvas, finally attaining the top position he wanted so badly. Delija scores with a few left hands from half-guard. Delija is patient, landing some solid short left hands from time to time. Cappelozza does little from the bottom, eating punches. Finally, with about a minute left, he gets to the cage and starts wall-walking. 10 seconds later, the Brazilian stands up and now pushes Delija against the cage. They disengage, but not for long, as Delija immediately goes for a double-leg. Cappelozza defends and they are back to clinching against the cage. Delija lands a few small knees to the body as Round 4 ends.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Delija
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Delija
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Delija

Round 5

Not long after the round begins, Delija goes for yet another double-leg. Cappelozza defends it and pushes the Croatian against the fence. Here, it's Cappelozza who musters his remaining energy to drop levels, pick up Delija, and slam him to the canvas. In half-guard, he works away with his right hands. They're not as devastating or fast now, but still do damage, and Delija is largely eating them. They stay in this position for a while, Cappelozza periodically landing solid right hands. Delija briefly grabs the wrist to stop the punishment, but not for long. Delija posts up halfway into the round. Cappelozza takes the back, but is way too high, and Delija neatly throws him off. However, they're not at distance for long, as it's now Cappelozza who decides to clinch, figuring he has more energy. Cappelozza looks for a possible takedown as 90 seconds remain in a fight few predicted going the distance. Cappelozza throws a few hammerfists to the thighs. Cappelozza summons his remaining stamina for one last takedown attempt with 45 seconds left, locking his hands behind Delija, lifting him up, and slamming him to the canvas! Incredible grit. Cappelozza now lands a few right hands to the body and then opens up with a series of hard punches to the head as the fight ends. A very gritty, impressive performance by the Brazilian, who proves he can win even if he doesn't get the early knockout.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Cappelozza (48-46 Cappelozza)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Cappelozza (48-46 Cappelozza)
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Cappelozza (48-46 Cappelozza)

The Official Result

Bruno Henrique Cappelozza def. Ante Delija via Unanimous Decision (49-45, 49-45, 48-46)

Claressa Shields (155.8) vs. Abigail Montes (154.4)

Round 1

Moving away from the five rounders, undefeated, multi-time boxing world champion and Olympic boxing gold medalist Claressa Shields (1-0) faces Abigail Montes (2-0). Shields will have a massive size advantage too, but considering she was badly losing her pro debut until a late finish against Brittney Elkin, Shields is only a modest favorite. Getting the best vantage point for the contest will be referee Andrew Glenn. Montes begins the fight circling, cautious to engage with the boxing champion Shields. Shields throws a tentative leg kick. Montes lands a more solid leg kick soon afterwards. Shields shoots a jab out of range, and Montes misses a leg kick. Shields gets very close with a nifty 1-2. Shields tries another leg kick, but it's checked. Montes lands another solid leg kick. Shields lands a right cross and unloads with punches, but Montes quickly grabs her. Shields gets an underhook quickly and pushes Montes against the cage. Montes, however, gets double underhooks with her back against the fence. Shields is tough, though, and fights to get one underhook back. Montes tries an outside trip and while it doesn't get the takedown, she reverses Shields against the fence with it. Montes tries to get a hip, but Shields pushes her head down well, staying on her feet. Shields lands a very untechnical knee to the body. Montes lands a better one of her own with a minute remaining in the round. Montes tries for an outside trip with 45 seconds left, but Shields defends well. Montes lands another knee to the body as the round winds down. Montes follows it up with another, but it's mostly blocked.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Shields
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Shields
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-10

Round 2

Both women throw tentative kicks to begin the round, for different reasons. Shields pumps a jab far out of range, and eats a leg kick for her troubles. Shields charges forward and lands a right hand, but again, Montes clinches with her almost immediately. Shields stays upright again, using a whizzer. Shields lands some short right hands in the clinch. Montes gets a rear waist-lock against Shields, but Shields recovers and turns into her against the fence. Montes lands a knee to the thigh. Suddenly, Shields breaks free and they're back at range. Shields charges forward and throws a combination, with the right hand landing. Shields comes in with more punches, and another right hand connects. Shields gets too eager, though, throwing a telegraphed overhand right and Montes shoots a double-leg that puts Shields down to the mat. Montes lands some short right hands to the head, with Shields' head pressed hard against the fence. Shields is purely defending here, but not doing a bad job of it, blocking many punches. Still, Montes gets some punches to the body and head through. Shields tries to wall-walk against the cage, but is unsuccessful with a minute remaining in the round. Montes lands more punches to the body. Montes lands another punch to the body. Shields tries to wall walk yet again, and slowly but surely, she manages to get back up! Shields tries to frame Montes off with her elbow, but is unsuccessful. The round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Montes
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Montes
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Montes

Round 3

Shields throws another tentative jab out of range to begin the final round. Shields tries another flurry, but is stopped by a leg kick she clearly felt. Montes tries another leg kick, but misses this one now. She misses another one and Shields uses it to come forward, landing a big straight right that hurts Montes. Montes clinches and Shields almost manages to get her down with top position, but Montes keeps pushing and they end up in a clinch against the fence. Shields tries hard to throw her off, but is unsuccessful. Shields gets double underhooks and uses it to push Montes back and briefly takes her down. Montes immediately gets up and it's Shields pushing her against the fence. Shields quickly disengages, though. Montes goes for a leg kick and Shields counters with a big overhand right, just barely missing. Shields misses another huge overhand right and Montes ducks under, shooting a double-leg that hits pay dirt. Montes is now in the half-guard, peppering Shields with short punches. Shields tries to shrimp towards the cage, but she is slow at it, and the seconds tick away with Montes on top. Montes lands a few short right hands with a minute remaining in the contest. Montes looks for a possible arm triangle, but can't quite get it. Montes postures up and lands some of her best punches of the round. With 20 seconds left, Montes moves to mount and suddenly she is hammering away on Shields, nailing her with punch after punch. Shields is helpless and simply eats the blows. Shields is saved by the bell. It will be interesting to see whether the scorecards match what actually happened in the contest.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Montes (29-28 Montes)
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Montes (29-28 Montes)
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Montes (30-28 Montes)

The Official Result

Abigail Montes def. Claressa Shields via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

PFL 2021 Season Welterweight Championship:
Ray Cooper III (169.8) vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov (170)

Round 1

In the co-main event, we have the PFL Welterweight Championship, as defending 2019 champion Ray Cooper III (23-7-1) still finds himself an underdog against the fearsome Magomed Magomedkerimov (28-5), who hasn't lost since 2015. Referee Gary Copeland again gets the assignment. Magomedkerimov starts the fight with a nice leg kick. Magomedkerimov misses a punch but lands a powerful leg kick that leaves Cooper partially limping. Cooper lands a nice jab for his first connect of the round. Soon after, Magomedkerimov lands yet another very hard leg kick. He goes for another one, but this one lands low, causing the referee to separate the two men. They resume and Cooper firest off several big punches. Magomedkerimov clinches with him, lifts him from a bodylock and gets him down. Cooper retains full guard after a while. Magomedkerimov goes to work with right hands to the head. Cooper stays on the bottom, landing the occasional punch of his own from the bottom. Magomedkerimov is content to patiently work from the top with the occasional punch. Refree Gary Copeland stands them up with about 80 seconds remaining. Magomedkerimov lands a leg kick soon after as Cooper stalks him. Magomedkerimov touches Cooper with a 1-2 as Cooper's attempts to counter miss. A Magomedkerimov jab misses, he ducks a Cooper counter, and then another Magomedkerimov right hand misses the mark. They're both reasonably cautious to begin the contest. Magomedkerimov lands a leg kick. And then he lands another one as the round concludes.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Magomedkerimov
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Magomedkerimov
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Magomedkerimov

Round 2

Cooper begins the round stalking Magomedkerimov along the edge of the cage. Magomedkerimov lands a leg kick and Cooper counters with a right cross that partially gets through. Magomedkerimov tries a jab and then throws a knee, after which Cooper clinches, looking for a takedown of his own. Magomedkerimov defends well agains the cage though, as one may expect. Cooper does, however, pick him up and slam him down. Cooper peppers Magomedkerimov with short punches as Magomedkerimov's head is pressed against the cage. Magomedkerimov looks for a possible kimura grip, but soon gives it up. Cooper continues landing short, small punches. Magomedkerimov briefly considers a triangle, but gives it up soon as well. Magomedkerimov postures on a hip, but Cooper simply uses it to get to half-guard. He lands a few solid left hands from there. Magomedkerimov tries to posture again, but after eating several hard Cooper left hands from above, he decides to go back to his back. Cooper suddenly looks for an arm triangle from half-guard, and while that's not an ideal position to finish the choke, Magomedkerimov is forced to defend for a while. Eventually he does, but Cooper goes right back to work with left hands. Magomedkerimov tries to get up, but Cooper muscles him back down. A solid comeback round for Cooper.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Cooper
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Cooper
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Cooper

Round 3

Magomedkerimov goes back to the well with a nice leg kick to begin the third stanza. cooper comes forward but runs into a Magomedkerimov jab. Magomedkerimov jabs again, but this time it's blocked. Another attempt, however, touches Cooper as Magomedkerimov moves out of range nicely. Suddenly, Magomedkerimov shoots out a laser straight right which lands flush, probably the biggest strike of the night. However, Cooper shoots in and takes him down. Not for long though, as Magomedkerimov quickly gets up and goes right back to work, scoring with several big right hands against Cooper. Cooper is forced to clinch. Magomedkerimov breaks free and lands a huge right cross that hurts Cooper, which he follows up with a huge knee to the head. Magomedkerimov is teeing off on Cooper now, who clinches again, but is quickly pushed off. Magomedkerimov is landing at will, now hitting Cooper with a series of jabs, who is simply eating them. Magomedkerimov lands another straight right laser, although he is clearly a little tired as well. Cooper retaliates with a big hook, but it misses. Magomedkerimov peppers him with more jabs. Magomedkerimov gets too confident and throws a very lazy uppercut, which gets hellaciously countered with a monster overhand right by Cooper. Magomedkerimov is badly hurt, and Cooper follows up with yet another huge overhand right, this one completely putting the Dagestani's lights out. He follows it up with a few more punches to his downed foe before the referee stops it. Wow! What an incredible turn-around. Cooper simply absorbed punishment until Magomedkerimov made a mistake, which he brutally punished him for. Great fight.

The Official Result

Ray Cooper III def. Magomed Magomedkerimov via KO (Punches) at 3:02 of Round 3

PFL 2021 Season Women's Lightweight Championship:
Kayla Harrison (153.8) vs. Taylor Guardado (154.4)

Round 1

In the main event, it's the biggest star of the PFL, Kayla Harrison (11-0), the two-time Olympic judo gold medalist, fighting Taylor Guardado (3-1). Harrison is a modest -8000 favorite on some books, the most lopsided odds I have ever seen for a MMA match-up. Getting the final call of the night is referee Andrew Glenn. Guardado starts firing furiously and she lands a right hand that snaps Harrison's head back. However, Harrison uses it to clinch in the middle of the cage. It's not long before Harrison gets a nice inside trip to end up on top. Harrison postures up in the full guard and throws a series of fast, powerful punches from the body to the head, which Guardado does little to defends. Harrison easily steps over into the half-guard. Harrison shakes out her leg and gets side control. She lands several more right hands to the head. Harrison goes knee on belly, but can't quite getting the mount, with Harrison being deep in the half-guard. Harrison pushes down on the knee and works for a possible kimura, isolating Guardado's right arm. Harrison steps over into full mount again and Guardado gives up her back. Harrison is patient, pounding away with punches before going for the submission. Guardado briefly gets up but Harrison pushes her back down soon enough. Harrison lands more punches. Harrison is looking for a possible RNC now. Harrison tries to transition to mount but ends up in the half-guard, as Guardado displays better defense than most of Harrison's opponents. Soon Guardado regains full guard, but Harrison uses it to land blistering ground-and-pound. As Harrison goes for a huge right hand, Guardado gets up and stands back on her feet. At range, it's Harrison landing a solid straight left. As they clinch with 30 seconds left, Harrison hits a gorgeous harai goshi to slam Guardado back down to the canvas. Harrison lands more short punches to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

Lev Pisarsky scores the round: 10-9 Harrison
Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Harrison
Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Harrison

Round 2

Harrison lands a tentative leg kick to start and blocks the attempted counter. Harrison lands a straight right on the feet soon after, showing improved striking. Harrison tries a leg kick and it's checked by Guardado. Harrison tries a head kick that is blocked, and she clinches after the miss. Harrison almost instantly sweeps Guardado's legs out. Against the cage, Harrison is landing short punches as Guardado is purely covering up. Harrison postures up again and rains down punches, especially from her left. Harrison steps over into half-guard. She continues chipping away with short left hands to the head of Guardado. Harrison steps over into full-mount now, with Guardado holding her head down close. Harrison lands short punches and breaks free, posturing up. Guardado is on her side, eating punches, as Harrison is patiently biding her time. Harrison is landing punches at a steady rate, and Guardado is splayed out, not defending at all. With Harrison on her back, raining down blows, Guardado eventually rolls onto her back. Of course, Harrison quickly moves from side control to full mount. Finally, believing her opponent was softened up, Harrison goes for an armbar. She has it fully extended, with textbook technique. Guardado has no choice but to tap. Another dominant, one-sided victory for Harrison.

The Official Result

Kayla Harrison def. Taylor Guardado via Submission (Armbar) at 4:00 of Round 2
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