PFL 2021 Season Opener Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Ben Duffy and Lev Pisarsky
Apr 23, 2021


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Loik Radzhabov (155.4) vs. Alex Martinez (156)

Round 1

The 2021 PFL season kicks off in the lightweight division with 2019 runner-up Radzhabov (13-2-1) taking on Paraguayan prospect Martinez (7-0, 1 NC). The referee is Brazilian MMA legend Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. Both men set up in orthodox stance. Radzhabov comes in with a jab to the body and takes a kick to the cup for his trouble. After a brief break, they resume. Radzhabov comes in behind a couple of wide hooks and clinches. He trips Martinez to the canvas at the base of the fence. Martinez grabs a front headlock, stands, then locks up a guillotine and jumps to guard. He loses the choke right away as Radzhabov steps to side control. Two minutes in, Radzhabov is standing over the supine Martinez. He jumps back into the Paraguayan’s guard. Martinez throws his legs up, threatening Radzhabov’s arm or neck, and Radzhabov stands again, throwing some kicks from Ali-Inoki. Martinez stands, clinches and is tossed back to the ground by Radzhabov, who lands in side control. Radzhabov moves to mount. Martinez pops up and grabs another guillotine, this time with the arm in. He loses it, but Radzhabov disengages and backs off. Martinez lands a spinning back kick. They clinch and Radzhabov takes Martinez’s back standing. He tosses him to the canvas once more, but they finish the round a few moments later on the feet. 10-9 Radzhabov.

Round 2

They touch gloves to open Round 2. Martinez lands a short spinning hook kick which lands to the body. Martinez clinches and looks for the takedown, but Radzhabov threatens with a choke from the front headlock position. Radzhabov denies the takedown, and they clinch again. Radzhabov drops levels for a takedown, and Martinez counters with a guillotine attempt. It looks tight for a moment, as Radzhabov struggles and reddens, but he extricates his head and they return to the feet. Martinez zaps Radzhabov with a one-two, and Radzhabov shoots for a takedown. He scoops Martinez up and dumps him, but doesn’t follow him down, choosing instead to stand over him and kick his legs. After a few moments, Ribeiro motions Martinez to stand. Radzhabov takes Martinez down again, and once again is not eager to enter his guard. Martinez throws his legs up for a triangle, then an armbar. Radzhabov escapes and stands and a few seconds later, the bell sounds. 10-9 Martinez.

Round 3

Radzhabov looks a bit fatigued to start the final round, but both men swing toe-to-toe as Round 3 begins. Radzhabov runs Martinez to the fence and clinches. He goes to take Martinez down and is once again snared in a guillotine. He isn’t in any danger, however, as he moves to side control and then looks for north-south. Martinez stuffs him back to guard and works on a kimura. He gives it up and it’s Radzhabov on top, throwing some strikes from top but eating some punches from below as well. Martinez looks for another guillotine, and as the halfway point of the round passes, Radzhabov stands again, but immediately takes Martinez back down. Radzhabov in half guard, in control but not inflicting any damage. Martinez turns and gives up his back, Radzhabov takes it and sinks his hooks, but Martinez immediately slips out and lands on top. Martinez tries another arm-in guillotine as Radzhabov stands. 30 seconds left and they disengage. Radzhabov slams Martinez to the canvas emphatically just seconds before the final bell. Hard-to-score round to finish a grueling fight. 10-9 Radzhabov (29-28 Radzhabov).

The Official Result

Alex Martinez def. Loik Radzhabov via Split Decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)

Sung Bin Jo (145.6) vs. Tyler Diamond (145.8)

Round 1

UFC veteran featherweights take the cage, as the 9-1 Jo squares off against the extravagantly mulleted 11-1 Diamond. The third man in the cage is once again “Shaolin.” They touch gloves and Diamond’s first low kick takes Jo entirely off his feet. He springs back up and stalks forward. Jo walks Diamond into the fence and lands a nice knee to the body. He sticks Diamond with a hard jab. Jo lands a head kick, but Diamond catches it and runs Jo to the ground. He tries for a back-take and choke as Jo stands, but loses it. Two minutes in, and Diamond is driving Jo into the fence, looking for a takedown. He pulls Jo down to his knees, and takes his back as he stands. Jo turns in, uses an underhook to deny the level change and shoves the American off. Jo zaps Diamond with another jab, and takes a double jab and a hard low calf kick in return. 90 seconds left. Jo drops Diamond with a counter, dives onto him, but Diamond escapes and they stand. Under a minute to go and they’re swinging wildly. Diamond lands a hard inside leg kick, then shoots a single-leg, securing the takedown at the 10-second clapper. The bell sounds. 10-9 Diamond.

Round 2

Both men are back in orthodox to begin the second frame. Jo sticking his jab out there, but the most effective strike in the first minute or so is another hard inside leg kick by Diamond. Jo marches forward behind his jab as Diamond circles out and throws outside low kicks. Halfway into the round, Diamond drops for his first takedown attempt, running Jo to the fence. Jo drops his base and denies the takedown. Diamond lands a one-two followed by a leg kick that stumbles the Korean badly. Diamond comes forward with a right cross that lands, then another kick to Jo’s front leg that elicits a wince. Under a minute left, Jo lands a long jab, then another. Diamond gets a double-leg takedown at the 10-second warning, and the round ends. 10-9 Diamond.

Round 3

Diamond is the aggressor to begin Round 3, as his investment in low kicks seems to have paid dividends. Jo catches Diamond with a flush right hook that drops him! Diamond staggers away as Jo swarms with punches against the fence. He drops him again, this time with a left. Diamond is in survival mode, but grabs a desperation single-leg. He gets the takedown and lands in side control. Jo stands, but Diamond hauls him back down. Jo looks for an omoplata, but Diamond escapes and ands up back in Jo’s full guard. Diamond tries to posture up and throw punches, and Jo opens his guard and looks for an armbar. Diamond pushes Jo to the fence and starts landing hard punches. Jo turns his back and Diamond throws over a dozen uncontested punches. “Shaolin” warns Jo to move, but he is stuck. A minute left, and Diamond has Jo’s left arm trapped, throwing punches with the right. 30 seconds left, and it’s looking as if Jo might survive. He throws a couple of hard knees to the body just before the bell. Wild round! 10-9 Diamond (30-27 Diamond).

The Official Result

Tyler Diamond def. Sung Bin Jo via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Chris Wade (146) vs. Anthony Dizy (145.6)

Round 1

Two-time lightweight contender Wade drops to 145 to try and improve his fortunes, as he welcomes 13-3 Frenchman Dizy to the bubble. Wade winks at the camera during introductions, as if to indicate he knows something we don’t. Referee Gary Copeland draws his first assignment of the night. A Dizy counter stops Wade in his tracks. A moment later, a stiff jab puts him off-balance again. Dizy drops levels and trips Wade to the mat, moving immediately to side control. Over a minute in, and Dizy is still in side control, extremely heavy on top, throwing short punches to the ribs of Wade. Wade gets to his knees, then to his feet, but Dizy is on his back. Wade turns in to Dizy, who drops levels for another takedown. He gets is, hauling Wade back to the ground at the base of the fence. Wade grabs a kimura, but gives it up as Dizy takes side control, then takes his back, sinking one hook. Dizy falls off the back but maintains the single hook. Dizy with a cross-body ride. Wade pops out the side and grabs a front headlock as he gets to his knees. Dizy sneaks out before Wade can cinch up a choke. Dizy uses a single-leg to bring Wade down once again. The 10-second warning sounds, and then the bell. 10-9 Dizy.

Round 2

Copeland wave the featherweights back into action, and Wade sidesteps Dizy’s immediate shot. Dizy runs Wade to the fence with underhooks. Dizy drops for a single-leg, switches to a double. A moment later, he uses an outside trip to bring Wade to the ground. Wade spins and grabs a front headlock, and they roll as Wade looks for a guillotine or brabo choke. Wade ends up on top with a leg ride on the kneeling Frenchman. Dizy reverses him against the fence, and presses Wade, chest-to-chest. Dizy takes Wade’s back as they stand, and Wade sinks to his seat. He stands again, with Dizy still on his back. Wade turns and grabs Dizy’s neck, but Dizy shoves him off and they resume on the feet. Dizy pressing Wade into the fence as the round expires. 10-9 Dizy.

Round 3

Dizy lands a lead left. Wade with a nice left-handed counter. Dizy clinches and runs Wade to the cage. He throws some knees to the body. Wade shucks him off and moves back to the center of the cage. He lands a pair of punches before Dizy shoots a takedown and dumps him to the canvas. Wade tries an inside switch, but there’s nothing doing. Two minutes in and it’s Wade with his back to the fence yet again, being pressed by the relentless Dizy. Wade slips out the side and lands a one-two. Dizy clinches and shoves him to the cage again. Halfway through the round, Wade escapes and takes the center of the cage. He lands a pair of hard side kicks to the body and head, then a flying knee which bloodies Dizy’s nose. Dizy looks tired, but still manages to clinch and drive Wade to the fence. Dizy working for another takedown as he bleeds profusely from the nose. Wade denies the takedown and sticks Dizy with more side kicks. Dizy staggering, but clinches and gets Wade up against the cage. The round ends with both men covered in Dizy’s blood. 10-9 Wade (29-28 Dizy).

The Official Result

Chris Wade def. Anthony Dizy via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Akhmed Aliev (155.2) vs. Mikhail Odintsov (156.4: Missed Weight)

Round 1

Finishing out the trifecta of fighters eliminated by Natan Schulte in the 2019 playoffs, Aliev (19-6) takes on 29-year-old Belarusian Odintsov (18-2), who qualified for the 2020 season through the “Road to the PFL” series only to have it cancelled, and now makes his long-delayed debut. The referee for this bout is once again Gary Copeland. Odintsov is moving well early, scoring with both roundhouse leg kicks and oblique kicks. Odintsov shoots in, but is easily stuffed by Aliev. Odintsov scores some nice knees in the clinch, but then Aliev hits him with a beautiful throw to end up on top. Odintsov accepts guard, and both men are doing little of consequence on the floor. Aliev eventually gets half-guard midway through the round but Odintsov quickly gets back to full guard. Odintsov is doing a good job of moving his head to avoid Aliev's ground-and-pound, but is likely losing the stanza like this. Eventually, Aliev stands up and throws a few solid leg kicks before referee Gary Copeland stands them up with a minute left. Aliev throws a few spinning back kicks that look pretty but miss by a solid foot. They then clinch again and Odintsov lands a few more solid knees. Odintsov then shoots again but gets caught with a beautiful punch from Aliev that drops him! Odintsov survives some ground-and-pound on the bottom. 10-9 Aliev.

Round 2

The fighters are cautious to start the second round, maintaining the distance. Aliev lands a few decent leg kicks and a couple of jabs, but there is little action through the first two minutes. Odintsov shoots again, and like all the previous attempts, it's easily defended by Aliev. Both men then trade the occasional strike, but nothing hard is landing. Odintsov clinches, but Aliev soon spins off the cage. Odintsov then starts throwing a number of side-kicks, but few connect cleanly. With half a minute left, they again clinch against the cage. Odintsov gets hit with a low blow with about 8 seconds left, the most significant strike of a very uneventful round. 10-9 Aliev.

Round 3

The stanza begins, and they continue fighting in a similar pace to round 2, which is fine for Aliev, but not for Odintsov, who is showing no sense of urgency. They throw jabs and leg kicks at one another, most only hitting air, but Aliev is getting slightly the better of it. 2 minutes in and Aliev patially connects with a neat head kick, although Odintsov is unfazed. Yet again, Odintsov clinches, and, just like all the other times, Aliev defends and disengages. Aliev lands a few decent leg kicks and is beginning to throw the overhand right more, albeit with little success. With a minute left, Aliev is starting to find his range more, peppering his opponent with the occasional jab, right cross, or leg kick. He also throws more head kicks, but they're all blocked or avoided. The round ends with nothing significant from Odintsov. 10-9 Aliev (30-27 Aliev).

The Official Result

Akhmed Aliev def. Mikhail Odintsov via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Joilton Lutterbach (155.8) vs. Raush Manfio (156)

Round 1

Lutterbach (34-8, 1 NC), a Brazilian by way of Germany, faces his countryman Manfio (11-3) in a lightweight regular season matchup. The referee is Vitor “Shaolin,” and he motions them into action. Lutterbach is the much, much taller fighter, and he lands a body kick and a couple of long jabs in the early going. Lutterbach throws a couple of low kicks, changing stances as he does so. Manfio catches Lutterbach coming in with a stiff left hand that stumbles him. Lutterbach comes in and catches another hard counter, this time a right. Lutterbach lands another low kick. Manfio’s legs are already showing the effects, two minutes in. Manfio steps in and lands a left body kick that slaps audibly. Lutterbach drops levels for a double-leg takedown, but Manfio stands up him with underhooks. Lutterbach has Manfio against the cage, but gives up the takedown attempt and they move back to the center. Lutterbach is pawing at his right eye. It’s clearly bothering him, and reddened, but it isn’t apparent what caused it. Manfio is the aggressor, coming forward as Lutterbach touches his eye and gives ground, but he isn’t overpursuing. The bell sounds on a tense, close round. 10-9 Manfio.

Round 2

Whatever was bothering Lutterbach’s eye seems to be resolved as they star Round 2. Lutterbach goes southpaw and there’s some handfighting between their lead hands. Lutterbach drops for a takedown and gets it, setting up in Manfio’s full guard near the fence. Manfio uses feet on hips to push Lutterbach off and get up, but Lutterbach threatens to take his back, and it’s all Manfio can do to regain half guard. Lutterbach pins Manfio’s arm, starts to go to the back, then switches and nearly takes mount. Manfio manages to defend and gets Lutterbach back into full guard. Lutterbach postures up and tries to stack Manfio against the fence. Manfio turns halfway once again, exposing his back to Lutterbach. Manfio uses a knee shield, then kicks Lutterbach off. They return to the feet with 70 seconds left. Lutterbach still switching stances constantly, but Manfio is not confused by the movement and lands a nice three-piece upstairs. Under 30 seconds left and Lutterbach lands a nice body kick. Manfio lands a spinning back kick to the body at the bell. 10-9 Lutterbach.

Round 3

The two men collide immediately exchanging strikes. Lutterbach’s body kick is probably the most effective strike in the exchange. Manfio catches Lutterbach coming in with a left hand that drops him to his seat. Lutterbach springs right back up. Lutterbach drops levels and drives Manfio to the fence. Lutterbach with a body lock, looking for the takedown, but Manfio pushes him off. Lutterbach lands a jab, then a one-two. Manfio grabs the clinch, and knees Lutterbach to the gut as Lutterbach shoves him to the fence. Lutterbach gets an oddly easy takedown, as Manfio sort of sinks to his seat. Lutterbach is close to moving to side control when Manfio explodes, shoving him off and getting to his feet. Lutterbach lands another body kick. 90 seconds left. Manfio lands a two-punch combo. Lutterbach runs right into a counter left hook while landing a right hand of his own, then runs into yet another left. Under a minute left and both men are tired, but fighting with some urgency. Manfio lands a sharp right and just misses with a big left. Lutterbach fires off a flying knee at the 10-second clapper that just falls short. The bell sounds on another close round. 10-9 Manfio (29-28 Manfio).

The Official Result

Raush Manfio def. Joilton Lutterbach via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Brendan Loughnane (146) vs. Sheymon Moraes (146)

Round 1

The top prelim features TUF and DWCS alum Loughnane taking on longtime WSOF and UFC vet Moraes in the featherweight division. Referee Gasper Oliver presides over the action. Loughnane lands several hard leg kicks to start the fight. He is wisely circling around the Brazilian muay Thai striker, throwing out a very nice jab that frequently finds the mark. Moraes is fairly stationary, only throwing out the occasional strike that Loughnane is able to avoid. He lunges forward with a left hook that Loughane retreats and turns the corner to avoid. Loughnane continues punishing his foe with a series of leg kicks and jabs. Moraes clinches, and Loughnane hurts him badly with a series of short hooks. Moraes is stunned and covers up, as Loughnane keeps attacking with a vicious barrage of power punches. As Moraes sits on the floor, absorbing shots, referee Oliver mercifully steps in to save him. A blistering performance!

The Official Result

Brendan Loughnane def. Sheymon Moraes via KO (Punches) at 2:55 of Round 1

Lance Palmer (145.4) vs. Bubba Jenkins (146)

Round 1

Two-time defending PFL featherweight champ Palmer (22-3) welcomes Bellator veteran and former NCAA wrestling champ Jenkins to his world, with referee Gary Copeland overseeing. The ex-mat stars set up in matching southpaw stances, and it’s Jenkins who lands first with a couple of snappy jabs. A minute in, neither man has made any effort to clinch, let alone shoot for a takedown. Palmer lands a one-two. Jenkins launches a flying knee from too far out, and Palmer circles out of danger. Halfway in, Jenkins has been the man coming forward for most of the round. He times a Palmer kick and shoots a lightning-quick takedown. He gets Palmer to his seat at the base of the cage, but the champ scrambles to his feet. Jenkins is stuck to him, though, throwing short knees to Palmer’s legs. Palmer plants a hand to stave off any knees to the head. Jenkins grabs a back body lock and throws Palmer, landing in a leg ride position. He elevates and dumps him again, and takes Palmer’s back just before the 10-second clapper. The round ends with Jenkins boxing Palmer’s ears from back mount. 10-9 Jenkins.

Round 2

Palmer is aggressive to start Round 2, coming forward and landing a one-two. Jenkins catches Palmer coming in the next time and nails him with a hard left-hand counter. Palmer changes levels, but there’s nothing doing, and they return to boxing. Palmer enters again and walks right into a jab. Jenkins throws a high kick that falls short. Jenkins runs Palmer to the fence with an underhook and resumes throwing knees to the leg. Palmer grounds himself with a hand on the canvas, and Jenkins starts throwing in knees to the body. Palmer comes off the fence, and Jenkins steps behind to his back. Jenkins with a ride on the outside leg. Palmer reverses him, briefly takes Jenkins’ back, but Jenkins spins out. Palmer lands a nice leg kick. 90 seconds left. Jenkins stalks forward slowly, landing jabs and one-twos. Palmer lands a low kick and Jenkins counters him with a punch. Jenkins throws a snapping left kick to the ribs. The bell sounds. 10-9 Jenkins.

Round 3

The final round begins as the first two did, with cautious exchange of one-twos and single kicks. Palmer is giving ground and looking to counter as Jenkins comes forward. A minute in, Jenkins rushes forward and, same as in the first two rounds, pushes him to the fence. Jenkins resumes digging short knees and punches, and one of Palmer’s return shots — a punch — tags Jenkins solidly in the cup. Jenkins takes a good chunk of his five-minute recovery period, and Copeland restarts them in a similar position against the fence. When they restart, Jenkins goes back to the body lock and elevates Palmer for a low-amplitude slam. Palmer gets back up before Jenkins can do much with the position, but they’re still against the fence, and Jenkins brings him back down with a nice trip. Palmer gets back up and grabs a front headlock as he does. He works for a guillotine, but Jenkins defends ably. He tries again, and appears to have it cinched up fairly tight, but the camera catches a relaxed Jenkins grinning from between the champ’s legs. They return to the feet and the round ends. 10-9 Jenkins (30-27 Jenkins).

The Official Result

Bubba Jenkins def. Lance Palmer via Unaimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Movlid Khaybulaev (145.4) vs. Lazar Stojadinovic (145.8)

Round 1

PFL veteran Khaybulaev (15-0-1, 1 NC), still technically undefeated as his loss to the chemically enhanced Daniel Pineda in the 2019 season was overturned, takes on DWCS alum Stojadinovic (14-7) in a featherweight bout. Your referee is Gasper Oliver. Stojadinovic starts out circling and throwing out jabs, which Khaybulaev blocks. The Dagestani is calmly stalking his opponent while Stojadinovic is quickly jerking around the cage, avoiding going toe-to-toe. Over a minute into the round, and Stojadinovic lands a nice leg kick. Not long after that, Khaybulaev times a beautiful turning double-leg as Stojadinovic comes forward and gets the takedown. From the top, he lands some solid ground-and-pound to the head before Stojadinovic wraps him up. Stojadinovic is looking for a triangle, but it gets blocked before it scarcely gets started. Stojadinovic then tries to post back up, but Khaybulaev expertly uses wrist control to keep him on his back. Khaybulaev steps over to half-guard, but Stojadinovic keeps him from getting any deeper. With a minute left, Khaybulaev starts unleashing a series of punches to his downed opponent, none of them powerful by themselves, but one after the other being undefended. As the round ends, Khaybulaev goes for a kimura, but Stojadinovic survives. 10-9 Khaybulaev.

Round 2

It takes all of a few seconds for Khaybulaev to stalk his opponent and force him to the mat with a nifty single-leg takedown. You can see the misery on Stojadinovic's face already. Khaybulaev is landing short punches to the head of his opponent again, largely undefended, before Stojadinovic moves his hips to get up from next to the cage. Unfortunately, in the process, Khaybulaev takes his back with a wrestling ride, with expert wrist control. Matters look bad for Stojadinovic, but he manages to spin around, with Khaybulaev in his full guard with 2 minutes remaining. Stojadinovic is simply holding onto his opponent for dear life as Khaybulaev pelts him with the occasional punch to the body and head. Stojadinovic tries one more time to hip-escape back up, but is again blocked, and puts the back of his head flat on the canvas, defeated. As the round ends, Khaybulaev is in complete control. 10-9 Khaybulaev.

Round 3

Stojadinovic is cautious to start the round, despite being behind, not wanting to be taken down. Both men trade probing strikes for the first minute of the round, with no hard connects. Then, as happened in the previous two rounds, Khaybulaev shoots and easily takes Stojadinovic down. Khaybulaev continues with solid punches to the head of his downed opponent, as he has in the past two rounds. At this point, with exhaustion setting in, Stojadinovic is making few attempts to get up anymore, despite being right against the fence. Khaybulaev for his part is content to continue punishing his opponent in half-guard with punches, in a contest that sorely makes one wish that PFL allowed elbows to a downed opponent. Khaybulaev continues to pound away as the fight ends. 10-9 Khaybulaev (30-27 Khaybulaev).

The Official Result

Movlid Khaybulaev def. Lazar Stojadinovic via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Natan Schulte (156) vs. Marcin Held (155.8)

Round 1

Two-time lightweight tournament champ Schulte (20-3-1) takes on Polish veteran Held (26-7) in the co-main event. Referee Gasper Oliver is on duty. They set up in orthodox stance and it’s Held coming forward with surprising aggression, throwing one-twos and hooks. Schulte is calm in the face of the assault, returning fire with his jab and some vicious low kicks. A minute in, the pace has barely slowed. Schulte’s face is quite red, while Held’s lead left leg is nearly black and blue. Held loops a left hook around the tight guard of Schulte to hit him on the ear, the second or third time he has managed to do so this round. They clinch against the fence. Held is at Schulte’s hips, looking to elevate and dump him, but the Brazilian wide-legs and uses an underhook to deny him. Schulte reverses and drives Held into the fence. Held uses a whizzer to force Schulte to his knees. Schulte pops right back up, but Held uses the opportunity to disengage. They reset in the center of the cage, but quickly clinch again. It’s Schulte pushing Held into the fence as the bell sounds. 10-9 Held.

Round 2

The second round kicks off with Held landing a sharp left hook-right cross combo. Schulte eats it and returns fire with punches. Schulte lands his first low kick of the round to the already-battered left leg of Held. Schulte is the man coming forward, still taking more fire than he dishes out, but landing some punches of his own. Held’s jab is sharp, landing to the face and chest as Schulte marches into range. Schulte lands some nice hooks to the head and body. Halfway through the round, they clinch and Schulte appears to consider a level change, but they split up and continue trading leather. They clinch again and Held lands an uppercut on the break. Held drops for a double-leg takedown, and he gets it, but Schulte scrambles away and pops right back to his feet. Held may be slowing a bit here. Under a minute left and Schulte drives Held to the fence. Schulte using head position to open Held up for punches to the body and perhaps a takedown. The round ends in that position. Very close round, with the momentum swinging towards the champ late. 10-9 Held.

Round 3

Schulte comes forward with an apparent sense of urgency, throwing one-twos and uppercuts. Schulte makes a couple of quick stance changes as he throws. Held’s return fire has slowed significantly. Schulte tries a quick clinch-and-trip, but Held extricates himself. Almost two minutes in, Schulte steps in and lands a hard lead left that stumbles Held. Schulte advances, still at a deliberate pace but throwing more and harder. He lands a short roundhouse kick to the body, then another. He’s cutting off the cage, trying to walk Held into the fence. Held does a good job sliding out of danger. Held lands a right cross, then a lead right uppercut. Schulte still marching forward with 40 seconds left, landing combinations. Schulte with a snappy jab. Schulte tries a front kick to the face that falls inches short. The final bell sounds. 10-9 Schulte (29-28 Held).

The Official Result

Marcin Held def. Natan Schulte via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Anthony Pettis (156) vs. Clay Collard (154.6)

Round 1

The main event features the hotly anticipated debut of former UFC and WEC lightweight champ Pettis (24-10) as he takes on the 18-8 Collard. The final referee assignment of the evening goes to Gary Copeland. Collard comes out aggressively, coming forward with straight punches, but Pettis easily evades. Pettis tries a few kicks, but with no success. Collard again comes forward with punches, and a 1-2 finds the mark. Pettis answers with a nice head kick, but Collard isn't badly shaken up. Collard lands a nice straight left that Pettis was caught unawares with. Collard is now finding his rhythm, scoring with body kicks, leg kicks, and a left jab. Pettis lands a punch of his own, but an ill-advised cartwheel kick leaves him on his back. Collard takes the opportunity to kick his legs and even land a few punches from a standing position to the downed fighter. With half a round left, Pettis gets back up with help from the fence. Pettis is more cautious now, but Collard still catches him with a series of straight punches against the cage, and Pettis falls on his butt in what is likely more of a slip. Collard goes back to work beating up Pettis' legs while he is lying prone. Pettis gets back up again, but is again retreating before Collard's boxing. With half a minute remaining, Pettis is backing up against his opponent. The round ends with Collard scoring with a few leg kicks. 10-9 Collard.

Round 2

Pettis begins the round with a couple of hard, flush leg kicks, in what might be a smart adjustment. Collard comes forward with his series of 1-2s, but Pettis more prepared and evades. Collard attacks with body kicks, but they're mostly blocked. Pettis is looking for his spots a little too much though, and Collard's activity, even when he misses, is more effective. Pettis then scores with a nice jumping knee, but falls off-balance right afterwards, and Collard appears unfazed. Then, against the cage, Collard lands a vicious 1-2 that has Pettis badly hurt. Pettis crumbles against the cage and attempts to survive against a barrage of punches. Luckily, he locks on to a heel hook to gain some breathing room. Not long after, though, Collard lands more punches, including a beautiful punch to the body that has Pettis stunned! Collard continues attacking, mixing it up between head and body shots, most of which are getting through. Pettis is in pure survival mode. With 90 seconds left, Collard drops Pettis again with punches, and then gets brutally battered against the cage. Pettis is now turned away, being beaten mercilessly by Collard with punches in a fight many referees would have stopped by now. Pettis manages to tie up Collard with 30 seconds left and get a reset. Collard lands a few more powerful body punches as the round ends. What a dominant round for the +400 underdog! 10-8 Collard.

Round 3

Rd 3: Pettis begins the round continuing to retreat against Collard. Collard definitely looks slowed from all the punches he brutalized Pettis with in the past round, and there are concerns he may have hurt his hand. Collard keeps throwing straight punches, but they lack a little bit of speed and power compared to his shots from the first two rounds. Nevertheless, as Collard comes forward, Pettis throws a lazy kick that is caught, and Collard dumps him on his butt. As Pettis gets up, Collard lands several more hard power punches to his head. Pettis returns fire and lands a solid shot of his own, but he is simply being outgunned by Collard, who continues coming forward and landing with a mix of body kicks and straight shots to the head, which Pettis is neither blocking nor avoiding. With a little over a minute left, Pettis, out of nowhere, lands a MONSTER head kick that drops Collard and has him in serious trouble! However, Collard, manages to clinch against Pettis' waist in desperation, and Pettis doesn't get enough separation. Collard then gets up, and an attempt by Pettis to take his back and score with a choke is unsuccessful. Pettis tries another head kick but loses his balance, with him on his back, eating leg kicks to end the fight. Nice comeback, but it wasn't enough. 10-9 Pettis (29-27 Collard).

The Official Result

Clay Collard def. Anthony Pettis via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
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