Saturday, October 13, 2018 – Professional Fighters League (PFL) 9 took place from the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, CA. Tonight’s fight card featured the quarter-finals and semi-finals in the Lightweight and Light Heavyweight divisions. On tonight’s card we saw Vinny Magalhaes taking on Rakim Cleaveland at Light Heavyweight, while the featured Lightweights included, Natan Schulte versus Johnny Case. Immediately following were the semi-final bouts.
All quarter-final and semi-final bouts are two, five-minute rounds with no elbows allowed. Once they are in the finals, all fights fall under full unified MMA rules.
Here are tonight’s televised results as follow:
PFL Lightweight Quarter-Finals – Chris Wade (13-4) vs. Robert Watley (11-2)
Round One – Wade rushes Watley after he slips on a kick allowing the New York fighter to take cage control. Wade takes Watley’s back but can’t get anywhere near his neck. Watley switches, takes Wade’s back but Wade shakes him off as he pressures his opponent against the cage until Referee Mike Bell breaks them up. Watley stumbles after throwing a sloppy knee and all though is able to pressure Wade, he is thrown with a head and arm, where Wade transitions into Watley’s closed guard before transitioning to his back and flattens out Watley but can’t sink in the neck crank.
Round Two – Wade comes out with a jumping head kick pushing Watley back against the cage and the grind continues. Referee Mike Bell breaks them up again for stalling on the cage and once they lock up, Wade throws Watley again with a head and arm. Watley is trying to fight off his back as he carries Wade’s weight. Wade again takes Watley’s back but can’t get the arm under the chink just yet, which after a minute of struggling Watley is able to turn and face Wade in his guard. Now it is Watley who is sinking his hooks in on Wade, taking his back but is unable to get to Wade’s neck.
Your winner by majority decision and advancing to the semi-finals in the Lightweight division, Chris Wade!
PFL Light Heavyweight Quarter-Finals – Bozigit Ataev (18-2) vs. Emiliano Sordi (17-7)
Round One – The fighters touch gloves as Sordi leads with a single jab, pauses, throws a single kick and Ataev catches his foot for a single leg. Sordi transitions out and they both pop up to their feet exchanging feeling out strikes until Ataev connects with an overhand right that gets the crowds attention. Sordi throws another single kick that’s caught, he’s knocked to the ground with a left and and is finished off with the ground and pound.
Your winner at 1:43 of the very first round and advancing to the semi-finals in the Light Heavyweight division, Bozigit Ataev!
PFL Lightweight Quarter-Finals – Natan Schulte (13-3) vs. Johnny Case (23-6)
Round One – Schulte rushes in with a couple of strike before getting the takedown against the cage. Case is able to scoot away from the cage trying to create distance by using a butterfly guard, unfortunately for him, Schulte pounces quickly as they scramble to their feet, where Schulte gets another single leg. Every time Case fights up to his feet, he is dragged back down by Schulte.
Round Two – Case blocks a head kick and counters with a left straight. He looks more comfortable if he can keep it on his feet. This round has been all stand up until Schulte gets the takedown to end the round.
Your winner by tie-breaker and moving on to the semi-finals in the Lightweight division, Natan Schulte!
PFL Light Heavyweight Quarter-Finals – Vinny Magalhaes (16-9) vs. Rakim Cleveland (19-10-1)
Round One – Magalhaes leads with a low kick and then one to the body, but Cleveland ties him up, driving Magalhaes against the cage. Magalhaes pulls guard, puts Cleveland in a triangle choke and finishes him off with a key lock.
Your winner at 1:20 in the very first round and moving on to the semi-finals in the Light Heavyweight division, Vinny Magalhaes!
PFL Lightweight Semi-Finals – Rashid Magomedov (22-2) vs. Thiago Tavares (23-8-1)
Round One – This one is starting out slow as they are both realize they are one more fight away from the $1 million prize for winning the PFL Lightweight Tournament. Tavares finally shoots in for a single but can’t finish it. The crowd continues to scream for action as reach one of these men knows one mistake will cost them everything they have worked for thus far.
Round Two – The final round starts off more aggressively as each fighter connects with a couple of strikes, but according to the fans there is still too much dancing around for their taste as one person, drunkenly bellows, “This isn’t ballet!” Magomedov gets Tavares to the ground and gets caught up in a knee bar that Tavares just can’t seem to finish. The Russian breaks and finishes the Brazilian with body shots!
Your winner at 1:33 in the second round and moving on to the PFL Lightweight finals in New York City, Rashid Magomedov!
PFL Light Heavyweight Semi-Finals -Sean O’Connell (19-10) vs. Smealinho Rama (12-4)
Round One – They touch gloves and Rama leads with a left straight, O’Connell answers back and lands a left hook, as he goes in for the ground and pound, Rama kicks him off. Now it’s Rama who goes to down on O’Connell with a couple of body kicks and several punches to his head. O’Connell looks a little lost until he lands a straight right and then knocks out Rama with some ground and pound and Referee Michael Beltran waves this one off.
Your winner by TKO in the very first round and advancing to the PFL Light Heavyweight finals in New York City, Sean O’Connell!
PFL Lightweight Semi-Finals -Chris Wade (14-4) vs. Natan Schulte (14-3)
Round One – Wade comes in with a jumping front kick and Schulte throws a teep at the same time. There is no feeling out period for these two lightweights as they both want that $1 million purse! Schulte throws a spinning back fist as Wade pulls him down into a standing guillotine and tries to smother him, but Schulte slips out taking top position trying to figure out his next move. Wade escapes back to his feet as the two talk to each other with their hands down, neither one fully respecting the other. Schulte trips Wade to the ground, landing in half guard.
Round Two – Wade comes out kicking until one leg is caught. Their styles are very similar and it will take one mistake to end this one right now. Wade is throwing a lot of strikes that aren’t landing clean, which will tire him out if he isn’t careful. Schulte is very good at creating distance but he isn’t countering the way one would expect him to, which allowed Wade to throw a couple of rights and shake his head asking if he likes that combo. Schulte shoots and sticks the double leg as he is perfectly comfortable on the ground. Schulte tries to take the back but Wade slips out as this fight comes to an end against the cage.
Round Three – This is a tie breaker round as Schulte and Wade had a round a piece. If this goes to the judges, it could possibly favor the Brazilian. The crowd is clearly on Wade’s side as he is the American. The chanting seems to have reinvigorated him as he attempts another standing guillotine. In the final minute of this match it is Schulte chasing Wade around the decagon. They close this one out swinging
Your winner by split decision and advancing to the PFL Lightweight finals in New York City, Natan Schulte!
PFL Light Heavyweight Semi-Finals – Bozigit Ataev (19-2) vs. Vinny Magalhaes (17-9)
Round One – Magalhaes misses a Superman punch and salvages it with a double leg instead. Magalhaes pulls guard again just like in his first bout of the night looking for a triangle but Ataev fights out and starts dropping hammer fists. Magalhaes looked for another key lock like earlier only to have Ataev fight out, giving Magalhaes a chance to transition to half guard from an armbar to another key lock and finishes this night off with a submission.
Your winner by submission at 1:58 in the very first round and moving on to the PFL Light Heavyweight finals in New York City, Vinny Magalhaes!