Seminole Hard Rock & Casino, Hollywood, Florida:
For seasons one and two the PFL closed out its season at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on New Years Eve day. This time they ended a lot differently. Before Halloween, and in Florida. And this time around the PFL closes season three, with their two best fighters going back-to-back. Now the only real question is does Kayla Harrison stay or go.
Harrison who now holds two-Olympic Gold Medals, and two PFL titles is also a free-agent. The 12-0 31-year old should garner attention from the UFC and Bellator. The brutally efficient fighter has yet to give any clue where she’s leading. However, the PFL has started to boost the division; signing Julia Budd. The UFC doesn’t have either a women’s 155 or viable 145 division. And there’s no way she can make 135.
Bellator on the other hand, has a nugget she wants, in the ability to fight Cyborg. Scott Coker has successfully cross promoted. So it’s possible to have the two fight, conceivably once in each organization. But that would play havoc with her season. so who knows.
As far as her fight is concerned, Taylor Guardado didn’t sit back. She brought the fight to Harrison. But Harrison three times was able to bring the fight to the ground. And there she’s always attacking, just waiting for you to make one fatal mistake. She smoothly goes from ground-and-pound to submission hunting better than fighters with four times her experience. And this one ended with just a minute remaining in the second round.
PFL Closes Season Three With Another Two-Time Champion
In season one, Ray Cooper III fell to Magomed Magomedkerimov. Ever since that day “Bradda Boy” has wanted revenge. Last season the Hawaiian captured the gold. This year the two champions met in a rematch. The Dagestani used a strong kicking game early as a range finder.
But Magomedkerimov got pulled into a dog fight. And he in fact stung and hurt Cooper, but the 28-year old bit down on his mouth piece and turned the third round into a rock em sock em robot fight. Ending with a walk off KO:
After notching his 15th KO, and extending his win streak to six, Cooper threw down the gauntlet saying:
“I know I’m the best. I’d take on the UFC champion. I’d take on the Bellator champion. We should unify the belts. I’m the best”.
There’s no way that happens, but welterweight in both those organizations are major shark infested waters.
The other champions now are:
Raush Manfio took a unanimous decision win over Loik Radzhabov to snag the lightweight title. Former UFC fighter, Antonio Carlos Junior submitted Marthin Hamlet to capture the light heavyweight belt. Movlid Khaybulaev beat Chrus Wade via unanimous decision for the featherweight strap. And what might be a Top-20 fight in MMA was for the heavyweight title. There is was Bruno Cappelozza beating Mirko CroCop disciple, Ante Delija by unanimous decision in a back and forth war.
Julia Budd also won unanimously in her debut for the PFL. And the GWOAT Claressa Shields tasted defeat for the first time in combat sports as an undefeated three-divison boxing champion, and 1-0 in the smart cage. Although her loss was a split decision one, she was completely outworked by Abigail Montes.