PFL 5 2024 Recap: Lightweight Playoffs Set

The PFL held their fifth event of the 2024 Regular Season this past Friday night in Salt Lake City, Utah. Playoff spots were on the line for both lightweights and light heavyweights. Lightweights headlined the card as the popular Clay Collard (25-13) took on Mads Burnell (19-6).

Collard entered the night with five points so his spot in the Playoffs was not guaranteed. Burnell having lost his first fight needed a finish in this one to have a shot at making it. Collard started out fast using a ton of combinations but really struggled with the grappling of Burnell in this one.

I was really expecting this one to be fireworks but it kinda fizzled out after a hot start. Burnell leaned on his wrestling and Collard started getting tired in the middle rounds. Since they were the final fight of the evening, Collard knew that his spot in the playoffs was secured as long as he didn’t get finished in the first two rounds.

With that, it seemed like he really lacked urgency in the third round. Burnell was able to get him down but he never fought hard it seemed. It’s almost like Collard was in cruise control despite losing the fight. Ultimately, Burnell won the PFL 5 headlining matchup but the decision only netted him three points. With Collard’s five points in the bag, he secured the fourth seed in the PFL Playoffs.

PFL Playoffs

The top seed in the Playoffs went to former Bellator Champion Brent Primus (14-3). Primus scored a second round finish in his first fight getting himself five points just like Collard. On Friday night, he submitted Solomon Renfro (11-6) in the third round to get another four points and secure the top spot with nine points overall.

Gadzhi Rabadanov (22-4-2) entered the night on the outside looking in for the PFL Playoffs. He was taking on Elvin Espinoza (10-1) who had one more point than he did. However, Rabadanov was able to win a decision earning six points on the season which ended up being good enough for the two seed. Rabadanov was extremely fortunate that every first round winner lost in their second fight outside of himself and Brent Primus.

Michael Dufort (13-5) won by second round finish in the first round which earned him five points. On Friday night, he lost a split decision to Adam Piccolotti (15-6). Piccolotti lost his first fight so the split decision was only worth three points. Dufort was extremely fortunate with the losses piling up for the first round winners.

It’s really the first time I can remember most of the first round PFL winners losing in the second round of the Regular Season. However, with all the decisions on Friday night, the first round winners mostly found their way into the Playoffs. After Friday night’s fights, here are the matchups for the Playoffs:

  • #1 Brent Primus vs. #4 Clay Collard
  • #2 Gadzhi Rabadanov vs. #3 Michael Dufort
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