PFL 9 2023 Playoffs Recap: Collard – Burgos instant classic caps off action filled night

2023 PFL 9: New York at the The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Last night the PFL held their ninth event of the 2023 season and we saw the semifinal matchups in the welterweight and lightweight divisions. In the main event, Clay Collard (24-10) and Shane Burgos (16-5) battled it out for a spot in the lightweight finals.

Whenever this fight was announced, many fans were excited. The fight was hyped up and sometimes when you see a fight that was this hyped by the fans, it fails to deliver. All the credit in the world should go to these men as they delivered and some last night.

They threw a combined 600+ strikes during last night’s fight. There were massive exchanges, Collard was able to drop Burgos, and then Burgos came on strong in the third round. Neither man was willing to give an inch. In the end, Collard won a unanimous decision earning his spot in the finals.

In the first lightweight semifinal matchup of the evening, 2022 champion Olivier Aubin-Mercier (20-5) took on Bruno Miranda (16-4). OAM was a perfect 8-0 in PFL before last night’s fight and had largely been dominant in every fight. That didn’t change last night as he dominated and stopped Miranda in the second round. Now, him and Clay Collard will fight for the 2023 championship.

PFL Welterweights

In addition to the lightweights, the PFL welterweights had their moment to shine last night. Sadibou Sy (16-6-2) was looking to continue his run towards a second straight welterweight championship as he took on Carlos Leal (19-5). Now, Leal missed weight so he was docked a point on all scorecards entering the bout.

In the end, it almost played a factor in the result. Sy was able to win a split decision with one judge scoring the fight for Leal 29-28. Of course, if Leal had won the split decision, due to the weight miss, the fight would’ve been a draw. In that case, Sy would’ve still been given the tiebreaker due to the weight miss by Leal. So, Sy gets a chance to win his second straight PFL championship in November.

In the first welterweight contest of the evening, Magomed Magomedkerimov (33-6) took on Soloman Renfro (11-4). Magomedkerimov was able to win a decision and now he’s going for his second PFL championship. Two former champions battling it out for the 2023 championship in November.

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