PFL World Championship Recap: Impa Kasanganay makes it look easy against Josh Silveira

2023 PFL Championships Ceremonial Weigh-Ins at The Anthem in Washington D.C., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

On the main card of tonight’s PFL World Championship event, the light heavyweight title and one million dollars was on the line. UFC veteran turned PFL standout Impa Kasanganay (14-3) was looking to cap off his perfect season with a win over the tough Josh Silveira (12-1).

Kasanganay got a shot on the Challenger Series back in March and he scored a win by first round knockout. From there, he went right into the season and he’s gone 3-0 with two finishes. He’s looked sensational and he was looking to put on his best performance tonight.

Standing in his way was Josh Silveira. Silveira made it to the playoffs last year where he took on Omari Akhmedov and lost in the semifinals. This season, Silveira has looked like a man on a mission. He’s gone a perfect 3-0 and not a single fight has seen a second round. Someone’s momentum was going to come to a halt tonight.

PFL World Championship Recap

Round 1

The PFL light heavyweight championship bout kicks off with Kasanganay immediately on the attack. Body kick and a shot up top for Kasanganay. Silveira lands a nice body kick and he’s just trying to stay composed here. Heavy pressure from Kasanganay and Silveira gets a body lock.

He pushes Kasanganay back against the fence. Both men trading the lead position and then they end up on the ground. Kasanganay gets the brief top position and he just stands back up. Back to striking and Kasanganay goes right back on the pressure. Strong pace from Kasanganay in the first round not even two minutes in. Big combination from Kasanganay and Silveira is having a ton of issues with him early on.

Silveira lands a nice 1-2 but Kasanganay throws major heat back with a left hook. Heavy pressure from Kasanganay and Silveira gets a double leg. They scramble and Kasanganay gives up his back. Silveira hops on a choke but Kasanganay breaks away and now he gets the top position. Another scramble and they are up to the feet. Cage pressure from Kasanganay here in the clinch.

Still one minute left in the round. They break away and Kasanganay goes for a head kick. Big right hands from Kasanganay and he’s lighting Silveira up on the feet. Silveira just has no answer on the feet right now. 30 seconds left and they clinch. Huge combination from Kasanganay. The round ends and it’s a big opening round for Kasanganay at the PFL World Championship.

Round 2

Entering the second round and there seems to be some doubt in the Silveira corner as he looked lost on the stool. The second round begins and Kasanganay goes right back on the pressure. Body kicks from Silveira and Kasanganay unleashes huge power combinations. Brief takedown attempt from Silveira and Kasanganay defends easily.

1-2 now from Silveira and another one. However, Kasanganay blasts him back with a huge combination. Nice jab from Silveira and Kasanganay explodes back with counters. Level change from Silveira and a terrible takedown attempt that Kasanganay easily defends.

However, Kasanganay slips trying to throw a kick and Silveira gets the top position. Halfway through the round and Silveira has the top position. Kasanganay easily gets back up and now he’s all over Silveira. Silveira is getting blasted right now and has literally no answer for Kasanganay.

Silveira looks absolutely exhausted as well with two minutes left in the second round. Big kick from Kasanganay and now a combination lands. Silveira does land a nice jab there. Body kick from Silveira and Kasanganay blasts him with another huge counter. Massive right hand from Kasanganay and he’s lighting up Silveira again. Silveira’s shots are slowing drastically. The round ends and it’s another dominant one for Kasanganay at the PFL World Championship.

Round 3

Entering the third and I don’t see how Silveira can win this fight at this point. Third round starts and Kasanganay opens with another blitz and it hurt Silveira. Silveira looks bewildered on the feet right now and he level changes. Takedown attempt but once again, Kasanganay defends with ease.

Kasanganay gets Silveira up against the fence and now he gets the back of Silveira. Slam for Kasanganay and he gets the back of Silveira. Silveira looks like he’s quitting right now. Kasanganay lets him back up and lands a huge uppercut. A 1-2 from Silveira which looks like it was moving in slow motion.

Kasanganay evades and then blasts him with counters. Kasanganay defends another takedown and gets the top position. Kasanganay gets the back and locks in a choke. It’s deep but Silveira survives. Silveira gets up and Kasanganay locks in a standing arm triangle choke. He lets it go and starts landing shots.

30 seconds left and Silveira is just getting manhandled right now. The round ends and it’s another dominant round for Kasanganay.

Round 4

Entering the fourth round and it just feels like a matter of time at this point. Kasanganay opens the fourth round with a huge combination. More big combinations from Kasanganay and he’s going for the finish here. Josh Silveira just has absolutely nothing for Kasanganay. Kasanganay lands a massive left hand.

Now a huge right straight for Kasanganay. One minute into the fourth and this is an ass-whooping. Silveira is just plotting forward right now and Kasanganay is just punching him like he’s a bag. Silveira throws a slow jab and Kasanganay slides out of the way. 1-2 from Kasanganay.

Silveira eats another right hand and Kasanganay is just flowing at this point. More big shots from Kasanganay and Silveira is throwing some slow body kicks back at Kasanganay. One minute left in the round and Kasanganay lands another big right hand. Silveira plotting forward and throws a couple of sloppy hooks. The round ends and it’s another one in the bag for Kasanganay who is on his way to winning the PFL light heavyweight title.

Round 5

Entering the final round at the PFL World Championship and Silveira is going to need a miracle from every God to win this one. Both men trade jabs to start the final round. Huge combination from Kasanganay finished with a right hand over the top. Jab from Silveira finds the mark.

Body kick from Silveira and he doubles it up. Sharp jab from Kasanganay stops the forward momentum of Silveira. Silveira is trying to move forward but he’s just a target at this point. Silveira falls to the mat as he attempts a high kick. He’s beyond exhausted and he eats a huge 1-2 from Kasanganay.

Silveira floats a left hand and Kasanganay just blasts him with counters. Silveira starting to pick up the pace just a little and he lands a combination. However, Kasanganay lands much bigger shots that backs him off. Two minutes left in the round and Silveira lands a 1-2.

Double jab from Kasanganay. Knee to the body after they clinch from Silveira. Right hand now from Silveira who at least is trying here. Kasanganay is countering more now. Kasanganay is finally slowing down just a bit and Silveira is trying but there’s nothing there. Weak takedown attempt from Silveira and he eats a knee for his troubles.

Silveira plots forward and eats several shots. The fight comes to a close and this was a shutout. Not even close at the PFL World Championship.

Impa Kasanganay def. Josh Silveira by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)