PFL’s international reach expands as Saudi fighters come up big under the lights of MSG at last week’s playoff event

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)

The PFL continues making huge moves on the international scene. Over the last year, we have see the promotion focus heavily on expanding their reach internationally. Last week wasn’t any different. For Mostafa Rashed Neda (8-3) and Abdullah Al-Qahtani (7-1), the opportunity to compete from one of the most famous venues in the world was also a prime chance to make a name for themselves.

Both Saudi Arabian fighters picked up convincing victories at the recent PFL Playoffs event, which took place from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. For Neda, he finished off Korey Kuppe in under two minutes of their middleweight affair. The win moved the MMA Jeddah Club fighter to 8-3 in his career with this marking his first win inside the PFL’s SmartCage.

Neda has won four consecutive fights across various promotions, with three of those four ending early due to his exceptional striking skills. This one, though, made the biggest mark in his career to date coming on the undercard of an event that featured several well-known athletes such as Clay Collard and former PFL champions Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Sadibou Sy and Magomed Magomedkerimov.

The 34-year-old had to wait a few extra months to make his PFL debut after being forced out of a planned bout earlier this year. But he continued to train hard in his native Jeddah, focusing on his strong points to use them vs. Kuppe.

PFL Continues Making Waves Globally

As for his native countrymen, Al-Qahtani, he picked up a one-sided decision over David Zelner in a featherweight fight, earning a 30-25 on the scorecards to go along with matching scores of 30-26.

Known as “The Reaper,” Al-Qahtani is 7-1 in his mixed martial arts career and a perfect 2-0 since joining the PFL this year. Back in June, he earned a first round submission win vs. Lamar Brown in his promotional debut. Also like Neda, Al-Qahtani has spent the past several years fighting around the world before landing with the PFL, a promotion that stands alongside the UFC in the world of combat sports.

The 24-year-old out of Riyadh put his striking and grappling skills on full display under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. As one of only a handful of athletes to represent the Kingdom, Al-Qahtani is definitely a name to keep an eye out for in the future playoff races in the PFL.