PFL 6 Results: Anthony Pettis eliminated from playoffs and Kayla Harrison stays perfect

The PFL returned tonight for their sixth and final regular season event of 2021. In the co-main event of the evening, former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (24-12) returned as he took on Raush Manfio (13-3).

Pettis was a massive signing for PFL heading into the 2021 season. The Professional Fighters League put a ton of money behind Pettis and they hyped up the signing. It was a big signing for PFL, but Pettis needed to perform to make it worth it.

However, Pettis dropped his PFL debut to Clay Collard back in April. Tonight, he stood across the cage from Raush Manfio and he needed a win to even be in contention for the playoffs. A decision win for Pettis would’ve put him in tiebreaker, but a finish would’ve guaranteed him a spot.

PFL 6 Recap

I was incredibly encouraged with what I saw from Pettis in the opening rounds at PFL 6. Pettis looked much more aggressive and you could tell that he knew that he needed a big victory to advance to the playoffs.

Through the first two rounds, I thought that Pettis was getting the better of the striking at PFL 6. I had Pettis up 2-0 heading into the third and final round where the fight completely changed.

Early in the round, Manfio landed a big shot that hurt and dropped Pettis. Manfio then landed a big knee which put Pettis down a second time. Pettis was able to get back up and finished the round, but it was a clear round for Manfio.

Personally, I still had Pettis winning at PFL 6, but two of the judges didn’t agree. Raush Manfio took the split decision victory and eliminated Pettis from the 2021 playoffs. Definitely not what the promotion that was going to happen when they brought in Anthony Pettis.

In the main event of the evening, Kayla Harrison (10-0) returned to the cage. Harrison took on the veteran Cindy Dandois (16-7) who was looking to pull off the massive upset over the PFL queen. However, it was not meant to be.

As Harrison has done with all of her opponents, she went through Dandois like a hot knife through butter. Harrison picked up the first round armbar finish after dominating Dandois on the ground in the first. I don’t know if anyone in PFL can even be competitive with her at this point.

PFL 6 Preview: Kayla Harrison and Anthony Pettis make their second appearances of 2021

MMA, PFL

Tomorrow night the PFL returns for their sixth event of 2021. The card will see a mix of weight classes competing, but in the main event, the women’s lightweight division will be the focus.

Two-time defending PFL lightweight champion and former Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison (9-0) returns to the cage. She will be looking to pick up her second win of the season as she takes on Cindy Dandois (16-6).

Dandois is a veteran who has fought for all of the big promotions during her career. She dropped her PFL debut earlier this year, but she will be looking to pull off the massive upset tomorrow night.

Standing in her way might just be one of the best women’s fighters in the world. Kayla Harrison has been nothing short of dominant in her professional fighting career thus far. The former Judo Gold Medalist is progressing in her career and she keeps getting better.

After her first round win in her 2021 PFL season debut, Harrison said that she was the baddest woman on the planet. While that title still belongs to Amanda Nunes, Harrison is on her way to making it interesting.

Other matchups at PFL 6

In addition to the women’s lightweight division, the men’s lightweights will be on display in the co-main event of PFL 6. Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (24-11) will be making his second appearance with The Professional Fight League.

Pettis will be taking on Raush Manfio (12-3). The former UFC champion was a massive signing for PFL for the 2021 season, but he dropped his season debut to Clay Collard. Now, Pettis will look to get back on track tomorrow night.

Lance Palmer (22-4) will also be competing tomorrow night at PFL 6 as he takes on the undefeated Movlid Khaybulaev (16-0-1). There are a ton of great matchups tomorrow night as PFL goes head-to-head with Bellator on Friday night.

I’m looking forward to this card and you can see the full lineup below.

PFL 6 Matchups Announced

This week PFL announced it’s matchups for their sixth event of the 2021 season. The event will take place on June 25th and in the main event Kayla Harrison (9-0) on Cindy Dandois (16-6) and the former PFL heavyweight champion Ali Isaev (9-0) will be making his first appearance of the season.

Isaev was pulled from the first PFL event for the heavyweights and was docked a point for having his fight fall through. In his first matchup of the season, he will be taking on Renan Ferreira (6-2, 1 NC).

Ferreira took on former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1, 1 NC) in his first matchup of the PFL season. This matchup was layered in controversy after the way that it ended.

The fight started with an incredible pace and Werdum was able to lock in a triangle choke early. It clearly looked like Ferreira tapped from the choke, but the referee didn’t see it. Ferreira was able to get out of the choke and started dropping bombs.

The referee called a stop to the action and spoiled the PFL debut of Werdum. Werdum claimed he lightened the choke after feeling the tap and appealed the loss. The athletic commission overturned the fight to a No Contest. I figured PFL would do the rematch, but instead, Ferreira will take on Isaev.

PFL Round 2 for Werdum

Fabricio Werdum is getting a second chance to make an impressive statement in PFL. In reality, he should have a first round submission win on his Pro Fight League resume, but nothing can change that at this point.

In his next fight, Werdum will take on Brandon Sayles (6-1). Sayles pulled off arguably the most impressive performance of all the heavyweights in his first matchup of the season. He took on the hot prospect, Mohammed Usman (7-2).

Sayles looked incredibly slick on the feet and it ended dropping Usman multiple times. Once the fight was on the ground, Sayles locked up a choke and put Usman out. He will look to pull off another upset in his second PFL matchup of the season.

As mentioned above, Kayla Harrison will headline and I expect her to roll in her second fight of the season. I’ll be very curious to see how Larissa Pacheco (14-4) looks in her second fight as she takes on Helena Kolesnyk (5-3). Great matchups for the sixth PFL event of 2021.

PFL’s Kayla Harrison has her eyes set on GOAT status in the final year of her contract

MMA, PFL

Make no mistake about it, the best female fighter in PFL is Kayla Harrison (9-0). The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in Judo is an extremely special talent and she’s completely destroyed every opponent that’s been put in front of her.

In her nine professional wins, only two of them have gone the distance. Both of those fights were against arguably the second best PFL female fighter Larissa Pacheco (14-4). Pacheco and Harrison are likely going to meet again during this PFL season.

Harrison made a statement after her last performance and she said after the fight that she’s the baddest woman in any room. She wants the world to see her as the greatest of all time once she’s done competing.

Harrison’s contract with PFL is set to expire after this season. PFL is already having a dream scenario where Harrison ultimately fights Claressa Shields, but that probably will not play itself out.

Assuming Harrison runs through the other PFL lightweights this season and captures another title, she’s going to be the hottest free agent on the market. Harrison will have the UFC and Bellator knocking at her door to take her away.

PFL, Bellator, or the UFC?

The Olympian has been vocal that she does actually believe in the PFL format with seasons and rankings. However, she does recognize that there are big fights out there outside of PFL that could cement her legacy.

Of course, the biggest show in town is the UFC which is the home of the greatest of all time in Amanda Nunes (21-4). Nunes is the UFC’s two-division champion and she’s actually a teammate of Harrison’s at American Top Team.

Dana White recently commented about the PFL champion saying, “I don’t know if she’s ready. I just don’t know if her people think she’s ready. It’s a whole other level when you get here (the UFC).”

The PFL champion fired back on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show stating, “I think that if Dana is ready to pay me a lot of money, I’ll make him a lot of money. I’m ready to face the best in the world.”

Harrison is likely going to win her third PFL championship this year. After the year is over, The Pro Fight League, Bellator, and the UFC will all be calling. My guess is that she ultimately winds up in the UFC especially considering her ability to make 145 pounds. This will definitely be a story to follow at the end of the year.

PFL 3 Results: Kayla Harrison and Larissa Pacheco dominate in 2021 season opener

MMA, PFL

Tonight at PFL 3, we saw the women’s lightweight division kick off their season. All eyes were on the two-time defending champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison (8-0).

Harrison took on Mariana Morais (16-10) in the co-main event of the evening. Another matchup I was really looking forward to was the matchup between the 2019 runner-up Larissa Pacheco (14-4) and Julija Pajic (2-1).

Pacheco has only lost to Kayla Harrison and former UFC champions in her career. She’s extremely dangerous and I think she’s the one lightweight in this tournament that can hang with Kayla Harrison.

She proved that tonight at PFL 3. It was clear that Pajic had no business being in there with Pacheco. Pacheco dropped Pajic just seconds into the fight with a beautiful left hook. From there, Pacheco was methodical in beating Pajic up on the ground.

Finally, just about a minute into the round, the referee called a stop to the action. A dominant six-point finish for Larissa Pacheco at PFL 3. As mentioned, many people think she can be a threat to Kayla Harrison and she showed why tonight.

Harrison continues PFL dominance

As mentioned, the co-main event of the evening featured the two-time PFL lightweight champion Kayla Harrison. In eight professional fights, nobody has been able to stop Kayla Harrison. Harrison is hoping to pick up her third PFL championship in 2021.

Standing in her way was Mariana Morais who has been in there with UFC caliber talent. While Harrison was the massive favorite at PFL 3, Morais was expected to provide a little bit of a challenge.

However, like all of the opponents before her, Morais had no answer for Harrison. Harrison immediately pressured Morais and was able to get a body lock. Once she got the body lock, she was able to take Morais down and she immediately got the mount.

After Harrison got the mount, it was over in seconds. The two-time PFL champion makes her 2021 season debut in incredibly impressive fashion with a first round TKO.

PFL 3 Preview: Fabricio Werdum makes his debut and Kayla Harrison returns

Tomorrow night, PFL will host their third event of their 2021 season. The event will feature the promotion’s heavyweights and the women at lightweight. There is a lot of good action happening at PFL 3.

Kayla Harrison (8-0) is returning for her third PFL season tomorrow night. The former Olympic Gold Medalist has won the previous two Professional Fight League seasons in 2018 and 2019.

Harrison is the massive favorite to retain her PFL crown this year. Her first opponent of the 2021 season is Mariana Morais (16-10). Morais does have a lot of experience and she’s competed with some big names in the past.

Some of the names Morais has been in there with includes Jennifer Maia, Roxanne Modafferi, and Ariane Lipski. Morais is going to be very undersized at PFL 3 as she normally competes at 135 pounds. However, all the attention is going to be on Harrison and I’m expecting a dominating performance.

Larissa Pacheco (13-4) is the other lightweight to watch tomorrow night. She’s taking on Julija Pajic (2-0). Pacheco competed in the 2019 season and only lost twice. Both of those losses came to Kayla Harrison.

Outside of those two PFL losses, her other two losses came in the UFC against former champions Jessica Andrade and Germaine de Randamie. If anyone is going to give Harrison a challenge this season, it will be Pacheco.

PFL Heavyweights

The main attention tomorrow night is going to be on the PFL heavyweights. Former UFC heavyweight champion and all time great Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1) headlines the card tomorrow night. He will be making his Professional Fight League debut.

Standing across from Werdum is Renan Ferreira (6-2). Ferreira is a massive man standing 6’8 and weighing around the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds. Werdum is the massive favorite, but the size of Ferreira should give the former UFC champion a challenge.

I’m also incredibly excited to see the debut of Mohammed Usman (7-1). Usman is the younger brother of UFC champion Kamaru Usman. Mohammed Usman comes in with a lot of hype and he’s taking on Brandon Sayles (5-1).

These four fights have all my attention tomorrow night and I’m incredibly excited to see how they play out. PFL has some heavy hitters in their 2021 season and I’m very excited about this third card.

Examining PFL’s women’s lightweight opening matchups

MMA, PFL

Earlier this week, PFL announced their first round of matchups for the heavyweight division as well as women’s lightweight. The matchups will kick off on May 6th with the headliner featuring former UFC heavyweight champion, Fabricio Werdum.

While a lot of the focus is on the heavyweights, PFL‘s women’s lightweight division is definitely one to watch in 2021. Of course a lot of the talk is centered around former Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time defending champion, Kayla Harrison (8-0).

Harrison is the massive betting favorite heading into the 2021 PFL season for the lightweights. The former Olympian has won the previous two seasons and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. While she didn’t get to fight for PFL in 2020, she was still able to fight.

Harrison was able to do a one-off fight with Invicta. She took on Courtney King and absolutely battered her over the course of two rounds. Now, Harrison will return to the promotion that is building her up to be the next superstar in women’s MMA.

In Harrison’s opening matchup, she’ll be taking on Brazilian, Mariana Morais (16-10). Morais is very good on the ground having won half of her fights by submission. She will enter the matchup against Harrison on a three-fight win streak. This will be her PFL debut.

Other PFL lightweight matchups to watch

One of the lightweights I have my eyes on heading into PFL’s 2021 season is Larissa Pacheo (13-4). Pacheo has been very solid every time I’ve had the chance to watch her. Her she was the runner-up in 2019 after losing to Kayla Harrison.

Pacheo’s four losses have come to Harrison (twice) and former UFC champions, Germaine De Randamie and Jessica Andrade. Needless to say that she’s only lost to top competition. In her opening fight, she will be taking on Julija Pajic (2-0).

Another PFL lightweight that I have my eyes on for this upcoming season is Cindy Dandois (16-5). Dandois is riding a four-fight win streak and she’s taking on Kaitlin Young (11-10-1) in her first matchup. The PFL lightweight season should be a good one in 2021 as a bunch of quality contenders try to dethrone Harrison.

Sizing up PFL’s women’s lightweight division for the 2021 season

MMA, PFL

The return of PFL is upon us. The Pro Fight League has spent the last week releasing it’s rosters for their upcoming season in 2021. The promotion didn’t hold a season last year due to the ongoing pandemic.

However, with new safety measures in place, PFL is ready to go for their 2021 season. One of the division’s they will spend a lot of time advertising is their women’s lightweight division. Of course, that division is led by Kayla Harrision (8-0).

Harrison is a former Olympic Gold Medalist in Judo and the reigning PFL lightweight champion. Despite the promotion not having a season in 2020, Harrison was still able to get a fight in under the Invicta promotion.

Harrison took on Courtney King in November and completely battered her over two rounds before the fight was stopped. The significance of this matchup was that it took place at featherweight and Harrison made that weight cut for the first time in her MMA career.

We all know that there are future superfights out there for Harrison if she fights at 145 pounds. However, she will return to 155 pounds where she is the champion for PFL‘s upcoming season that begins on April 23rd.

PFL lightweights to watch

You will notice that there is one big name missing from PFL’s upcoming lightweight season. That name would be the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world, Claressa Shields (10-0 in boxing).

PFL made waves when they signed Shields in 2020. As mentioned, Shields is a boxer and hasn’t made her MMA debut yet. Shields is currently scheduled to take on the current female super welterweight champion, Marie Eve Dicaire, on March 5th.

After Shields has that boxing match, her focus will turn to her MMA debut. She’s expected to make her debut later in 2021. In terms of the other lightweights in this tournament, there are two names to watch out for.

One fighter I have my eyes on is Cindy Dandois (16-5). Dandois will be making her PFL debut and she’s carrying a four-fight winning into the ring. She could make some waves in this year’s season.

The other fighter I’m watching for is Larissa Pacheo (13-4). Pacheo has already faced Harrison twice in PFL and fell short both times. She’s a UFC veteran and her four career losses are to Harrison, Germaine de Randamie, and Jessica Andrade. Not a bad group to lose to.

I’m very excited to see PFL back up and running in 2021. They’ve made some big signings and this year should be a lot of fun. I’m very intrigued by this lightweight division and I’m interested to see if anyone can take down Kayla Harrison.

PFL’s biggest stars ready for new season

Professional Fighters League’s reigning champions along with its new big-name signees are all set for its 2021 season.

World champions Kayla Harrison, Lance Palmer, Natan Schulte, and Ray Cooper III will be back to defend their titles in the most innovative and fastest-growing Mixed Martial Arts league on the planet.

The PFL has also added former world champions Rory MacDonald, Fabricio Werdum, Anthony Pettis and boxing icon Claressa Shields and many more world-class fighters in what promises to be its biggest offering yet.

The new PFL season will be aired live on the ESPN family of networks beginning in April.

Innovative format

Since its debut three years ago, the PFL has taken the MMA world by storm. Along with the finest collection of athletes globally, the league has continued to grow its fight-night and in-cage technology through SmartCage and IBM.

PFL fighters will compete in regular-season fights to accumulate points that will determine who will advance to the playoffs. The survivors from six different weight classes will battle it out in an exciting knockout style format in the playoffs. Each champion will be rewarded with a million-dollar paycheck.

Return of the champions

Harrison, a former Olympic gold medalist, Palmer, Schulte, and Cooper III are among the select few who have already run the gauntlet of the PFL and cashed in.

MacDonald is arguably one of the top pound-for-pound fighters of his generation. He took note of the PFL’s innovations and signed with the promotion in 2019. The welterweight fighter will make his debut this year.

In 2020, the PFL roster grew with the additions of such fighters as Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira and Sung Bin Jo. It served as a precursor to the earth-shattering signings of Werdum, Pettis, and Shields.

New stars

Werdum has risen to the top of the heavyweight division on more than one occasion, beating the likes of Fedor Emelianenko and Cain Velasquez along the way.

On the other hand, Pettis is also a former lightweight champion who has also competed at welterweight. His resume includes victories over Benson Henderson, Charles Oliveira, and Donald Cerrone.

Meanwhile, Shields is aiming to become the PFL’s crossover star. She will continue her quest inside the boxing ring while also beginning her career as a mixed martial artist this year. The three-division boxing world champion has been training at the world-famous Jackson-Wink MMA gym in New Mexico in preparation for her much anticipated PFL debut.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Inside PFL’s rise as no.2 global market leader in MMA

While the UFC continues to reign over the landscape of mixed martial arts worldwide, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) has exploded into the scene and now finds itself right behind the industry leader after just three years.

In an interview with CombatPress.com, PFL founder Donn Davis said that the league had established itself as the number-two MMA company globally on multiple factors, including fighter roster, worldwide audience, distribution, and growth.

“So I think what you’re seeing now, by all metrics, is the PFL is the number-two MMA company worldwide. In terms of fighter roster, PFL is number two. For a worldwide audience, PFL is number two. In terms of worldwide distribution, PFL is number two, and in terms of growth, PFL is number two,” Davis said.

Top MMA Promotions - PFL

Season format

But what pushed the PFL out into the front of the pack, alongside the UFC?

Founded in 2017, the league has already been able to put on two massively-successful seasons. Now, they are gearing up for the third season, which kicks off in April.

Notice how the PFL’s year is called a season?

That’s because the league follows a tournament-style format, which is unique in the world of MMA.

The league uses a regular season, playoffs, and finals format, which means the fighters will need to win to advance. At the end of the season, a world champion will be crowned for each weight division, and the winners are awarded one million dollars.

Stacked roster

Making that tournament format all the more exciting for the fans to watch is the stacked roster of fighters that the PFL boasts.

Each of the league’s six weight divisions features veterans and up-and-coming talent from across the globe. The PFL is home to many of the MMA world’s top stars, including PFL Women’s Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison, two-time PFL Featherweight Champion Lance Palmer, two-time PFL Lightweight Champion Natan Schulte, and many others.

In 2021, the league will have an influx of world championship talent led by Fabricio Werdum, Anthony Pettis, Rory MacDonald, and three-division boxing world champion Claressa Shields, who will be making her mixed martial arts debut.

Top-notch management

While the PFL indeed features an all-star roster of fighters, they also have the number one executive team in sports.

Founder Donn Davis, who was also behind Revolution LLC, has brought together some of the top minds in media, sports, and digital to lead the league to the top.

Leading the charge is PFL CEO Peter Murray, who helped sign some of the biggest names in sports during his time with Under Armour. Executive Producer George Greenberg has over 40 years of experience and is coming off as an Executive Vice President for Fox Sports. President Ray Sefo was the founder of the World Series of Fighting and is a combat sports legend.

Those big names are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the PFL’s executive management roster.

Overwhelming support

The PFL is also backed by a world-class team of investors, including Swan & Legend Venture Partners and Matterhorn Private Equity, and Ted Leonsis, David Blitzer, Mark Lerner, Kevin Hart, Mark Burnett, and Tony Robbins. The league has also managed to secure sponsorships with AB InBev, Socios.com, The Marines, and many others.

The PFL can be seen in the United States via ESPN and in an additional 160 more countries worldwide via various platforms and sports networks.

With all these considered, it’s no surprise that the PFL is already at the top of the MMA mountain, alongside the UFC. With another big year in store in 2021, there’s no telling the heights that the fastest growing sports league in the world can reach.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo