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Joao Zeferino withdraws from PFL 10 due to injury

Joao Zeferino punches Paul Bradley at PFL 3 on July 5, 2018
Professional Fighters League

Top-seeded Joao Zeferino won’t be getting a chance to compete for the Professional Fighters League’s million-dollar prize.

On Monday, Zeferino announced that he is withdrawing from Saturday’s PFL 10 card and the league’s 2018 welterweight playoffs due to injury.

“I’m upset because I was completely ready to win, but at the same time happy because I had two great wins in six weeks,” Zeferino wrote on Twitter. “I want to thank PFL and all of my fans. I’ll be back even better.”

ESPN was first to report the injury, adding that Zeferino would be replaced by Abubakar Nurmagomedov. The PFL has confirmed this replacement.

Nurmagomedov was originally scheduled to fight Yuri Villefort in an alternate bout. Per ESPN, officials are looking for a late-notice opponent to keep Villefort on the card.

Zeferino (23-9) was one of eight fighters to earn a spot in the PFL welterweight playoffs. Following two qualifying bouts, the fighters have to win twice in one night (one two-round bout, one three-round bout) for the opportunity to compete at the season finale on Dec. 31 that will see champions in six divisions crowned and each rewarded with a $1 million prize.

In his qualifying bouts, Zeferino stormed to a No. 2 playoff seed with a first-round TKO of Paul Bradley and a third-round submission of Villefort. He was supposed to fight No. 7 seed Bojan Velickovic on Saturday, but that task now belongs to Nurmagomedov.

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