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Pancrase, Shooto Brazil champions among additions to PFL 2019 roster

UFC 190 Weigh-In Photos
Glaico Franca signed with PFL after winning the Pancrase welterweight championship.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Some Brazilian names have been added to the 2019 season of the Professional Fighters League, multiple sources told MMA Fighting.

The upcoming season of the North American company will include lightweights Ronys Torres and Carlos Eduardo Silva and welterweight Glaico Franca. Freddy Assuncao, who was expected to fight for PFL in 2018, will finally make his debut this year as a featherweight.

Names likes Francimar Barroso, Ronny Markes, Handesson Ferreira, Alexandre Bezerra and Alexandre Almeida, who fought for PFL in 2018, will return to the action under the promotion banner in 2019, sources said.

UFC veteran Torres (37-6) last fought in August, when he claimed the Shooto Brazil 160-pound championship with a submission victory over Bruno Rodrigues. It was his return to Brazilian soil after making it to the Road FC million-dollar lightweight tournament semifinal in 2018.

Franca (19-5) was the Ultimate Fighter Brazil lightweight winner in 2015, with four straight rear-naked choke finishes. “Nego” won six in a row since leaving the UFC, capped off by a thrilling fourth-round finish over Takashi Sato to win the Pancrase welterweight belt last July.

Silva (11-1) hasn’t been active lately. The Nova Uniao fighter entered a cage for the last time in Nov. 2017, when he captured the Shooto Brazil 165-pound belt with a first-round knockout over Felipe Douglas. “Carlao” will make his PFL debut looking for his sixth win in a row.

Assuncao (10-1), twin brother of UFC bantamweight Raphael Assuncao, moved up to lightweight to win the Titan FC championship with a win over MMA veteran Gesias Cavalcante in Aug. 2016, but has battled injuries since then. He will return to 145 pounds to compete for PFL in 2019.

The updated PFL roster can be seen below.

Heavyweight

Philipe Lins
Alex Nicholson
Kelvin Tiller
Denis Goltsov
Ben Edwards
Francimar Barroso

Light Heavyweight

Vinny Magalhaes
Jordan Johnson
Smealinho Rama
Ronny Markes

Welterweight

Magomed Magomedkerimov
Ray Cooper III
Louis Taylor
David Michaud
Zane Kamaka
Sadibou Sy
Glaico Franca
Handesson Ferreira

Lightweight

Natan Schulte
Rashid Magomedov
Chris Wade
Ronys Torres
Carlos Eduardo Silva

Featherweight

Lance Palmer
Andre Harrison
Steven Siler
Luis Rafael
Freddy Assuncao
Alexandre Bezerra
Alexandre Almeida

Women’s Lightweight

Kayla Harrison
Sarah Kaufman
Genah Fabian
Bobbi-Jo Dalziel
Svetlana Khautova
Roberta Samad
Larissa Pacheco
Morgan Freir