The playoffs in the lightweight and featherweight divisions are now set following 10 fights taking place at PFL 5 on Thursday night from Atlantic City.
Wade earned 3 points for the decision win, which put him at the No. 3 position in the playoffs in the lightweight division.
Best known for his strong wrestling game, Wade was determined to feed Aliev a steady diet of kicks on the feet rather than look for the takedown. Aliev was definitely feeling the effect of those kicks throughout the opening round with Wade chipping away at the body and the legs.
While he was still eating a lot of kicks from Wade on the feet, Aliev started to move forward with more aggression with each passing minute in the fight. Aliev continuously tossed a powerful overhand right that never quite connected flush but definitely kept Wade at attention during every exchange.
With less than five minutes remaining, Aliev was staying in Wade’s face but he was still struggling to land his best strikes with any regularity. Wade was also beginning to slow down but he still managed to keep Aliev honest with his effective kicking game.
The difference in the fight really came down to the volume of kicks landed by Wade over the course of three rounds, which helped him get the nod by unanimous decision with 29-28 scores on all the cards.
Wade will now move onto the playoffs where he will seek the chance to fight for the $1 million grand prize in December.
Former Ohio State All-American wrestler Lance Palmer put his grappling expertise to good use with a suffocating ground attack that eventually led to a third-round TKO stoppage against Luis Rafael Laurentino in the PFL 5 co-main event.
After winning the PFL season 1 tournament and taking home the $1 million grand prize, Palmer will return to the playoffs again in season 2 as the No. 1 overall seed after securing two victories in the opening rounds.
The fight really came down to Palmer’s takedowns and Laurentino’s willingness to attempt submissions from his back rather than attempting to work back to his feet. Time and time again, Palmer found his way inside and then put Laurentino on the canvas.
While the Brazilian did threaten Palmer with several attempts at a gogo-plata, he couldn’t secure the submission and instead spent the majority of his time defending ground strikes from Palmer on top.
Finally in the third round, Palmer was able to advance his position through Laurentino’s guard and that’s when he began hammering down with a series of devastating punches. With Laurentino just turning to his size and covering up to avoid absorbing too much damage, the referee had no choice but to stop the fight with Palmer earning the TKO victory.
Palmer will now face Gadzhi Rabadanov in the first playoff matchup later this year in hopes of moving towards another PFL championship.
Andrews was on the attack early and often in the fight against Magomedov as he used his reach and volume striking to put the Russian on his heels. When he was standing, Andrews did a great job backing Magomedov up and then connecting with multiple strikes in succession.
Still, Andrews had a tough fight on his hands because once Magomedov started to close the distance, he was able to secure several takedowns.
It was really a toss up when it came to the judges’ scorecards because outside of Andrews picking Magomedov apart in the opening round, both of the final two rounds were razor close. In the end, Andrews got the nod by unanimous decision, which means he will move onto the playoffs in the lightweight division.
Despite the loss, Magomedov will also get into the lightweight playoffs beginning later this year.
Alex Gilpin came up short in his last fight against PFL season 1 winner Lance Palmer but he did more than enough to get into the playoffs with his performance on Thursday night at PFL 5.
Midway through the opening round, Gilpin saw an opening for a standing guillotine choke and opponent Freddy Assuncao was immediately locked into position with nowhere to go. The grimace on Assuncao’s face told the whole story as he struggled to break free of the choke.
The fighters eventually fell to the canvas, which signified to the referee that Assuncao was already unconscious. A split second later, the fight was stopped with Gilpin celebrating his first round submission victory.
The win and the finish put Gilpin into the featherweight playoffs with hopes of building on this latest win in his next fight later this year.
Kennedy was able to secure several takedowns that put Siler on the defensive throughout the three round battle. While Kennedy wasn’t able to mount a ton of offense overall, he did manage to control the pace and the action in the fight to rack up points on the judges’ scorecards.
Siler had his best offense in the opening round but once he had to start fending off takedowns, he was stuck fending off Kennedy’s attacks, which ultimately cost him the fight.
Kennedy will now move onto the playoffs in the featherweight division after earning three-points in a must-win situation. As for Siler, he will exit PFL season 2 after suffering back-to-back losses in the regular season.
When he was able to stay on the feet, Ronson had a few moments where it appeared that he was putting Schulte into some trouble. Unfortunately, Ronson couldn’t stay separated and it was Schulte constantly pressing forward, latching onto a body lock and then bringing him to the ground repeatedly.
Schulte was able to advance his position on multiple occasions, moving into mount and then taking the back while looking to set up his submissions. Ronson was able to stave off the grappling attacks but he just couldn’t break free of Schulte’s vice-like grip over three rounds.
In the end, Schulte’s 12 takedowns and overall ground control put him well ahead on the judges’ scorecards as he got the nod by unanimous decision. Schulte will now move onto the lightweight playoffs for the second straight year after taking home the $1 million prize in 2018.
Khaybulaev got the finish in the opening round after he exploded forward with a huge flying knee that blasted Harrison and sent him reeling towards the cage wall. Khaybulaev followed up with a flurry of punches but the round ended before he could put Harrison away.
Recovering between rounds, Harrison came out strong in the second round as he stunned Khaybulaev with a stiff punch during an early exchange that seemed to shift the momentum into his favor. Harrison continued to have good striking output throughout the final 10 minutes, which he believed could earn him the decision victory.
In the end, only one judge saw the fight in Harrison’s favor with the other two scoring the fight 28-28 after three rounds, which means the result was a majority draw. The good news for both fighters is with the one point earned for the draw, Harrison and Khaybulaev will move onto the featherweight playoffs in October.
Islam Mamedov got the first finish of the night, which helped him punch a ticket into the playoffs in the lightweight division. The Russian put on a dominant showcase by dragging Bao Yincang to the ground, trapping him in the crucifix position and then bludgeoning with punches until the referee had no choice but to stop the fight.
The win earned Mamedov 6 points for the first round finish and when combined with the 3 points he earned for a decision victory in his first fight, he now earns a spot in the lightweight playoffs.
Here are the playoff matchups following PFL 5:
1 ) Natan Schulte
8 ) Ramsey Nijem
4 ) Akhmed Aliev
5 ) Rashid Magomedov
3 ) Chris Wade
6 ) Nate Andrews
2 ) Islam Mamedov
7 ) Loik Radzhabov
1 ) Lance Palmer
8 ) Gadzhi Rabadanov
4 ) Alex Gilpin
5 ) Andre Harrison
3 ) Luis Rafael Laurentino
6 ) Jeremy Kennedy
2 ) Movlid Khaybulaev
7 ) Daniel Pineda