Jared Rosholt needed a win on Thursday to make the PFL playoffs and while it wasn’t pretty, he got the job done.
Lingering near the bottom of the standings heading into the night, Rosholt (18-7) set the tone early by walking Ishii down and being active with his punches. He also matched up well with the Olympic judo champion in the clinch, trading short punches with Ishii and avoiding the dangerous grappler’s trip and throw attempts.
When it looked like Ishii was gaining any sort of momentum, Rosholt was quick to resort to his wrestling to slow Ishii down and take the action to the fence. He had some success taking Ishii’s back, but neither man truly threatened to finish the fight at any point.
The decision win earned Rosholt a much-needed three points, saving him from elimination at the close of the 2019 PFL regular season. He and Ishii head into the playoffs as the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds, respectively.
In the co-main event, Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Vinny Magalhaes (19-11, 1 NC) once again made mincemeat of Rakim Cleveland (19-13-1, 1 NC) on the ground, needing less than two minutes to secure a submission victory and his second straight playoff appearance.
When the two fought last season, it took Magalhaes just 80 seconds to force Cleveland to tap out to a kimura. This contest lasted about half-a-minute longer, but the result was the same as Magalhaes scored a takedown before methodically working into a position for a textbook armbar that had Cleveland wisely tapping to signal his submission.
Viktor Nemkov and Rashid Yusupov met in a rematch of Russian fighters, and this time it was Nemkov (30-7) gaining a measure of revenge by winning closely-contested split decision. The two previously met at an M-1 Global show in May 2016, with Yusupov (11-2) taking a split decision in that first encounter.
Their second meeting was contested mostly on the feet, though Nemkov was able to score a couple of takedowns in the fight. A knockdown in the third round may have been the difference for Nemkov, who earned three points for the decision win and a place in the PFL playoffs.
Ali Isaev (6-0) muscled his way to a win over Carl Seumanutafa (12-11), using his superior grappling to bully Seumanutafa on the mat and against the cage. While Seumanutafa did attempt throw up a submission from bottom position, Isaev shrugged it off and went up early on the scorecards with ground-and-pound. Seumanutafa never seemed to get out of the gates and the striking deficit only grew wider in rounds two and three.
Despite Isaev going into cruise control in the final frame, the judges rewarded him with a unanimous decision win, giving him three points and six in total on the season, enough to advance to the postseason.
For heavyweights Valdrin Istrefi and Muhammed DeReese, it was win or go home, and DeReese (8-1) decided he wasn’t going anywhere. He caught Istrefi (13-4) with an overhand right that immediately put Istrefi on his back and then pounced with ground-and-pound to earn a first-round stoppage. That gave DeReese six points and a spot in the PFL playoffs.
In a bout described as a “New Fighter Showcase,” Umar Nurmagomedov (cousin of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov) was successful in his second PFL fight, exhibiting an efficient kicking game and his family’s trademark wrestling to improve to 11-0 with a unanimous decision win over Sidemar Honorio (13-7).
Nurmagomedov competes at 135 pounds, a division that the PFL does not currently feature, but he stands to be a major player should the league introduce a bantamweight roster.
The heavyweight and light heavyweight finalists will be determined on Oct. 31 in Las Vegas.
Complete PFL 6 results can be found here.
The playoff seedings for the heavyweight and light heavyweight season can be seen below.
- *Denis Goltsov — 11 points
- *Muhammed DeReese — 6 points
- *Alex Nicholson — 6 points
- *Kelvin Tiller — 6 points
- *Ali Isaev — 6 points
- *Francimar Barroso — 6 points
- *Jared Rosholt — 3 points
- *Satoshi Ishii — 3 points
- e-Ante Delija — 3 points
- e-Carl Seumanutafa — 0 points
- e-Valdrin Istrefi — 0 points
- e-Zeke Tuinei-Wily — 0 points
- e-Ben Edwards — 0 points
- *Emiliano Sordi — 11 points
- *Maxim Grishin — 9 points
- *Vinny Magalhaes — 6 points
- *Bozigit Ataev — 6 points
- *Viktor Nemkov — 6 points
- *Rashid Yusupov — 3 points
- *Jordan Johnson — 3 points
- *Sigi Pesaleli — 3 points
- e-Dan Spohn — 3 points
- e-Rakim Cleveland — 0 points
- e-Mikhail Mokhnatkin — 0 points
- **Ronny Markes — 0 points
* clinched playoff berth
e- eliminated from playoff contention
**Ronny Markes was disqualified from league competition after missing weight for a second time