The PFL returned for week 5 at the Nassau Coliseum last night with an action-packed card that kicked off the elimination rounds for the lightweight and light heavyweight divisions.
In the main event of PFL 5, Natan Shulte grabbed 6 points and secured his playoff spot by eliminating Jason High with a nasty rear-naked choke late in the first round.
“It was a very tough fight,” Schulte said afterward. “I admire Jason a lot. I’ve had him as a training partner.”
While High is eliminated from the competition, he took his loss like a man and didn’t throw a fit like he did when he was submitted by Efrain Escudero at PFL 2. Instead, when he came to, he pulled referee Dan Miragliotta into a clinch and fired off a knee, with Miragliotta just smiling at the waking fighter.
In the co-main event, Vinny Magalhaes made light work of former Bellator middleweight champ Brandon Halsey and secured his spot in the playoffs with a TKO early in the first round. Halsey started the fight as the aggressor, throwing bombs and scoring an early-round takedown. He continued throwing big shots and was able to land one last good one before Magalhaes countered with a high kick that dropped him to the mat. From there, that’s all she wrote. Magalhaes swarmed in and just kept firing shots until he got the stoppage.
His win at PFL 5 puts Magalhaes at the top of the light heavyweight playoff field with 12 points and he is confident he will be the one million dollar man.
“It feels good to be the number one seed and I’m ready to show everyone I’m the guy who is going to win it all.”
Another former Bellator champion, Will Brooks, made it into the playoffs with a unanimous decision victory over Robert Watley. Brooks made it clear that his game plan was to grab Watley and pressure him against the cage for 15 minutes, and he did just that. Watley did his best to hold off Brooks, even managing to escape a rear-naked choke in Round 2 to stay alive, but Watley was unable to put anything together or stop Brooks from smothering him the entire fight.
Brooks win didn’t go over well with fans, as they booed him after the fight. He addressed this post-fight.
“I told everyone when I signed up for this I was coming for that $1 million,” Brooks said. “I’m not playing around in here, I hear them boo but they don’t bother me at all. I have two kids now and that is a lot of diapers to buy. I dominated him the entire fight and it’s just the next step to me winning this whole thing.”
Maxim Grishin added his own highlight reel to the PFL 5 main card with his second round submission win over Rakim Cleveland. Grishin clearly outmatched Cleveland in every aspect of the fight, going 2 for 3 with takedowns, and outstriking him big time, landing 39 of 52 strikes to Cleveland’s 7 of 17. Grishin’s win gives him a combined 11 points and the number 2 spot in the light heavyweight standings. Cleveland is still in contention, but his loss drops him to 5th in the standings.
Rashid Magomedov clinched a playoff spot in his first PFL fight by picking apart Luiz Firmino for three rounds. Aside from Firmino trying to deploy his ground game early in the first, the majority of the fight was kept standing. Although he put up a good fight, Firmino was no match for Magomedov’s superior striking and lost the decision, ending his 2018 tournament run.
PFL 6 will take place on August 16, 2018, at the Ocean Resort Casinoin Atlantic City, NJ. For the full fight card and ticket information, click here.