PFL 3 results: Emiliano Sordi, Kelvin Tiller show out with impressive wins
UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Vinny Magalhaes was one of the most dominant fighters in the Professional Fighters League’s inaugural season last year. He generated the most submissions (three), finished tied for the most stoppages (four) and was the runner-up in the light heavyweight playoffs.
Emiliano Sordi had no respect for any of that.
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The Argentinian walked into the cage during the main event of PFL 3 of Season 2 on Thursday night and pummeled Magalhaes. He dominated the Brazilian en route to a second-round TKO before a sparse crowd at NYCB Live at Nassau Coliseum and live on ESPN+.
With the win, Sordi earned five points and immediately put the light heavyweight division on notice that he’s a threat.
Sordi didn’t waste time flashing his power. He dropped Magalhaes with a thud early into the fight with a scintillating left jab-right hook combination.
Magalhaes was never quite the same after taking that shot, and Sordi kept blasting him with heavy artillery the rest of the way.
“I’m always going for the knockout – from the first second the ref tells us to go to the end of the third round,” Sordi said.
When Magalhaes held a tighter guard, Sordi dug into him with vicious uppercuts that did damage. When he got back out to the center of the cage and attempted takedowns, Sordi let his fists fly some more, adding to the punishment. When Magalhaes covered his face adequately, Sordi ripped his body with unforgiving shots.
While a game Magalhaes kept trying to fight back, Sordi’s onslaught was too much to overcome. With Magalhaes reeling up against the cage and Sordi pouring on the pain, referee Dan Miragliotta had seen enough and stopped the action.
Sordi’s dominance punctuated PFL 3 and the completion of the first round of Season 2. The second round will be held in Atlantic City, N.J., beginning with PFL 4 on July 11.
Here’s how the entire PFL 3 card went.
Kelvin Tiller makes Muhammed DeReese tap in first round (kimura) to collect six points; heavyweights
Tiller caught DeReese in a kimura and yanked back on his arm as DeReese writhed in pain. DeReese tried to roll his way out of the submission hold a couple of times, but Tiller rolled right with him. He kept the kimura cinched in until DeReese simply couldn’t take it anymore.
“The Mama’s Boy” was joined in the cage by his mother afterward, and the two celebrated the big win.
“I studied him a lot. I knew my wrestling, jiu-jitsu and striking were better than his, but I also knew he’d be tough as hell,” Tiller said of DeReese in the cage following his win. “I broke my orbital bone and couldn’t train for a full month. I’m just happy to be here.
“I’m going to make this $1 million this year,” he said during the postfight press conference, adding without hesitation that he’s going to set aside some of the money to pay off his child support if he wins it all this season.
Satoshi Ishii slips past Zeke Tuinei-Wily by split decision to snatch three points; heavyweights
Ishii was the more aggressive fighter in this bout. He stung Tuinei-Wily with punches in the middle of the cage and up against the fence and took him down to the mat five times. Judges narrowly scored the bout in his favor (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).
Denis Golstov devastates Jared Rosholt via first-round TKO (punches) to collect six points; heavyweights
Golstov connected on a left cross to the temple that dropped Rosholt face first in a heap, and then pounded him out with four coffin nails to get the emphatic win just 2:03 into the fight.
“He moves fast, but the fight went even faster,” Golstov said in the cage following his win. “Six points for me.”
Ali Isaev handles Valdrin Istrefi by unanimous decision to garner three points; heavyweights
Isaev speared Istrefi down to the mat in the first round before putting his wrestling background to use, grappling and grinding Istrefi the rest of the round. Isaev took Istrefi down and ground him out in each of the next two rounds as well. Although the crowd didn’t seem to appreciate it, booing the action, the Dagestani fighter’s strategy was effective.
“I finished my Ramadan fasting three days ago, so this was a rough week,” Isaev said in the cage following his 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 win. “But overall I am happy with my performance.”
Viktor Nemkov edges Rakim Cleveland via unanimous decision to grab three points; light heavyweights
A knee to the groin momentarily halted the action during the third round. Cleveland was given time to recover. Shortly after the action continued, Nemkov scored a big takedown and proceeded to grapple and grind Cleveland against the cage. When Nemkov took Cleveland down again, the American somehow managed to threaten a choke, but the Russian powered out of it and hung on for the 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 win.
Ronny Markes blasts Sigi Pesaleli by second-round TKO (punches), but Pesaleli earns three points because Markes missed weight; light heavyweights
Pesaleli, the youngest competitor (25) in the light heavyweight division, gave us a glimpse of his promise in the second when he rocked Markes with a two-piece combination and then caught a flying knee attempt to toss his Brazilian opponent down to the canvas with a thud. Seconds later, Markes managed to mount Pesaleli and take his back. He then unleashed a barrage of right and left hands to Pesaleli’s head to get the stoppage victory.
Markes was ineligible to earn points for his win, however, because he missed weight. Pesaleli was awarded three points instead. Still, Markes put the division on notice.
Rashid Yusupov gets past Mikhail Mokhnatkin via unanimous decision to gain three points; light heavyweights
As the action shifted from ESPN2 to ESPN+, the crowd at NYCB Live at Nassau Coliseum showered Mokhnatkin and Yusupov with boos for essentially feeling each other out for the first two rounds, which were low-impact. Yusupov finally gave them something to get excited about in the decisive third by dropping Mokhnatkin with a dazzling left hook.
He pounced and tried to finish the bout with some hammer fists before mounting the fellow Russian and grinding him out for the remainder of the round to get the 30-26, 30-27, 30-27 win.
Earlier results on ESPN2:
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