PFL 4 live results and analysis
The mid-season hiatus has ended and the Professional Fighters League is back in action as the welterweight and women’s lightweight divisions enter their second round of fights at PFL 4, in Atlantic City, NJ.
The eight-fight card, which will air on ESPN+ (5:30 p.m. ET) and ESPN2 (8:30 p.m. ET), underwent some last-minute changes after Wednesday’s weigh-ins. After failing to make weight for a second time, Zane Kamaka was dropped from the welterweight division. His scheuled opponent, Andre Fialho, received an automatic three points. Joao Zeferino, who qualified for the playoffs of the first season of the PFL as the No. 2 seed, only to have to withdraw due to injury — but he’s back in action in 2019, replacing Gamzat Khiramagomedov. Zeferino will fight Bojan Velickovic, who was originally scheduled to be his first-round opponent in the playoffs in 2018.
In the women’s lightweight division, Roberta Samad failed to make weight, giving current women’s lightweight No. 1 seed Sarah Kaufman an automatic three points, pushing her total to nine.
Myron Medcalf will be recapping the action throughout the night as the playoff brackets in two divisions are set.
Larissa Pacheco (6 points) def. Bobbi Jo Dalziel (3 points) (armbar submission) (women’s lightweight)
Fights like this are why the PFL put together a collection of some of the most fascinating rules and structure in MMA. The league wanted its fighters to reach this stage, with a playoff spot and another step toward $1 million on the line — fighting with urgency and passion. That’s what Larissa Pacheco, who is just 24, did when she sealed a first-round finish via armbar against Bobbi Jo Dalziel, who suffered her first professional MMA loss.
Dalziel had a significant height and reach advantage, and the elite kickboxer’s leg kicks controlled the action in her PFL 1 win over Genah Fabian. But Pacheco didn’t give Dalziel a chance to use those tools, because she secured an early takedown and never allowed Dalziel to get to her feet. Pacheco established full mount position after softening Dalziel up with punches early — and then she went for the arm bar. At 2:31 of the first round, that resulted in six points and a playoff spot for Pacheco, who gave Kayla Harrison trouble in their PFL 1 bout after taking the fight on short notice. Pacheco is a sleeper in this division.
Genah Fabian (6 points) def. Moriel Charneski (0 points) via first-round TKO (punches) (women’s lightweight)
Genah Fabian entered her bout against Moriel Charneski knowing she needed a first-round stoppage (before the 2:21 mark) to secure a spot in the women’s lightweight playoffs of the PFL. She fought with a sense of urgency, and ultimately dropped Charneski with a crisp, heavy left hand. Fabian followed Charneski down and finished the fight with a ground-and-pound attack that forced a referee stoppage at 1:42 into the first round.
Fabian is a former Muay Thai world champion, but she’s still new to the MMA scene. She showed a lot of heart, pushing through a broken nose against Bobbi Jo Dalziel at PFL 1 in a decision loss. Against Charneski, she showed poise and immediately dictated the action in the fight by avoiding a Charneski takedown. The heavy left punch she used to secure the win is a weapon she could use to shock the world now that she’s in the playoffs. It’s clear to the eye that Fabian is rapidly improving.
Still to come:
Welterweight: Handesson Ferreira (3 points) vs. David Michaud (0 points)
Welterweight: Sadibou Sy (6 points) vs. Glaico Franca (6 points)
Welterweight: Joao Zeferino (0 points) vs. Bojan Velickovic (0 points)
Welterweight: Ray Cooper III (5 points) vs. John Howard (0 points)
Women’s lightweight: Kayla Harrison (3 points) vs. Morgan Frier (0 points)
Welterweight: Magomed Magomedkerimov (6 points) vs. Chris Curtis (4 points)
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