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PFL 11: The six million dollar champions

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) wrapped up the playoffs to their first season with six new champions and six new millionaires yesterday at PFL 11 in New York’s Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

Philippe Lins (14-3-0) overcame the toughness of Josh Copeland (18-6-1) en route to a fourth round TKO victory in the heavyweight finals.

Former UFC light heavyweight Sean O’Connell (23-10-0) earned a fourth round TKO win over another former UFC fighter Vinny Magalhaes after ¬†Magalhaes could not continue after the fourth round. O’Connell retired after the bout with the PFL light heavyweight belt and a cool $1 million USD prize.

Louis Taylor wasted no time in ending Abusupiyan Magomedov’s hopes for the belt, forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to halt the bout at 33 seconds of the first frame due to punches. Taylor, 39, who previously competed in Strikeforce, Bellator and was released by the UFC before even stepping foot in the octagon, is now the PFL middleweight champion.

In the welterweight finals, Magomed Magomedkerimov (23-5-0) submitted Ray Cooper III (17-5-0) with a guillotine choke at 2:18 in the second frame to become the PFL’s 170-pound king.

Brazilian Natan Schulte (15-3-1) decisioned Rashid Magomedov (22-3-1) to take the lightweight crown.

Lance Palmer is the PFL’s 145-pound champion after taking a unanimous decision from Steven Siler (32-18-1)

In the special event, undefeated women’s lightweight and 2-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison (3-0-0) easily stopped Moriel Charneski (3-5-0), using punches from the back mount to earn a 3:39 first round TKO victory. Harrison used her judo to get the fight to the ground and back to the ground, when Charneski provided some early resistance.

It will be interesting to see who can provide some competition for Harrison in 2019. The 155-pound talent pool is limited, but fans on social media have clamoured for Harrison to match up with Brazilian Gabi Garcia, who earned a quick and impressive submission win over Barbara Nepomuceno at Rizin FF 14.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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