PFL’s 2018 season opener has just wrapped up with Andre Harrison dominating Tuerxun Jumabieke in both the grappling and the standup for three rounds straight, earning a unanimous decision and posting up 3 points on the season. The co-main event slot witnessed Lance Palmer earn 5 points by materializing a second round submission of Bekbulat Magomedov. In the featherweight division, Timur Valiev scored 3 points with his unanimous decision victory over Max Coga. Opening up the main card, Alex Nicholson pulled out a slick flying knee knockout on Jake Heun, earning himself five points on the season.
In the lone postlim bout, Jack May picked up six points by stopping Josh Copeland in the first round with a body kick. Closing out the prelims, Jared Rosholt won a unanimous decision over Valdrin Istrefi to get on the board with three points. Nazareno Malegarie won a hard fought split decision over Marcos Galvao, even earning a 30-27 on one of the scorecards to post 3 points on the season. Earning himself six points on the season, Kelvin Tiller landed a right hand of death, knocking out Caio Alencar in the opening round.
Also in the six-point club, Steven Siler overcame some serious adversity to score a first round submission of Magomed Idrisov. Also walking away with six points, Alexandre de Almeida realized a first round armbar on Lee Coville, forcing the tap in less than 90 seconds into the fight. Opening up the event, Francimar Barroso picked up six points on the season with his first round TKO of Daniel Gallemore.
Andre Harrison def. Tuerxun Jumabieke by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26): Featherweight
Harrison landed a heavy leg kick that dropped Tuerxun right away, then quickly jumped on his downed opponent. Harrison opted to allow Tuerxun to stand back up, just to get taken right back down. A couple of ground strikes landed for Harrison, but nothing to devastating before time expired.
The kicking game was again there in the second round for Harrison, as he landed to the leg and to thew head. Tuerxun shot in with a poor attempt, ending up on the bottom, but Harrison again opted to stand back up. Harrison started connecting with big punching combos, which led to top position once again. Tuerxun really had nothing for Harrison on the ground, or on the feet for that matter.
The final round saw Harrison come out patient, landing several clean punches and finishing with the leg kick. About two minutes into the round, Harrison blasted a takedown and began working from the top. Tuerxun was unable to make it back to his feet, until Harrison allowed him to do so with 30 seconds left. Nothing substantial happened in the closing moments of the fight, but Harrison won a relatively easy decision.
Lance Palmer def. Bekbulat Magomedov by submission (RNC) at 3:21 of round 2: Featherweight
Palmer came forward behind some power strikes, forcing Magomedov to shoot in. The takedown just wasn’t there for Magomedov, as Palmer continued to thwart whatever attempt came his way. Palmer flipped the script and scored a trip takedown with about 90 seconds remaining in the round, and pretty much stayed there until the horn sounded.
Magomedov landed a hard right hand to open the second stanza. After some jockeying for position, Palmer took control of the back, sinking his hooks and immediately attacking an RNC. Magomedov defended for a little bit, but Palmer was tenacious with the attempt and Magomedov was forced to tap.
Timur Valiev def. Max Coga by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): Featherweight
Valiev started out throwing an assortment of feints, but shot in a secured a takedown in less than 90 seconds into the fight. Coga refused to be held down and scrambled back to his feet where he went at his foe with haymaker right hands, even if Valiev did a solid job of defending them.
Coga scored early in the second round, dropping Valiev with a stiff left hand in the opening minute. Valiev quickly recovered and blasted a double leg takedown, planting his opponent on the canvas where he landed several crushing blows. Coga again scrambled back to his feet, even landing a backfist off of a failed takedown attempt from Valiev.
Valiev forced a takedown early in the final frame, but Coga sprawled well. Coga dropped down for a D’arce choke, but Valiev quickly escaped and took the top position. Once again, Coga managed to return to his feet and landed a few jabs, refusing to allow Valiev to grapple with him. Valiev continued to throw, but it just seemed as if nothing he did was really hurting Coga.
This was a really competitive matchup:
Alex Nicholson def. Jake Heun by KO (Flying Knee) at :58 of round 2: Heavyweight
Heun opened the bout with a heavy leg kick before switching to his jab. Nicholson landed a good shot that opened up a cut just under the left eye of Heun. The leg kicks continued to land for Heun, which opened up the hands. Nicholson continued to press forward, but continued to get countered.
Heun returned to the leg kick in the second round, but would not get a chance to build on it. Out of nowhere, Nicholson blasted a flying knee that connected right on the button, sending Heun flying back, completely out of it. Crazy!
This was a crazy flying knee knockout, courtesy of Alex Nicholson:
Jack May def. Josh Copeland by TKO at 4:30 of round 1: Heavyweight
The big men went right at each other, winging heavyweight punches back and forth. Copeland managed to sneak his way onto the inside, where he pressed his foe up against the fence. May ended up hurting his opponent with a knee to the body, before unloading a mean flurry that bloodied up Copeland. May never let Copeland off the hook, blasting the midsection with a kick that caused Copeland to fold up. The referee prevented any further damage and called a halt to the bout in the first round.
Jared Rosholt def. Valdrin Istrefi by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 29-28): Heavyweight
Vintage Rosholt was on display here, as he executed his classic grinding style early and often. Istrefi struggled with the top pressure of his opponent, as Rosholt was content to make his foe carry his weight for the bulk of the fight. Istrefi did land a few strikes early in the final round, but still found himself on his back inside of the opening minute. Rosholt didn’t land a ton of offense on the ground, but did chip away enough to not get stood up.
This is exactly what Rosholt does:
Nazareno Malegarie def. Marcos Galvao by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2): Featherweight
The noted grapplers came looking to bang it out, with Galvao scoring with crafty counter hooks. Malegarie shot in on his opponent, but Galvao was having none of it and returned to open space. A solid uppercut to hook combo landed for Malegarie in the final minute of the round, but then both fighters whiffed haymakers for the last 10 seconds.
Malegarie landed several clever shots to start the second round, causing Galvao to bleed from the face. Just when it looked as if Malegarie was finding his groove, Galvao clipped him with a hard shot, causing him to start backing up. Malegarie hit a reactive takedown, and maintained the top position for a substantial chunk of time.
The featherweights exchanged hooks to open up the final frame, and the grapplers continued to sling leather at one another. The jab was finding a home for Malegarie as Galvao looked to set up a heavy counter. Malegarie blasted in for a takedown in the final minute, and although he didn’t get it, he was able to hold Galvao against the cage while unloading a series of body punches with the same hand.
These two grapplers were so down to sling leather:
Kelvin Tiller def. Caio Alencar by KO at 3:34 of round 1: Heavyweight
The big men exchanged leg kicks to open the first round, before Alencar closed the distance and scored a takedown. Tiller struggled with the top pressure of Alencar, and although he controlled the posture of his opponent, he was unable to get up until the referee stood them up. Right away, Tiller weaved under a right hand and uncorked a crazy overhand right of his own that completely turned out the lights for Alencar. Wow!
Look at this bodacious knockout from Kelvin Tiller:
Steven Siler def. Magomed Idrisov by submission (Triangle) at 4:19 of round 1: Featherweight
Siler pressed forward right away, but Idrisov was content to sit back and pop shot, using his opponent’s aggression against him. Idrisov dropped Siler, and followed up with some brutal ground strikes. It looked as if Siler went out and then woke back up, and the referee allowed the bout to continue. Siler returned to his feet and ate a few strikes before botching a takedown, ending up on bottom, and locking up a triangle choke to get the tap. What a crazy turn of events!
Check out Steven Siler sealing the deal with a first round triangle:
Alexandre de Almeida Lee Coville by submission (Armbar) at 1:22 of round 1: Featherweight
Coville came out firing leg kicks, but was quickly taken down to the ground by Almeida. It didn’t take very long for Almeida to isolate a limb and lock up a fight-ending submission. Coville tapped at in less than 90 seconds into the opening round.
When it’s 18-7 vs. 4-1:
Francimar Barroso def. Daniel Gallemore by TKO at 3:57 of round 1: Heavyweight
Barroso kicked his opponent in the pills to open up the bout. Gallemore started to let his hands go, letting off combos before Barroso returned fire. Barroso continued to backpedal while searching for the counter, before finally blitzing forward with a flurry that swelled up the eye of Gallemore. The referee stopped the action to bring in the doctor to take a look at the eye of Gallemore, and then the bout was quickly called off.
How about Barroso being entertaining: