Four fighters advanced for a chance to compete for million-dollar checks in New York on Dec. 31, as Lance Palmer, Steven Siler, Philipe Lins and Josh Copeland made it to the PFL featherweight and heavyweight playoffs with wins at the PFL 8 show Friday night in New Orleans.
The first fighter to guarantee a spot in the featherweight final was Lance Palmer. The former WSOF champion got past Max Coga via decision in a 10-minute quarterfinal bout. On the other side of the bracket, Andre Harrison improved to 20-0 in MMA with a win over Alexandre Bezerra.
Palmer vs. Harrison, a rematch of a 2017 WSOF fight, crowned Palmer the PFL finalist. With a very methodical and strategical performance, the featherweight handed Harrison his first MMA loss after taking his back and controlling the action in rounds two and three to win via unanimous decision.
“I said all along that in the first fight I only had one had to grapple with after breaking it early on,” Palmer said after the win. “Everyone saw tonight what I can do when I’m fully healthy. And now it is time for the final and I always expected to be in the final. I can’t wait until December.”
Another rematch will wait for Palmer in the playoff final, as Steven Siler advanced in one of the most controversial ways possible. In the quarterfinal bout, Siler got past Nazareno Malegarie after a draw, earning the semifinal spot due to tie-break rules, winning the first round.
The UFC veteran met former WSOF champion Alexandre Almeida in the semifinal, eating an illegal upkick in the second round. Siler couldn’t continue, and the Brazilian was disqualified. Siler now meets Palmer in a rematch of his PFL debut, when he lost a decision in Nov. 2017.
In the heavyweight division, Philipe Lins earned his spot in the million-dollar final with a pair of impressive finishes in New Orleans. First, Lins stopped fellow Brazilian and teammate Caio Alencar in just 58 seconds. Matched-up against Jared Rosholt — who avenged a loss to Kelvin Tiller earlier tonight — in the semifinal, Lins came back from a rough start to win via TKO at the 0:45 mark of the second round.
Lins’ opponent on Dec. 31 will be Josh Copeland, who came in as the No. 8 seed in the heavyweight playoffs against No. 1 Francimar Barroso in the quarterfinal, advancing with the tie-breaker after a draw.
“Cuddly Bear” met Alex Nicholson in the semifinal bout and suffered a cut over his right eye. Nicholson went for the kill after his opponent appeared to be hurt, but Copeland responded with a vicious right hand that knocked him out cold in spectacular fashion.
Click here for complete PFL 8 results.