Kayla Harrison embarks on free agency with second consecutive million dollar title – .

Kayla Harrison embarks on free agency with second consecutive million dollar title – .

Kayla Harrison is having her second straight million dollar year.

On Wednesday, the two-time Olympic judo champion crossed Taylor Guardado to win the 2021 PFL Women’s Lightweight Tournament in the Promotion Season Finals at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The performance gave Harrison his second straight PFL tournament title and his second million dollar grand prize.

Much like she has been throughout her MMA career, Harrison (12-0) was a dominant and overwhelming force against Guardado (3-2). She controlled the opening frame with a pair of indents and a devastating ground-pound from the top position, then duplicated the feat in the second round, scoring an effortless pullout along the fence before moving on to the mount. complete. Guardado fought back the best she could, but the action was one-sided as Harrison bided his time then rushed into the end-of-fight armband submission.

Guardado had no choice but to tap at 4:00 am of the third set.

With the win, Harrison instantly becomes one of the most intriguing MMA free agents in recent memory, as Wednesday marked the final bout of his PFL contract.

“I just feel a lot more grateful [than last season] Harrison said. “Much more gratitude. I realized that nothing in this world is given. You have to win it all. And I am very lucky and very lucky to be working hard every day.

Harrison’s victory made the headlines of a night of champions that saw six total tournament winners crowned – and six more million dollar checks distributed.

In the main co-event of the night – a battle between the PFL Season 1 and Season 2 welterweight winners – Ray Cooper III (24-7-1) did not lose his chance for revenge. Faced with a second shot at the man who beat him in the 2018 PFL season finale, the 28-year-old found the strength to make a hellish comeback in the third round and win his second league title. consecutive tournament with a knockout against Magomed. Magomedkerimov (29-6).

Magomedkerimov and Cooper traded swings to start the fight, with the Russian winning the first round through a withdrawal and superior control, and Cooper returning the favor in the second round. with a stiff one-two then swarmed with punches and knees in the clinch that put the Hawaiian on wobbly legs.

Sensing that the end might be nigh, Magomedkerimov continued to strike with long punches – only to be met by a Hell right hand by Cooper.

The official stop time was 3:02 of the third round.

Cooper is now not only a two-time tournament champion, he’s also the only fighter to have made three consecutive PFL Finals. And he did it on the final fight of his PFL contract, according to Ariel Helwani de MMA Fighting.

“I know I’m the best,” Cooper said. “I’m going to take out the UFC champion, the Bellator champion. We should go out and unify the belts. Put me against anyone, I’ll take them all out.

The heavyweights may have been a rematch for a fight won by Bruno Cappelozza (14-5) in 46 seconds in March, but Wednesday’s final was anything but easy. In a roller coaster case, Cappelozza and Ante Delija (19-5) combined for 12 minutes of absolute hell before running out of steam and settling into a chore for the second half of the match.

In the end, Cappelozza beat Delija again, this time by unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 48-46).

The first two laps were one of the craziest heavyweight actions the sport has seen all year, as Cappelozza burst out of the gates, drop Delija with a hard punch, then l ‘clubbed with full blows in an effort to score another first round. stop. Cappelozza edged Delija by a ridiculous 88-5 margin in the opening frame, but Delija miraculously survived the assault and reversed the momentum in the second round by taking down Cappelozza with a flurry and almost finishing him with a bunch of hard-and-grind soil. Incredibly, Cappelozza managed to keep his cool long enough to reverse the stance and finish the stanza locked on Delija’s back with the two hooks.

The heavyweights answered the call again in Round 3 with another explosion of fierce punches in the opening streaks of the round, but that latest offensive blast drained all the gas. remaining in their tanks, as the latter half of the fight mostly featured a cage. unhooked and blocked action of the two exhausted warriors.

“I sacrificed a lot, I put all my heart into it,” said Cappelozza moved and bruised through tears and a translator. “And we are world champions.

It might not have been pretty, but Dagestan featherweight Movlid Khaybulaev (19-0-1) did what he had to do to stay undefeated in a crushing case against UFC veteran Chris Wade ( 20-7).

Khaybulaev controlled almost every second of the fight with his knockouts and setbacks, as he essentially set up base camp on Wade’s back over several rounds and spent long stretches of action looking for chokes in the back. Wade valiantly defended Khaybulaev’s many attempts at submission, but the game plan turned out to be a cheat code the American was unable to stop, as Khaybulaev swept the withdrawal battle by an unbalanced margin of 9-0 and the three judges scored the contest 50-45 in favor of Khaybulaev.

Subsequently, the tournament winner, 31, credited Khabib Nurmagomedov and the late father of former UFC champion Abdulmanap with his winning run at the PFL.

“I am not fighting for the money, I am fighting for the inheritance,” Khaybulaev said through a translator. “Losing was not an option. This is the only possible way out. The coach, the coach – Abdulmanap – is not with us, but he is proud. He sees us. The only way is to become the champion, to be the best, and we carry his legacy. “

Antonio Carlos Junior (13-5) made an unforgettable turnaround. After starting 2021 on a negative note by getting his UFC running papers after three straight losses, ‘Shoeface’ ended the year ready to deposit a $ 1 million check into his bank account following his first round victory over Marthin. Hamlet (8-3) in the PFL light heavyweight final.

The former UFC middleweight wasted little time on Wednesday as he deftly took over Hamlet’s back in a first grappling rally, locked in a standing body triangle, then slid into the back choke naked at the end of the fight at 3:49 of the first round to complete a PFL race that saw the Brazilian overtake Tom Lawlor, Vinny Magalhaes, Emiliano Sordi and Hamlet successively, even though Magalhães’ fight ended in a draw .

“It’s my best position actually. I love being in charge, ”said Carlos Junior. “Once I’m there it’s pretty hard to escape, so I just waited for the right moment. “

In the championship list opener, lightweight Raush Manfio (15-3) closed his season of turmoil with one final gem by beating double finalist and No. 1 seed Loik Radzhabov (15-4- 1) in a two-way war of attrition to win a million dollar grand prize.

A training partner of two-time PFL lightweight champion Natan Schulte, Manfio started his fairytale run in 2021 as a tournament substitute, then picked up victories over Joilton Lutterbach, Anthony Pettis and Clay Collard to secure his ticket to the final. Against Radzhabov, he left every ounce of effort possible inside the cage, hitting the head leg of his Tajik foe with an endless procession of low kicks, marching forward with non-pressure. stop and narrowly overtaking Radzhabov by a margin of 112-106 in total strikes.

Radzhabov’s leading leg looked compromised at the end of the second lap, but lap 4 was Manfio’s best lap as he knocked Radzhabov down and crushed him with repeated knees from the clinch. Radzhabov had two eliminations in the bout and tried to respond with as much offense as he could, but eventually the three judges saw the contest for Manfio (48-46, 48-46, 49-46), giving at ATT his third PFL lightweight tournament title.

“Dude, this is a dream come true,” Manfio said as he and Schulte celebrated together inside the cage. “Hey Natan, now I have a belt like you bro. “

The full results of the 2021 PFL World Championship are available below.

Main card

  • Kayla Harrison beat. Taylor Guardado via submission (armband) at 4:00 of Round 2
  • Ray Cooper III has def. Magomed Magomedkerimov via KO (punch) at 3:02 of Round 3 to win the PFL welterweight tournament
  • Abigail Montes beat. Claressa Shields by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Bruno Cappelozza beat. Ante Delija via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 48-46) to win the PFL heavyweight tournament
  • Movlid Khaybulaev defeated. Chris Wade by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) to win the PFL featherweight tournament

Preliminary map

  • Antonio Carlos Junior beat. Marthin Hamlet via submission (bare back choke) at 3:49 of the first round to win the PFL light heavyweight tournament
  • Raush Manfio defeated Loik Radzhabov by unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 49-46) to win the PFL lightweight tournament
  • Jordan Young beat. Omari Akhmedov via TKO (punches) at 1:32 of Round 3
  • Julia Budd def. Kaitlin Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Don Madge def. Nathan Williams via Submission (Naked Rear Choke) at 2:15 Round 2


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