After a dominant promotional debut back in April, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title challenger Rory MacDonald looks to seal a spot in the Professional Fighters League (PFL) Welterweight playoffs tonight (Thurs., June 16, 2021) against fellow Octagon veteran Gleison Tibau.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE coverage of the PFL 5 main card below, which begins at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. We’ll also provide quick results for the “Prelims” undercard on ESPN+, which will start streaming at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The card, which exclusively features Welterweights and Light Heavyweights, will also see PFL favorite Ray Cooper III square off with Russian standout Nikolai Aleksakhin in the co-feature. “Bradda Boy” is sitting pretty at six points, while Aleksakhin is still looking to get on the board after his promotional debut ended via eye poke.
Natan Schulte: Accepting PFL 4 fight vs. friend Raush Manfio 'a very tough decision'
finds himself in a bit of a quandary heading into his second PFL bout of the season. Originally scheduled to face Mikhail Odintsov at 2021 PFL 4 on Thursday, Schulte (20-4-1) now will meet American Top Team teammate and good friend (12-3) instead. Not only is Schulte…Originally scheduled to face Mikhail Odintsov at 2021 PFL 4 on Thursday, Schulte (20-4-1) now will meet American Top Team teammate and good friend Raush Manfio (12-3) instead.
Up at 205 pounds, former tournament champion Emiliano Sordi takes on Dan Spohn, while long-time Octagon veterans Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira and Chris Camozzi collide in the opening bout on ESPN2.
The undercard features several notable names, most notably a battle of top-tier grapplers between The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) alums Antonio Carlos Junior and Vinny Magalhaes.
PFL 5 QUICK RESULTS:
Rory MacDonald vs. Gleison Tibau
Ray Cooper III vs. Nikolai Aleksakhin — Cooper def. Aleksakhin by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Emiliano Sordi vs. Dan Spohn — Unanimous draw (28-28 x3)
Cezar Ferreira vs. Chris Camozzi — Camozzi def. Ferreira by unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 29-27)
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Vinny Magalhaes — No Contest (low blow) at 2:45 of Round One
Bubba Jenkins exudes confidence after upset of Lance Palmer: 'Bobby Moffett's in trouble' at PFL 4
took out the reigning PFL featherweight champion right off the bat, and he plans on riding that momentum to the top. Jenkins (15-4) defeated two-time champ Lance Palmer in April at PFL 1, handing him his first loss in over four years. He meets at 2021 PFL 4…Jenkins (15-4) defeated two-time champ Lance Palmer in April at PFL 1, handing him his first loss in over four years. He meets Bobby Moffett at 2021 PFL 4 on Thursday at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. The main card airs on ESPN2 following prelims on ESPN+.
Marthin Hamlet Nielsen vs. Cory Hendricks — Hendricks def. Nielsen by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:09 of Round Three
Joao Zeferino vs. Jason Ponet — Zeferino def. Ponet by submission (arm triangle choke) at 2:16 of Round Two
Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Curtis Millender — Magomedkerimov def. Millender by submission (Ezekiel choke) at 1:57 of Round One
Tom Lawlor vs. Jordan Young — Lawlor def. Young by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Sadibou Sy vs. Alexey Kunchenko — Kunchenko def. Sy by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
PFL 5 ROUND-BY-ROUND COVERAGE:
170 lbs.: Rory MacDonald vs. Gleison Tibau
170 lbs.: Ray Cooper III vs. Nikolai Aleksakhin
Round one: 1-2 from Aleksakhin, who eats a counter right. Check hook from Cooper, eats a right hand and knee before shooting in. Hip toss attempt from Aleksakhin, then back to slugging. One minute in. Cooper shoots in once again. Aleksakhin defending on the fence. Inside trip attempt two minutes in. Aleksakhin separates, walks into a check hook. Cooper left hook into a level change. Both sling rights on the break with two minutes to go.
2021 PFL 5: Make your predictions for Rory MacDonald vs. Gleison Tibau
We want your predictions for Thursday's 2021 PFL 5 event in Atlantic City, N.J. Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMA Junkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we'll use the official tallies that are registered by Tuesda y at noon ET (9 a.m. PT). Those MMA Junkie reader consensus picks will be part of the 2021 PFL 5 main card staff predictions we release Wednesday ahead of the event. 2021 PFL 5 takes place Thursday at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. The main card airs on ESPN2 following prelims on ESPN+.
Stiff jab from Cooper. He slings some big hooks. Aleksakhin cracks him with a right hand and absorbs a flurry before having to fight another takedown. He does so and separates. Good right hand from Aleksakhin, then a two-piece. Cooper cracks him with an overhand on the break. 10-9 Cooper.
Round two: Back to trading potshots at range. Hard left hook by Cooper. Knee from Aleksakhin. Trading kicks a minute in. Aleksakhin low kick and left hook. Jab connects as he circles. Cooper with a jab of his own. Good pivot by Aleksakhin, eats a pair of jabs and a right cross. Big combo from Aleksakhin two minutes in. Spinning back fist met by a heavy Cooper left hook. Great back-and-forth so far. Aleksakhin just misses with a knee. Hard 1-2 from Cooper. Two minutes to go.
Aleksakhin ties up and puts him on the fence. Cooper reverses, bangs the body, looks to change levels. One minute to go. Cooper drags him to his knees for a moment. Knees to the thigh. 10-9 Cooper.
Round three: Trading kicks to start, Aleksakhin follows up with a jab. He tries a jumping knee and stuffs a level change. Cooper lead right near the fence. Heavy knees by Aleksakhin in the Thai clinch, which get him slammed to the mat a minute in. Aleksakhin gets to his knees and slowly tries to work his way up. Unable to do so two minutes in. Aleksakhin still unable to dislodge him with two minutes to go.
Complete coverage of PFL 5, including streaming play-by-play updates, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and featuring a clash between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veterans Rory MacDonald and Gleison Tibau.MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE coverage of the PFL 5 main card below, which begins at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. We’ll also provide quick results for the “Prelims” undercard on ESPN+, which will start streaming at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Now Aleksakhin makes it to his feet and turns to face him, having to fight off a re-shoot. He tries a head kick on the break. 1-2 connects, spinning back fist does not. Aleksakhin shoots in the final seconds. 10-9 Cooper.
Final result: Cooper def. Aleksakhin by unanimous decision
205 lbs.: Emiliano Sordi vs. Dan Spohn
Round one: Low kick lands for Spohn after taking a right hand. They clash heads, and as Sordi complains to the ref, Spohn grabs a body lock and dumps him to the mat. Immediate back take, hunting the choke. Nice survival by Sordi a minute in and he slips out the back door to land on top in half guard. Punches and hammerfists from Sordi. Front headlock, punches from turtle. Spohn trying to roll free, keeps eating shots two minutes in. Back to half guard. Spohn tries to turn in for deep half guard, complaining about shots to the back of the head. Brief d’arce attempts from Sordi. Two minutes to go.
Spohn tries to turn for a takedown attempt and Sordi uses it to take the back, landing more heavy shots. Continuing to pound. The referee pauses the fight to take a point from Sordi for shots to the back of the head, then restarts the fight on the feet. Big overhand right from Sordi, shoots, denied. Spohn with a right hook, avoids a wheel kick. 9-8 Sordi with the point deduction.
Round two: Spohn answers a body kick with counters. 1-2 by Sordi as their heads collide. 1-2-2 lands for Spohn. One minute in. Right hand, head kick, right hand from Sordi. Spohn changes levels in response. Sordi avoids it and clips him with a right hook. Spohn not looking super steady but manages to slug his way back into the fight. Great slugfest, which Sordi ends by taking him down against the fence. Spohn sweeps his way into top position and looks for the back. Two minutes to go,
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Sordi tries a slam, slips out the back door into half guard. Spohn turns into top position with a minute to go and he cut Sordi open at some point. Sordi works his way to all fours, rolls for a leg. 10-9 Sordi.
Round three: Spohn looks for left hands, lands a leg kick. Good counter right. Body kick, low kick. Both looking tired at this point. Good counters from Spohn after avoiding an overhand. Sordi uppercut, Spohn body shot. One minute to go. Sordi takes a low blow. He tosses out some kicks after things restart. Spohn left hands, Sordi body kick. Another clash of heads that Spohn apologizes for. Good left hand two minutes in. Sordi with a right uppercut. Spohn sends out a 3-2, then a counter right. Another counter that catches Sordi coming in and they trade. Two minutes to go.
Spohn catches a body kick, can’t establish on the ground. He catches another one and kicks the other leg. Right hand from Sordi. Warning for outstretched fingers. Good left from Spohn. One minute to go. Sordi straight right. Spohn counter right. They trade in the clinch. Overhand left by Spohn. Sordi marches forward with a combo. Sordi shoots, loses it, re-shoots, still can’t get it. 10-9 Spohn.
Final result: Unanimous draw
205 lbs.: Cezar Ferreira vs. Chris Camozzi
Round one: Hard leg kick from Ferreira to start. Camozzicomes back with a combination, tries to press forward. Trading potshots at range. Ferreira follows a calf kick with a takedown into half guard a minute in. Nice pass to the back, but Camozzi manages to tie him back up in half guard. Full guard two minutes in. Not much GnP from Ferreira as he focuses on position. Now some left hands. Two minutes to go.
3 reasons to watch PFL 6
There are many reasons to watch PFL 6, but these are three of the biggest. PFL 6 is upon us and the show has a lot of interesting storylines for fans to check out. For instance, the crowded scene in the Women's Lightweight Tournament rankings. There are three women tied with three points, an d none of them are facing one another at PFL 6, meaning there could be some really crazy nonsense going on with the standings. Then of course there's the fact the heavyweights are going to see Denis Goltsov and Bruno Cappelozza both compete on the card. Both men are the current point leaders for their division and both are coming off of KO/TKO finishes.
Half guard for Ferreira. Camozzi turns to his knees with a minute to go and gets caught in a front headlock. Knees to the shoulder from Ferreira, tries a head kick on the way up. Camozzi sprints after him, landing rights until the bell. 10-9 Ferreira.
Round two: Camozzi looking more aggressive early, sending out his hands. Stiff jab by Ferreira. More punches from Camozzi to answer a body kick, nice timing on the underhooks to stuff a shot a minute in. Camozzi showing some good pressure. Good left hands and down goes Ferreira. Camozzi follows him down into guard, landing left hands until Ferreira ties him up. Short half guard shots two minutes in. Decent punches by Camozzi as Ferreira tries to keep him close. Two minutes to go.
More solid punches. One minute to go. Ferreira briefly considers an armbar, keeps eating blows. 10-8 Camozzi.
Round three: Camozzi continues to stalk forward, forces Ferreira to his back with a guillotine attempt as he stuffs a takedown. Back on top in guard. Ferreira kicks him away and stands, eating a body shot in the process. Hard left hand by Ferreira, eats an uppercut in return a minute in. Hard body shot from Camozzi. Nice combo into a level change, denied. Ferreira lands a knee on the break and whiffs on a head kick. He tries to time a leg kick for a shot, ends up on his back in half guard. Two minutes to go.
Ferreira frames and stands. Another body shot from Camozzi, good low kicks in combination. Another combo to answer a jab, then another leg kick. One minute to go. Camozzi still pressing forward. Ferreira winds up for a body shot and ties up. He shoots, denied. Ferreira to the body, stings Camozzi with an overhand left in the waning seconds. 10-9 Camozzi.
Final result: Camozzi def. Ferreira by unanimous decision
For more on PFL and its ongoing season, click here.
Kayla Harrison gets nasty first-round armbar finish over Cindy Dandois at PFL 6 (Video) .
Kayla Harrison got the submission win over Cindy Dandois at PFL 6. The 2021 PFL regular season wrapped up with the reigning women's lightweight champion Kayla Harrison earning some momentum heading into the playoffs with a submission win over Cindy Dandois. The fight opened up with both f ighters feeling each other out on the feet before Harrison secured the takedown a couple of minutes into the first round. Despite multiple attempts from Dandois to transition out of the bottom position, Harrison seemed completely in control and in top mount for a majority of the round.