Kayla Harrison headlines 6 $1M PFL championship winners – ESPN


eleven:forty six PM ET

  • Tim FiorvantiESPN.com

NEW YORK — Kayla Harrison entered the 2019 Experienced Fighters League time as the encounter of the business, and finished the year with $1 million and the PFL women’s lightweight championship in hand on New Year’s Eve.

Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was a single of six fighters to get titles and $one million paydays Tuesday at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and shut the night time with her victory. Lance Palmer (featherweight) and Natan Schulte (men’s light-weight) every recurring as champions, with Emiliano Sordi (light heavyweight), Ray Cooper III (welterweight) and Ali Isaev signing up for Harrison as first-time PFL winners.

Harrison absorbed extra hurt against Larissa Pacheco than she experienced in any of her three former PFL event fights, including just one devastating knee in the third spherical, but she dominated the action for the the greater part of each of the five rounds. Judges scored the combat 50-forty three, 50-forty five and fifty-forty five.

Harrison earlier defeated Pacheco in her opening battle of the 2019 PFL time, however her disappointment at not ending the battle brought her to tears in the cage the initial time all-around.

On Tuesday, Harrison was all smiles with her 1st professional MMA title and a huge payday in hand.

“I am nonetheless a little bit upset in myself,” Harrison stated following the battle. “This time I held my composure, but I preferred to cry — mainly because I failed to complete her, my ankle harm, due to the fact Mike Tyson’s putting the belt around my waist and I just won $1 million. There ended up just so lots of feelings.”

In the penultimate combat of the evening, Cooper landed a devastating entire body shot on David Michaud and concluded him with punches on the floor, earning a 2nd-spherical TKO at 2:fifty six to gain the PFL welterweight championship. Cooper (20-7-1) was the runner-up for the PFL welterweight title in 2018.

It was an regrettable whole circle minute for Michaud (eighteen-six), who opened the year with a seventeen-2nd loss to Sadibou Sy with a equally successful kick to the torso and fought all the way back to the final.

Alex Gilpin in their 3rd struggle from just about every other in 2019. Gilpin was aggressive in the first round and even managed to get a choke from the base, but major-seeded Palmer (22-three) regained management and dominated with takedowns in each spherical. Judges scored the fight 50-43, fifty-44 and fifty-forty four.

Gilpin (14-four) was a last-minute alternative for Daniel Pineda, whose pending Nevada Condition Athletic Commission listening to concerning drug examination results immediately after a pair of playoff victories held him out of this final.

Palmer credited his wrestling track record for location him up for achievement in the PFL structure.

“It truly is some thing not most people can, do just heading as a result of 5 fights in a 7-month period of time,” stated Palmer. “But I truly feel like it’s some thing that I’ve been bred to do, coming from a wrestling track record, and becoming ready to grind and have 7 and 8 wrestling matches in 1 working day. Go by one hundred fifty matches in a year increasing up. That is things that is all prepared me for this.”

Schulte captured his 2nd PFL lightweight title by unanimous final decision in a limited, bodily struggle from Loik Radzhabov. Schulte (twenty-three-one), the No. one seed, outstruck Radzhabov (thirteen-two-one) by the narrow margin of one hundred twenty-117, with each fighter getting 3 takedowns. Schulte held his useful positions lengthier, and that was mirrored in the judges’ scorecards of 49-forty four, forty nine-46 and forty eight-47. Boxing legend Mike Tyson wrapped the PFL title belt all around Schulte’s waistline right after the selection was declared.

In a battle between a 3-time All-American wrestler and Olympic wrestler, Russian Olympian Isaev persevered by TKO above Jared Rosholt to earn the PFL heavyweight title.

Isaev (9-), 1 of only two undefeated fighters coming into Tuesday evening, ended the year with his pristine report intact, imposing his will for the greater part of the fight. That bundled a huge double leg takedown when Isaev lifted Rosholt (20-8) significantly increased than heavyweights typically go. In the fourth spherical, Isaev took Rosholt down yet again, and when Rosholt could not protect a flurry of punches, the ref stepped in at 4:09 and stopped the bout.

No. one-seeded gentle heavyweight Sordi was the to start with $1 million winner of the night in the PFL and capped a dominant year by earning a first-round knockout more than UFC veteran Jordan Johnson two:01 into the initial round. Right after dropping Johnson (12-two-1) with a sharp jab, Sordi stifled a transient single-leg takedown endeavor and earned the referee’s stoppage by dropping a series of major punches.

For Sordi (22-eight), who hails from Argentina, it was his fifth complete in five fights this season in the PFL — four of which arrived in the first round.

Brandon Loughnane, who will join the formal competitors in the PFL in 2020, kicked off the night’s action with a dominant unanimous final decision victory around David Alex Valente (11-five) in a featherweight showcase struggle. Loughnane (19-three), who hails from England, out struck Valente 81-15 in the fight, and fifty seven-8 in the final two rounds put together.

All six of Tuesday’s runners-up acquired $one hundred fifty,000.