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Professional Fighters League 1: Fitch vs. Foster fight card preview

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Check out the rundown for Professional Fighters League’s inaugural event this Friday, including Jon Fitch vs. Brian Foster in the main event.

PFL

The Professional Fighters League is set to host their inaugural event this Friday, at Daytona International Speedway, following the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. With the recent dismantling of the World Series of Fighting, the PFL has scooped up some recognizable names from the deceased promotion, and has put together a 4-fight card that will air live on NBCSN at 10:30 P.M. EDT this Friday night.

PFL 1 will be headlined by the WSOF’s former welterweight champion Jon Fitch, who will be facing off with one-time WSOF lightweight title challenger Brian Foster, at 170 pounds. With fist fights and fast cars, what more could you ask for?

Jon Fitch (29-7-1) vs. Brian Foster (26-9): Welterweight

Outside of 2 sub-2:00 submission losses, Jon Fitch has been a handful for his other 5 post UFC opponents, including renowned grappler Jake Shields, whom he defended his WSOF welterweight title against back in December of 2016. At 39 years of age, Fitch has proved that he still has some juice left in the tank, and his patented grinding style is still a force to be reckoned with. Will Fitch be able to “Fitch” the balls-out style of Brian Foster?

Brian Foster brings an aggressive, kill or be killed style to PFL, that makes him a dangerous opponent for anybody. Of his 27 wins, 26 of them have occurred inside of the distance, with a balanced 13 KO’s and 13 submissions. Foster is far from fearful of going out on his shield, as each of his 9 losses took place before the final bell. With having never lost a decision, Foster is facing a man in Fitch who has won 19 bouts by way of decision; could this be Foster’s first?

Ronny Markes (16-5) vs. Smealinho Rama (10-2): Light Heavyweight

Ronny Markes has been searching for consistency, as the Brazilian has gone 2-2 since his departure from the UFC, following 3-2 run with the promotion. Markes brings a smothering, grapple-heavy style that is short on wow-factor, but long on control. Having been finished in all 5 of his losses, don’t expect to see Markes on the losing end of a decision here, for better or worse. Look for Markes to try and close the distance as soon as possible, and try to avoid any amount of space at all costs. Can Markes grind out the younger Rama, and move himself back into the win column?

The 25 year old Smealinho Rama has already competed for a world title in a losing effort to heavyweight powerhouse Blagoy Ivanov at WSOF 21. Rama then decided to make the move to 205, where he he picked up a 2nd round TKO of Jake Heun at WSOF 34 this past December. With recent KO stoppages over the likes of Heun, Derrick Mehmen, and the late Tim Hague, look for Rama’s ‘thumper’ style to be well received in the light heavyweight division.

Joao Zeferino (21-8) vs. Herman Terrado (14-3-1): Welterweight

Joao Zeferino has made some waves as of late, as he made it to the WSOF lightweight tournament finals, competed against Jon Fitch for the WSOF welterweight belt, and TKO’d Jason High in his last outing at WSOF 33 this past October. Zeferino brings a brutal leg lock game with him into the cage, as we saw with his 1st round subs of Brian Foster and Jorge Patino, in the same night no less. Having won 8 out of his last 10, will Zeferino continue to pick up wins, and possibly add to the 15 submission victories already under his belt?

Herman Terrado sports a respectable 14-3-1 record, with each of his victories taking place inside the distance, with 8 KO’s and 6 subs. Terrado is a bit of a fast starter, as 12 of those 14 wins happened in the opening round. Having picked up 3-straight victories in the California regional promotion Gladiator Challenge, Terrado will be stepping back up in competition, as he will attempt to best the more experienced Zeferino. Can Terrado make a name for himself by picking up a solid win over a proven veteran?

Caros Fodor (11-5) vs. Jason High (20-6): Lightweight

Caros Fodor was last seen squaring off in a peculiar WSOF 32 brother vs. brother bout with Ben Fodor, also known as Seattle’s superhero Phoenix Jones. Fodor picked up the unanimous decision over his brother, moving the AMC Pankration product to 3-4 in his last 4 fights. Fodor does not exactly excel in one particular facet of MMA, but does have an affinity for tying everything together. Will the well-rounded approach of Fodor be enough to overcome the hyper-athleticism of Jason High?

Following his highly publicized departure from the UFC, Jason High seemed to be in top form as he scored back to back KO wins over Estevan Payan and Mike Ricci in the World Series of Fighting. Things appeared to be looking up for high, before running into Joao Zeferino in a catchweight tilt of 160 pounds at WSOF 32. He found himself spending quite a bit of time on the bottom at multiple moments throughout the fight, but it was a Zeferino straight right hand that buckled High, ending his night. Can High bounce back with a win over Fodor, and avoid losing 2 straight for the first time in his 26-fight career?