PFL returns to Nassau Coliseum this week to begin the heavyweight and light heavyweight portions of their season, and there’s a lot of heavy hitters to keep your eye on.
Former M-1 champ, UFC vet and 2018 PFL runner up Vinny Magalhães (18-10) had a great 2018 run, blazing through with submissions to get to the finals against Sean O’Connell. Unfortunately he fell short, but will try to replicate his successes from last year and redeem himself with an overall win this time. He’ll have to start with Argentina’s Emiliano Sordi (17-8), who had a blistering debut for PFL last year but suffered a loss against Bazigit Azaev.
With a professional record of 10-2, Kelvin Tiller’s been known for being a hard hitter. His opponent this week is another less-heralded striker with a reputation, Mo De’Reese (7-0), and both of them should be hunting for a finish one way or another. Former Olympic Judoka Satoshi Ishii (21-8, 1 draw) will also be making his PFL debut against the also debuting Zeke Tuenei-Wily (3-1). Tuenei-Wily notably suffered a loss in 2016, and didn’t return to fighting until February of 2019. This will be his first fight after that.
Ronny Markes (18-7) is also back at light heavyweight, although he missed the light heavyweight limit by six pounds (!!).He will still be able to compete, welcoming Sigi Pesaleli (1-0) to the PFL fold. Former UFC fighters Alex Nicholson (13-7) and Francimar Barroso (22-7, 1 draw) will also lock horns, as will heralded prospect Jordan Johnson (10-0) and Russian dynamo Maxim Grishin (28-7, 1 draw). M-1 and RIZIN vet Ante Delija (15-3) has shown himself to be a threat on the international circuit, even if sometimes against questionable opposition. He meets Bellator vet Carl Seumanutafa (13-9), best known for dropping Matt Mitrione in a losing effort.
Mikhail Moknatkin (11-3, 2 draws) had a great run in Fight Nights Global, but with the exodus of talent it makes sense he end up in an organization where he’s got a chance to make big money. But first, he’s gotta make a big impression against M-1 and Oplot veteran Rashid Yusupov (10-1).
Finally, Viktor Nemkov (28-7) returns to action after his last win with a thrilling submission, and now makes his PFL debut against the aforementioned Rakim Cleveland (19-11, 1 draw).
Weigh-ins have concluded, and full card is as follows:
Vinny Magalhaes (203.2) vs. Emiliano Sordi (205) - Light Heavyweight
Kevin Tiller (263.4) vs. Muhammed DeReese (242.2) - Heavyweight
Satoshi Ishii (240) vs. Zeke Tuini-Wily (259) - Heavyweight
Jared Rosholt (251.2) vs. Denis Goltsov (242.6)- Heavyweight
Valdrin Istrefi (248.2) vs. Ali Isaev (260.8)- Heavyweight
Rakim Cleveland (204.8) vs. Viktor Nemkov (205)- Light Heavyweight
Ronny Markes (211.8)* vs. Sigi Pesaleli (203.6)- Light Heavyweight
Rashid Yusupov (204.8) vs. Mikhail Mokhnatkin (205.2)- Light Heavyweight
Alex Nicholson (229.2) vs. Francimar Barroso (246.4)- Heavyweight
Maxim Grishin (205.2) vs. Jordan Johnson (205.2)- Light Heavyweight
Ante Delija (239.2) vs. Carl Seumanutafa (259.6)- Heavyweight
Dan Spohn (204) vs. Bazigit Ataev (204.4)- Light Heavyweight
Prelims begin at 7:00pm on ESPN, and the main card starts at 9:00pm and will be streaming exclusively on ESPN+.