NEW YORK (JULY 12, 2022) – The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league in the world, today announced the finalized 12-fight card for the second Playoff event of 2022 to be hosted at Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales on August 13 and broadcast on ESPN networks and streaming platforms. The show marks PFL’s first event in the United Kingdom.
Rory MacDonald earned the top seed in the welterweight division on the strength of a first-round finish over Brett Cooper in the first half of the PFL Regular Season. MacDonald will look to earn a spot in the 2022 PFL World Championship when he takes on the talented Magomed Umalatov in the main event. Umalatov was injured early in the year and fought his way into the postseason with a stunning first-round knockout of 2022 PFL Challenger Series winner Jarrah Al Silawi in his only Regular Season bout in June.
After an amazing showing in the 2021 Championship, a fight that saw him come up just short of the $1 million prize, Ante Delija retuned with his sights set on winning his first PFL title. The Croatian brawler will have to solve “The Problema” Renan Ferreira if he hopes to get another crack at PFL gold. Ferreira looked amazing in his first fight of the year, stopping Jamelle Jones in a matter of seconds but the Brazilian struggled in his next start against countryman Klidson Abreu. He’ll look to right the ship against Delija and set himself up for a $1 million heavyweight showdown at the 2022 PFL World Championship.
Denis Goltsov returns to the Playoffs for the third consecutive year, and he is looking for his first Championship berth. The highly-regard will have his toughest test to date, as he takes on 2021 PFL Heavyweight World Champion Bruno Cappelozza in a heavyweight showdown that has fireworks written all over it. Goltsov cruised into the postseason, taking the top seed, with a pair of wins while Cappelozza made it with a brilliant knockout of Stuart Austin before suffering his first PFL loss in an upset decision to Matheus Scheffel.
The last semifinal bout will feature a pair of surprise competitors in PFL veteran Sadibou Sy and 2022 Challenger Series competitor Carlos Leal. Sy entered his fourth league campaign with little fanfare, but the Swede banked a pair of wins, including a close decision over heavily-favored Rory MacDonald, to cement his place in the postseason. Leal wasn’t even part of the season until Umalatov was forced out of his first-round match, this giving the Brazilian slugger his chance to impress. He did just that, taking it to two-time PFL champion Ray Cooper III and authoring one of the biggest upsets in PFL history. Leal will look to keep the Cinderella story going against Sy as he tries to become the first Challenger Series competitor to win a PFL World Title.
“The Playoffs are always an exciting time and I can’t wait to see these amazing fighters compete for a chance to become PFL Champion,” said President of Fighter Operations Ray Sefo. “I’m also thrilled to see so many great fighters from Europe competing for a place in the PFL.”
ESPN+ (English and Spanish)
Will Fleury vs. Kenneth Bergh
Nate Kelly vs. TBA
Vojto Barborik vs. Maxim Radu
Moktar Benkaci vs. Francesco Nuzzi
ESPN, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes Card
Rory MacDonald vs. Magomed Umalatov
Ante Delija vs. Renan Ferreira
Denis Goltsov vs. Bruno Cappelozza
Sadibou Sy vs. Carlos Leal
ESPN+ (English and Spanish)
Josh O’Connor vs. Emran Sakhizada
Mohamad Fakhreddine vs. TBA
Chris Mixan vs. John Mitchell
Hatef Moeil vs. Szymon Bajor