It wasn’t looking good for Steven Siler in the first round of his featherweight bout at PFL 2018 #1. His opponent, Magomed Idrisov, had him battered and bruised to the point where surrounding journalists were imploring referee Keith Peterson to stop the fight.
Idrisov had appeared to put Siler out with a massive left-hand and vicious ground and pound, but the latter survived, somehow (Siler later confirmed he went out). Idrisov continued to pour on the attack back in the stand-up, chasing the stoppage. Siler hung tough, which prompted Idrisov to try and close out the round with a takedown.
“I don’t even remember getting hit and all of a sudden, I hear my corner saying, ‘Pull him in, pull him in, recover!’ Instincts kicked in,” Siler said of the sequence. “I love being on the ground, it’s second nature to me. Once it got to the ground, everything just went natural for me.”
Then, with just 40 seconds remaining in the opening frame, Siler was able to lock in a triangle off of Idrisov’s takedown attempt. Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater erupted once they saw the Russian tap.
“Holy crap, I got a triangle!,” Siler said he recalled thinking.
The Betting Line
Siler earned six points for the victory; three for the win and three for a first-round finish. He cashed in as a massive underdog, as he got as high as +1235 on some sites. The winner said he wasn’t aware he was the huge underdog and didn’t seem to care.
“I didn’t see the odds,” Siler said. “And it didn’t really matter. When you have as many fights as I do, and you’ve fought all the guys I have, I’ve been all over the place. I’m used to fighting. It doesn’t matter if you’re the underdog or not, it’s fighting. Anything could happen at any time. So, I don’t care about the odds, I’m just happy I got the W.”
Other featherweight winners on the night include Alexandre de Almeida (six points), Lance Palmer (five), Andre Harrison, Nazareno Malegarie and Timur Valiev (three apiece).