Vinny Magalhaes impressively emerged as the No. 1 seed in the Professional Fighters League light heavyweight tournament. He scored 12 points for two first-round stoppages in the regular season over Jamie Abdallah at PFL 2 and Brandon Halsey at PFL 5 last Thursday.
Regular Season Success
The Brazilian landed a glancing right head kick that dropped the American wrestler to the mat. From there, Magalhaes worked his ground and pound until the referee called off the contest. The TKO victory came just 1:34 into the bout.
“Of course I thought about going for a submission,” Magalhaes told the media post-fight. “But as I was striking, I felt like [Halsey] was going limp, so I was like, ‘Wow, I might as well just keep going with this.’”
Magalhaes also submitted Abdallah just 1:37 into their fight in June. He’s hoping to continue his fast-finishing streak into the PFL postseason, which starts in October. The light heavyweights should be fighting again on October 13 at PFL 9, where all men will potentially compete twice in one night.
The quarterfinals will feature a two-round fight where the winner will advance to the semifinals, which will be a three-round fight held later that evening. The winners of the semifinal bouts will compete for the $1 million championship prize on December 31. Magalhaes said he wants to enter his semifinals bout as fresh as possible.
“Let’s say the [quarterfinal] fight is [over in] 1:30, I have more than 30 minutes to rest for the next fight,” he said. “Let’s say my opponent has a two-round fight, I’m going to have a huge advantage. So my goal is always to get in there and try to get a finish as quick as possible.”
Magalhaes is no stranger to competing multiple times in a single night. While he’s never fought in MMA more than once a night, he has competed in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments where he’d be on the mat multiple times a day.
“Even though there’s punches and kicks, I’m used to the whole experience of having to go against two opponents or more in the same night,” he said. “As long as I can keep doing what I’m doing now, winning fights within 1:30. As long as the next fight is 1:30, I’m okay if the second one is the full three rounds.”
“Get the finish as quick as possible.”
He will be actively in pursuit of the finish to accomplish that. So he won’t bother conserving energy in the quarterfinals.
“Well, I think with the whole conserve energy, it’s not smart to be like, ‘Oh, let’s just slow things down,’” he explained. “Then you’re going to end up [going the distance]. Ideally, it’s do what I did in my first fight and do what I did [at PFL 5]. I go out there to try and get the finish as quick as possible, not get any bruises, not getting tired, no injuries at all, then walk away fresh for the next one.”
Magalhaes is confident that if he can emerge from the October bouts victorious, he’ll win the championship in December. It’s the difference in preparation, he said. He’ll have no idea who he’ll potentially face in the semifinals until the quarterfinals end.
“It’s 10 weeks to be training for the final fight so there’s nobody that’s going to beat me if I have 10 weeks to prepare myself for one person, which I haven’t done,” Magalhaes said. “I’ve been training for a tournament right now. There’s no faces for me. When I’m getting ready for a fight, it’s me bringing my best game. Now, let’s say I make it to the final, it’s me bringing my best game for a specific guy. So I’m going to be studying his game, it’ll be really hard to beat me.”