PFL 5 takes place in Atlantic City on July 25th. It will feature six lightweight and six featherweight bouts. Here are some fights to look forward to from the card.
ESPN+ Fights of Interest
Featherweight: Andre Harrison vs. Movlid Khaybulaev
Both of these gentleman enjoyed wins in their first fight of the 2019 PFL season. Andre Harrison earned three points via a decision win and Movlid Khaybulaev earned six points with a brutal first round knockout.
Khaybulaev currently sits atop the featherweight rankings while Harrison is two behind him. Khaybulaev is the only undefeated PFL fighter at 145 pounds and hopes to keep his record unblemished. Harrison was a 2018 PFL semi-finalist and was the owner of a perfect 20-0 record before Lance Palmer beat him by decision last October. The winner of this fight will be guaranteed one of the top featherweight spots heading in to the playoffs.
Lightweight: Natan Schulte vs. Ramsey Nijem
Natan Schulte was nothing short of spectacular in the 2018 PFL season, winning the lightweight championship. He started this current season with a first round submission, good for six points and second place in the lightweight division. Ramsey Nijem has had a roller coaster of a career. After competing on two seasons of The Ultimate Fighter and going 5-5 in the UFC, he entered the PFL last season where he lost his first fight and then missed time due to a medical suspension. He won his first fight of this season by decision and now hopes to enter the upper echelon of the lightweight division.
ESPN 2 Card
Even though neither of these fighters have scored any points this season (yet), both of them have such decorated careers. Steven Siler was the runner up of the 2018 PFL featherweight division and entered this season with more experience than any other featherweight competitor. He has spent his career in a barrage of organizations, one of which is the UFC. Like Siler, Jeremy Kennedy was once apart of the UFC. Through four fights, he won his first three and then came up short to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 221. Both men are coming off disappointing starts to the season and hope to do enough in their last regular season bout to earn them a playoff spot.
Featherweight: Gadzhi Rabadanov vs. Daniel Pineda
Gadzhi Rabadanov comes into this contest having earned three points in his first bout. His opponent, Daniel Pineda, will be looking for a finish and a quick one at that. Pineda is a late replacement and will be making his PFL debut on Thursday. He will have one fight to earn enough points to earn him a playoff spot and a chance at PFL featherweight gold. Owner of 17 career submissions, expect Pineda to attempt them early and often.
Lightweight: Rashid Magomedov vs. Nate Andrews
Last season, Rashid Magomedov earned his way into the playoffs with a single fight because he missed his first scheduled fight due to injury. He clinched a spot in the championship, but came up short in the lightweight championship, losing to Natan Schulte by decision. He won by unanimous decision at PFL 2 earlier this year which earned him three points. Earlier in the season, Nate Andrews lost to Chris Wade in his PFL debut Don’t let that fool you, though. Andrews was an absolute savage in CES, going 14-1 with all of his wins coming via finish. Both look to secure their place in the lightweight playoffs.
Featherweight: Lance Palmer vs. Luis Rafael Laurentino
Lance Palmer, a four time NCAA All-American wrestler, will attempt to continue his dominance from last PFL season, where he won the featherweight title. He started this season with a decision win over Alex Gilpin. Palmer is masterful, but is not the typical fighter who usually excels in the PFL. His last four fights have ended in decision and if he hopes to escalate into the top three of the featherweight division, he will need to finish Luis Rafael Laurentino. Laurentino touts an astonishing professional record of 34-1. When making his PFL debut at PFL 2, he defeated Kennedy in the first round which earned him six points and second place in the rankings.
Luis Rafael Laurentino upset UFC vet Jeremy Kennedy with this nasty headkick
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 24, 2019
Regardless of the results, expect to see both of these men competing in the playoffs.
Lightweight: Chris Wade vs. Akhmed Aliev
Chris Wade was a 2018 PFL semi-finalist, losing a split decision rematch to eventual champion Natan Schulte. If some fights go a certain way this time around, we could see a completed trilogy between Wade and Schulte. Like Palmer, the majority of Wade’s fights go to the judge’s score cards. Seven of his last eight fights have went the distance. He started this season with a three point win over Nate Andrews. He faces Akhmed Aliev, who currently enjoys the top spot in the lightweight division due to a first round finish in his first fight. Through 18 professional wins, 11 have come by way of KO/TKO. Both of these men look to retain their playoff spot and earn the top spot in the lightweight rankings.