This Saturday night, October 20 marks the final competition to advance to the $10 Million Professional Fighters League championships live at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN from Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. Welterweights and middleweights will be in action as fighters compete in quarterfinal and semifinal bouts on the same night. By the end of the night, each division will be down to two fighters who will compete in a $1 million championship fight live from Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve.
Fighters in contention for the semifinal round on NBCSN this Saturday night include welterweights No. 1-seed Ray Cooper III (15-5-0, 2-0 PFL) facing No. 8-seed Jake Shields (33-10-1, 1-1 PFL). Cooper, who was 11 years old when his father, Ray Cooper Jr., lost a bout against Shields in 2004, avenged his father’s loss by beating Shields at PFL 3. Cooper is coming off a win at PFL 6, as he knocked out Pavlo Kusch in just 18 seconds. For more than 18 years, Shields has been a major force in the MMA world, utilizing his “American jiu jitsu” to earn 33 career wins, more than any other fighter in the PFL.
On the middleweight side, No. 1-seed Abus Magomedov (21-3-0, 2-0 PFL) squares off against No. 8-seed Gasan Umalatov (18-5-2, 1-1 PFL). Magomedov cemented himself as the PFL fighter to beat this season, winning both of his fights by first round knockout. Umalatov, who has never been knocked out, suffered his first career stoppage loss at PFL 3 with a second-round submission loss to John Howard. Umalatov then rebounded at PFL 6 with his playoffs hopes on the line, beating Eddie Gordon by unanimous decision.
Coverage begins with a welterweight contest between No. 4-seed Rick Story vs. No. 5-seed Handesson Ferreira, followed by a middleweight bout between No. 4-seed Bruno Santos vs. No. 5-seed Sadibou Sy.
Additional quarterfinal bouts include:
No. 6-seed John Howard vs. No. 3-seed Eddie Gordon (Alternate)
No. 2-seed Louis Taylor vs. No. 7-seed Rex Harris
No. 3-seed Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. No. 6-seed Pavlo Kusch
No. 7-seed Bojan Velickovic vs. No. 2-seed Abubakar Nurmagomedov (Alternate)
Todd Harris calls the action, joined by MMA Hall of Famers and analysts Randy Couture and Bas Rutten, alongside Yves Edwards and reporter Caroline Pearce.
The Professional Fighters League features a regular season, playoffs, and championship, and individual fighters compete in a win-and-advance postseason format. The 2018 PFL season consists of seven regular-season events, a bracket-style playoff, and a $10 million postseason prize pool. The top eight fighters in each of the six different weight classes advance to the playoffs, with one fighter in each division earning $1 million and the title of true champion.
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