What better way to ring in the new year than by ringing someone’s bell?
Professional Fighters League (PFL) crowned inaugural champions in the welterweight, heavyweight, light heavyweight, lightweight, featherweight and middleweight divisions last night (Dec. 31, 2018) in New York City, which also came with a $1,000,000 prize.
Not too shabby.
Louis Taylor was crowned middleweight champion after demolishing Abus Magomedov in just 33 seconds. Lance Palmer, meanwhile, continued his winning ways by turning away Steven Siler on all three scorecards, capturing the featherweight title in the process.
Brazil’s Natan Schulte is the promotion’s new lightweight kingpin after outpointing Russia’s Rashid Magomedov, while newly-crowned middleweight champion Sean O’Connell upset Vinny Magalhaes by technical knockout.
O’Connell retired immediately following the win.
Philipe Lins finished his undefeated season by smashing Josh Copeland to claim the heavyweight crown by way of violent technical knockout, shortly before Magomed Magomedkerimov subbed Ray Cooper to become king of the welterweights.
In addition, Kayla Harrison kept her unbeaten streak intact by finishing Moriel Charneski in the opening frame.
“This was a great night for the PFL and the sport of MMA,” said PFL President of Fighting Operations Ray Sefo. “Our six champions earned everything they got tonight. They worked hard all year long and I am happy for them and even more excited to get started on the 2019 season.”
Here are the complete PFL 2018 Championship results:
Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Ray Cooper III via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:18 – to win welterweight title
Philipe Lins def. Josh Copeland via TKO (strikes) – Round 4, 0:30 – to win heavyweight title
Sean O’Connell def. Vinny Magalhaes via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 3, 5:00 – to win light heavyweight belt
Kayla Harrison def. Moriel Charneski via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:39
Natan Schulte def. Rashid Magomedov via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46) – to win lightweight title
Lance Palmer def. Steven Siler via unanimous decision (50-43, 50-45, 49-46) – to win featherweight title
Louis Taylor def. Abusupiyan Magomedov via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:33 – to win middleweight title
“We are thrilled to have six deserving champions earn their titles and an unprecedented $1M in front of a great New York crowd on New Years’ Eve,” said League President Carlos Silva. “Each of them fought their way through the grueling playoff system to come out as champions in their respective brackets. We’re looking forward to what 2019 holds as our inaugural season proved that the PFL’s unique format works and promotes enticing matchups culminating in one champion.”