clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC Vegas 76’s Grant Dawson calls for PFL boycott after Schulte-Manfio controversy: ‘It makes no sense’

Grant Dawson isn’t happy about what transpired in Professional Fighters League (PFL) this past weekend (June 23, 2023).

Dawson’s fellow Lightweight American Top Team (ATT) teammates, Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio, went toe-to-toe at PFL’s sixth show of 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Despite Schulte walking away as the victor via unanimous decision, both were ultimately losers in the end.

Schulte’s decision win secured him three more points, adding to his total to give him six and a spot in the playoffs. However, PFL released a statement one day later, revealing that Schulte and Manfio were suspended because of their failure to, “meet PFL contractual standard.” Schulte’s three points were then turned into zero and his playoff hopes were dashed and he was replaced by recent high-profile free agent acquisition, Shane Burgos.

“That’s a boycott PFL situation,” Dawson said at UFC Vegas 76 media day (h/t MMA Fighting). “Because that makes no sense. They’re two former champions, they’re two former tournament winners, and so for them to fight not even in the tournament, it makes no sense.

“I don’t know the whole story — I think there’s some politics that went behind it,” he continued. “Shane Burgos — who’s another good friend of mine — I’m happy he got in, but I think that’s why they did that.

“I think they matched those two up and were hoping that some type of controversy would happen to where they could slip Shane Burgos into the tournament,” Dawson concluded. “Super happy for Shane, love that dude. But I think that was kind of the situation. I’m really bummed out for Natan.”

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 80 On ESPN+

NEW SCHOOL VS. OLD SCHOOL LIGHTWEIGHT SHOWDOWN! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC APEX on Sat., Oct. 7, 2023, with surging 155-pound contender, Grant Dawson, taking on inimitable Octagon veteran, Bobby Green, in the ESPN+-streamed main event. In UFC Vegas 80’s co-main event, Joe Pyfer looks to continue his meteoric Middleweight rise at the expense of Abdul Razak Alhassan’s expense.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

Schulte and Manfio being paired up in the first place confused fans in the community because of their relationship as best friends. What additional fallout comes from the change up remains to be seen, but the Georgia Athletic Commission won’t be taking further action.

As for Dawson, he looks to keep his 11-fight unbeaten streak alive against Damir Ismagulov at UFC Vegas 76 this weekend (Sat., July 1, 2023). will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 76 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN/ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 76 news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archives here and here. For the updated and finalized “Strickland vs. Magomedov” fight card and ESPN/ESPN+ line up click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania