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.”
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).
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