Professional Fighters League unveils first three events for 2019

The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the first organization ever to present MMA in the sport-season format of Regular Season, Playoffs, and Championship, on Thursday announced the fight cards and schedule for the first half of the regular season – PFL 1, 2 and 3 at NYCB Live on Long Island, N.Y. PFL 1 will feature Welterweights and Women’s Lightweights, PFL 2 will spotlight Featherweights and Lightweights and PFL 3 will showcase Light Heavyweights and Heavyweights. Tickets are now available for purchase at ticketmaster.com

“Starting May 9, Thursday night is MMA night with the PFL on ESPN. Top fighters from around the world across six divisions will compete in a regular season, playoffs and championship with the opportunity to earn a title and one-million dollars.” said Peter Murray, CEO of the PFL. “This season we’re excited for fans to experience the first-ever Women’s Lightweight division, anchored by Kayla Harrison, and real time delivery of fighter data and analytics incorporated into each broadcast on ESPN2, ESPN+ And ESPN Deportes.” 

“In the PFL, there is no undercard, every fight counts. Every fighter on our roster enters the regular season knowing that if they win, and score maximum points, they will enter the postseason with a chance to compete for a PFL Championship and one-million dollars,” said Ray Sefo, President of PFL Fighter Operations. “The journey begins at PFL 1, 2 and 3. These are tone-setting fights and fans will see quality, action-packed matchups featuring the best fighters across six weight divisions from over 14 countries around the world.” 

PFL 1 – May 9, 6pm ET – 11pm ET 

At PFL 1, fans will witness the 2019 debuts of two-time Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison and former Strikeforce and Invicta FC Bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman in the first-ever Women’s Lightweight division. Harrison will take on Svetlana Khautova, who will make her US debut, and Kaufman squares off against Morgan Frier, who enters the PFL season on a four-fight win streak, all by way of first-round stoppage. 2018 PFL Middleweight Champion Louis Taylor completes his move up to Welterweight and begins his campaign to become the first-ever two division champion in PFL history against newcomer Chris “Action Man” Curtis, who is coming off a spectacular win over UFC Veteran Matt Dwyer. Also, in Welterweight action, a Hawaiian rivalry is brewing, as 2018 PFL breakout star Ray Cooper III takes on fellow Hawaiian and cousin Zane Kamaka.

PFL 2 – May 23, 7pm ET – 12am ET 

Long Island natives Chris Wade (Lightweight) and Andre Harrison (Featherweight) begin their 2019 campaigns in their own backyard at NYCB Live, taking on Nate Andrews and Freddy Assuncao respectively. Andrews has won nine straight fights, seven by submission. Assuncao, twin brother of UFC Bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao, returns to the cage following a three-year absence. The Brazilian was set to compete in the 2018 season, but an ACL injury prevented that from happening. Lance Palmer (Featherweight) and Natan Schulte (Lightweight) begin their title defenses against two newcomers in Alex Gilpin and Bao Yincang. 26-year-old Gilpin holds an impressive 12-1 career record and Yincang, hailing from China, makes his US debut. One of the top young fighters from Canada, Jeremy “The Bandit” Kennedy, whose 13-1 career record includes a 3-1 run in the UFC, also makes his PFL debut against Alexandre Bezerra. Bezerra produced one of the knockouts of the inaugural season – a flying knee KO that vaulted him into the 2018 playoffs.   

PFL 3 – June 6, 7pm ET – 12am ET 

2018 PFL Heavyweight champion Philipe Lins begins defense of his title at PFL 3 against Satoshi Ishii, an Olympic judo gold medalist with a 20-8-1 career MMA record. 2018 PFL Light Heavyweight runner-up Vinny Magalhaes returns to the PFL cage seeking the title that eluded him last season. Magalhaes won each of his first four fights of the 2018 season by stoppage, all in less than two minutes. He will look to replicate that success against a newcomer with knockout power in Jorge Gonzalez. Gonzalez has won his last six fights by first-round stoppage. Jordan Johnson, who went 4-0 in the UFC, makes his PFL debut and will look to extend his undefeated streak (10-0) against 2018 PFL quarterfinalist Maxim Grishin. 

*Times and matchups subject to change

PFL 1 – May 9, 6pm ET – 11pm ET*

ESPN+ (6pm ET – 9pm ET)

  • Welterweight: Handesson Ferreira (Brazil) (13-2-1) vs. Bojan Velickovic (Serbia) (16-8-2)
  • Lightweight: Larissa Pacheco (Brazil) (11-2) vs. Roberta Samad (Cincinnati, OH) (4-1)
  • Welterweight: Gamzat Khiramagomedov (Russia) (7-0) vs. Glaico Franca (Brazil) (19-5)
  • Lightweight: Genah Fabian (New Zealand) (1-0) vs. Bobbi Jo Dalziel (Canada) (4-0)
  • Welterweight: Sadibou Sy (Sweden) (7-4-1) vs. David Michaud (Phoenix, AZ) (15-4)

ESPN2 (9pm ET – 11pm ET)

  • Lightweight: Sarah Kaufman (Canada) (20-4-1) vs. Morgan Frier (Las Vegas, NV) (4-1)
  • Welterweight: Ray Cooper III (Hawaii) (17-6) vs. Zane Kamaka (Hawaii) (13-3)
  • Welterweight: Magomed Magomedkerimov (Russia) (23-5) vs. John Howard (Boston, MA) (27-14-1)
  • Lightweight: Kayla Harrison (Middletown, OH) (3-0) vs. Svetlana Khautova (Russia) (2-0)
  • Welterweight: Louis Taylor (Chicago, IL) (18-4-1) vs. Chris Curtis (Cincinnati, OH) (20-5)

PFL 2 – May 23, 7pm ET – 12am ET*

ESPN2 (7pm ET – 9pm ET)

  • Featherweight: Steven Siler (Provo, UT) (32-18-1) vs. TBA
  • Featherweight: Damon Jackson (Dallas, TX) (16-2-1) vs. Movlid Khaybulaev (Russia) (13-0)
  • Featherweight: Alexandre Bezerra (Brazil) (22-6) vs. Jeremy Kennedy (Canada) (13-1)
  • Lightweight: Natan Schulte (Brazil) (15-3-1) vs. Bao Yincang (China) (12-6-1) 

ESPN+ (9pm – 12am ET) 

  • Lightweight: Rashid Magomedov (Russia) (22-3-1) vs. Loik Radzhabov (Tajikistan) (11-0)
  • Lightweight: Islam Mamedov (Russia) (16-2) vs. Ylies Djiroun (France) (16-4)
  • Featherweight: Alexandre Almeida (Brazil) (20-9) vs. Luis Rafael Laurentino (Brazil) (33-1)
  • Lightweight: Akhmed Aliev (Russia) (17-4) vs. Carlao Silva (Brazil) (11-1)
  • Lightweight: Ramsey Nijem (Orem, UT) (10-7) vs. Ronys Torres (Brazil) (37-6)
  • Featherweight: Andre Harrison (Long Island, NY) vs. Freddy Assuncao (Atlanta, GA) (10-1)
  • Lightweight: Chris Wade (Long Island, NY) (14-5) vs. Nate Andrews (Providence, RI) (15-1) 
  • Featherweight: Lance Palmer (Columbus, OH) (17-3) vs. Alex Gilpin (Madison, WI) (12-1) 

PFL 3 – June 6, 7pm ET – 12am ET*

ESPN2 (7pm ET – 9pm ET) 

  • Heavyweight: Ben Edwards (Australia) (4-0) vs. Ante Delija (Croatia) (15-3)
  • Heavyweight: Jared Rosholt (Sandpoint, ID) (17-6) vs. Denis Goltsov (Russia) (22-5)
  • Light Heavyweight: Dan Spohn (Columbus, OH) (18-6) vs. Bozigit Ataev (Russia) (19-3)
  • Light Heavyweight: Vinny Magalhaes (Brazil) (18-10-1) vs. Jorge Gonzalez (Mexico) (15-4)

ESPN+ (9pm – 12am ET) 

  • Heavyweight: Alex Nicholson (Apopka, FL) (13-7) vs. Francimar Barroso (Brazil) (22-7-1-1)
  • Light Heavyweight: Rashid Yusupov (Russia) (10-1) vs. Mikhail Mokhnatkin (Russia) 
    (11-3-2)
  • Light Heavyweight: Ronny Markes (Brazil) (18-7) vs. Sigi Pesaleli (New Zealand) (3-0)
  • Light Heavyweight: Maxim Grishin (Russia) (28-7-1) vs. Jordan Johnson (Gilbert, AZ) (10-0)
  • Heavyweight: Valdrin Istrefi (Switzerland) (13-2) vs. Ali Isaev (Russia) (4-0)
  • Light Heavyweight: Smealinho Rama (New York, NY) (11-5-1) vs. Viktor Nemkov (Russia) (26-7)
  • Heavyweight: Kelvin Tiller (Topeka, KS) (10-2) vs. Muhammed Dereese (Titusville, FL) 
    (7-0)
  • Heavyweight: Philipe Lins (Brazil) (14-3) vs. Satoshi Ishii (Croatia) (20-8-1)