This is the last regular season event of the year, showcasing the featherweight & lightweight divisions, with every card following being a playoff event.
Headlining the event was supposed to be a lightweight bout between former WEC & UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who was expected to face Alex Martinez tonight.
However, Pettis withdrew from the bout yesterday with an illness and was replaced by Natan Schulte. 18-3 Mikhail Odintsov was Schulte’s original opponent tonight, who was left without a dance partner. Hopefully the PFL can reschedule that epic bout.
Pettis will now face Raush Manfio at PFL 6 next month, July 25.
Lance Palmer and Movlid Khaybulaev were also expected to fight tonight, but they’ll end up facing one another at PFL 6. There were a number of rescheduled bouts tonight.
The preliminary co-main event showcased a lightweight bout between former two-time PFL lightweight champion Natan Schulte and Anthony Pettis’ original opponent, Alex Martinez.
Continue reading to see how this 155 lb encounter went down:
Official Result: Natan Schulte def. Alex Martinez via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Schulte comes out pressing the action, while Martinez is getting some nice combinations off from the outside.
The former champion dives on a single leg, which he switches to take the back of Martinez. He stayed in the top turtle position with one hook in searching for the second, but he never secured it.
Martinez reverses the position, before Schulte gets back up and hip tosses him so beautifully and effortlessly.
Schulte is doing what he does best, control the fight with his clinch control and grappling.
Martinez throws and lands a beautiful combination followed by a calf kick that Schulte didn’t like at all, it forced him to immediately tie up with Martinez. He did slam him down right into side control, but Martinez wasn’t down for too long.
The remainder of round two looks a lot like round one, with Schulte securing takedowns and octagon control, though Martinez is getting the better of the striking overall. It was a better round for him in the second, some could even say he may have won it.
Martinez is looking good to start round three as well. He doesn’t have quite as much pop on his strikes as he did at the beginning of the fight, naturally, but he’s still doing what he needs to do in the striking department.
He is however letting Schulte bully him around the octagon, and gets double-legged about 90 seconds in. About one minute later he gets up, before the former champion immediately takes him back down with a single leg.
Martinez’ defense is much better than a lot of us had anticipated, that’s for certain.
Another thing that’s for certain, if it was 19-19 going into round three, Schulte gets the universal 29-28 scorecard. He put his stamp on the fight in this round by not letting Martinez breathe from the bottom.
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.