PFL-Kayla-Harrison-Taylor-Guardado

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PFL 2021 Championship – Live Results, Recaps, and Fight Highlights

FORT LAUDERDALE – The PFL 2021 season is concluding.

Six title fights and six million dollars will be awarded to the winners of each five-round contest. In the main event, promotional superstar at 155-pounds, Kayla Harrison, looks to take home another crown against Taylor Guardado.

The event can be watched live on ESPN 2 and ESPN+. My MMA News has you covered with all the fight night coverage for each fight below.

Lightweight – 155lbs: Don Madge vs. Nathan Williams

Round 1

An exchange of body kicks starts off the fight before Williams shoots in for a single-leg takedown and gets the fight to the floor. Working in guard against the cage, Williams found himself pushed off allowing Madge to get the advantageous position standing against the wall. Madge began working his jab after avoiding a head kick on the break. Williams connects with a slapping body kick only to absorb a clean one-two combination followed by more jabs and a body kick. Madge continued to seek the body kick throughout. Round ends with Madge backing up Williams against the cage.

Round 2

Williams initiated another early takedown attempt but was thwarted off this time around – until catching a kick and off-balancing Madge. Landing guard, Williams quickly found himself fending off an omoplata that acted as a transition for Madge to get on top. Soon after, Madge found Williams’ back and secured the win with a rear-naked choke.

Result: Don Madge def. Nathan Williams via second-round submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:15

 

Lightweight: Julia Budd vs. Kaitlin Young

Round 1

A stiff fight hand for Budd starts the action before the two tie up in the clinch. Disengaging, Young started connecting with inside low kicks while Budd feinted knees. Budd’s hair quickly became an issue as the two reengaged in the clinch where Budd went over and under with punches. Young connected with two clean shots in the pocket and a stiff jab to boot. The leg kick remained present for Young as she continued mixing in one-two combinations. Budd shot in for a late takedown which she got and held until the end of the round.

Round 2

Both women quickly found themselves landing shots tight in the clinch before Budd went fighting for over and under hooks but not seeking trips of any sort. Budd found a knee up high in another quick clinch encounter which was finished with good leg kick of her own. Young hit a surprise outside trip takedown to plant Budd on her back. A glimpse of an armbar presented itself but Budd escaped and got on top. Young attempted to wall walk for the remainder of the round only to find her stuck on bottom in half guard.

Round 3

Young comes out aggressively to start the final round landing with her jab which led to a nice sprawl of a takedown attempt. Budd stuck with it and forced Young underneath her guard. Young slowly started working for an armbar to no avail – allowing Budd into side control. It didn’t last, however, as Young worked back into guard. Around the two-minute mark, Budd passed to half. Budd looked for a late arm-triangle choke but the time expired.

Result: Julia Budd def. Kaitlin Young via unanimous decision (30-27 All)

 

Light Heavyweight – 205lbs: Omari Akhmedov vs. Jordan Young

Round 1

Leg kicks were traded right out the gate. Akhmedov wildly swung his way in for a takedown against the cage. Young defended well as Akhmedov persisted. Disengaging, Akhmedov kept the pressure on looking to land his overhands. Akhmedov ripped to the body before shooting in once more, this time getting his takedown and locking up Young’s legs. Young managed to maneuver his way back to his feet and land some leg kicks in succession. Round concludes with Young pushing the pace.

Round 2

Akhmedov started off attacking with leg kicks and dropped Young. Getting on top, Akhmedov started to rain down ground and pound and take Young’s back starting to work for the rear-naked choke. Young survived and got back to his feet where he pressed Akhmedov against the cage. Young started taking more leg kicks but jabbed his way into a knee which Akhmedov absorbed as he looked for a late takedown as the bell sounded.

Round 3

Instantly, Akhmedov went back to working the leg as Young fired back with jabs. Akhmedov threw back to back one-twos with no luck as Young started landing overhands at will. Akhmedov backed up and took an uppercut before shooting in on a takedown that was defended. Back on their feet, Young lands clean with another uppercut and a follow-up shot on the ground finishes the show.

Result: Jordan Young def. Omari Akhmedov via third-round TKO (punches) at 1:32

 

Lightweight: (C) – Loik Radzhabov vs. Raush Manfio

Round 1

Radzhabov chopped at Manfio’s legs early as Manfio quickly adjusted to push forward and land a clean right straight. An overhand into the clinch for Radzhabov backed the action all the way across the cage. On the break, Manfio was back in charge dictating. Radzhabov was able to get Manfio’s attention with a big shot and back him against the fence temporarily. The overhand right for Manfio continued to find a home. A leg kick for Manfio spun around Radzhabov leading him to shoot in for another takedown to no avail. A Radzhabov leg kick was countered with another overhand. Round ends with both up against the cage.

Round 2

Radzhabov quickly rushed into the clinch only to absorb some punches and knees before more followed on the break. Radzhabov started to pressure more in the round with little success until landing a hard right straight backing Manfio to the cage where he got an underhook. Separating, the two started to trade vigorously in the middle of the cage. The action slowed momentarily and Radzhabov hit a spinning back kick to the mid-section. Another came shortly after. A stiff leg kick from Manfio visibly affected Radzhabov as he switched stances and absorbed a combination against the cage.

Round 3

Radzhabov came out swinging heavy shots only to take a hard knee to the body in the clinch and was backed up with a straight down the middle afterward. Pushing through the shots, Radzhabov took several to give some as he tried to box while Manfio’s knees were a constant. A good right and left hook combo for Radzhabov landed before he backed Manfio into a corner briefly. A nice body kick and right hand for Manfio landed and then a takedown for Radzhabov was achieved. It was short-lived, however, as Manfio got up and adjusted the position against the cage. Knees in tight for Manfio kept getting through as Radzhabov looked to punch over the top.

Round 4

Manfio rattled off a nice plethora of punches to open the round along with another knee in the clinch. Suddenly Manfio began working body kicks then going up to the head landing flush with punches. Manfio was landing at will with his body attacks as he pushed Radzhabov against the cage with his punches and grappling. More knees from Manfio found their target up high and low. Manfio continued to relent as Radzhabov’s hands were now down. Backing Radzhabov to the cage, Manfio ripped off body hooks before more knees to the gut.

Round 5

Radzhabov appeared to find a second wind as he was back to pressuring and connecting with his overhands as Manfio backed up. When at range each was landing punches at will with every clinch exchange leading to knees from Manfio. Sloppily coming forward, Radzhabov got tripped for  moment but Manfio couldn’t maintain it as he teased a guillotine. Uppercuts in the clinch landed for Radzhabov only for Manfio to back him up and do more damage with knees. A clean left from Manfio followed by some final knees came as the time ticked away.

Result: Raush Manfio def. Loik Radzhabov via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 49-46)

 

Light Heavyweight: (C) – Antônio Carlos Júnior vs. Marthin Hamlet

Round 1

Carlos Junior began tossing out his jab right when the action started. Hamlet connected with a solid leg kick only to take one for his troubles. A teep from Carlos Junior led to a stumble in which Hamlet pursued. Avoiding the ground, Hamlet attacked the lead leg some more. A fast takedown under a Hamlet hook resulted in Carlos Junior finding the back instantaneously. A rear-naked choke followed while standing and that was that.

Result: Antonio Carlos Junior def. Marthin Hamlet via first-round submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:49

 

Featherweight – 145lbs: (C) – Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Chris Wade

Round 1

Little feeling out was done by both men as the two looked to find shots with minimal success until a clean right from Khaybulaev landed. Some strong leg kicks ensued from Khaybulaev before initiating a takedown that was thwarted against the cage leaving them in over-under hooks with the Russian leading the dance. Getting away from the cage, Khaybulaev started to land some good punches and knees in tight before breaking to land more and get a brief takedown near the cage. Working back to the clinch against the wall, Wade would be taken down again and find his opponent on his back to end the round.

Round 2

The two traded kicks to begin the round, Wade missing with head kicks only to get countered with leg kicks. Khaybulaev soon found an underhook against the cage once more. After not much activity, the referee separated the men and Khaybulaev started connecting with more leg kicks and big overhands. Wade was forced to work off the back foot managing to land some inside leg kicks and straights of his own. A whiff on a strike left Wade with Khaybulaev looking to get him down again wrapping around his backside before going back to fighting for underhooks. Wade attacking in space resulted in a trip from Khaybulaev on the counter. Round ends with Khaybulaev holding Wade from behind.

Round 3

Khaybulaev came out and attacked with the takedown early to get Wade down but only for a second as they jockeyed for position against the cage. Wade found his opening to reverse position but didn’t do much with it before Khaybulaev took over again. A referee separation saw Khaybulaev swinging his way into another grappling exchange with him controlling from Wade’s back. Khaybulaev got his hooks in and ended the round on Wade’s back.

Round 4

The fight hit the mat via Khaybulaev takedown almost immediately. Khaybulaev controlled from top with little to no strikes before scoring some more time on Wade’s back. Wade got up for a moment only to get taken back down with Khaybulaev backpacking once more. Wade was able to spin out which Khaybulaev had another answer for to end the round on top.

Round 5

The story remained the same heading into the final round as Khaybulaev landed another takedown within 30 seconds. Wade was able to get his back off the mat but not Khaybulaev off his back. Wade attempted a straight armlock with his opponent on his back to no avail thus leaving him grounded just for them to return to the wall on their feet, Khaybulaev hands locked. Wade dropped to try and secure a kneebar as Kaybulaev locked his legs to prevent it. Wade attacked the head and legs with punches but it was too late to mean anything. Fight ends.

Results: Movlid Khaybulaev def. Chris Wade via unanimous decision (50-45 All)

 

Heavyweight – 207-265lbs: (C) – Ante Delija vs. Bruno Cappelozza

Round 1

Delija instantly blasts a double leg takedown that’s stuffed. Cappelozza lands and drops his counterpart right after to follow him into guard and start dropping bombs. The blood begins to flow as Delija absorbs punishment. Going from half guard to mount, Cappelozza teases an arm-triangle choke before getting back to thumping his opposition. A quick burst from Delija gets him out from under Cappelozza where he explodes with a flurry and attempts another takedown. Time expires.

Round 2

Delija quickly shot in at the start of the second frame as well. Cappelozza doesn’t defend as well, but good enough to get Delija pressed against the cage. Disengaging, they meet in the center and Delija shoots low again to return to having his back to the wall. Separating again, Delija starts to press and clips Cappelozza with a right hand and backs him up for a takedown that lands. Heavy ground and pound nearly finishes Cappelozza. Transitioning to a north-south choke attempt, Delija gives up on it and loses position allowing Cappelozza to take his back and tee off. Delija survives some back of the head blows.

Round 3

Cappelozza backs Delija up right out the gate to start teeing off with big punches to the body and head, mixing a knee or two in between as the Croatian covers up. Somehow continuing to survive, Delija finds the opportunity to shoot for a takedown that’s thwarted giving Cappelozza a minor single-leg attempt. The two jockeyed for position against the cage. Knees to the body started coming in from Cappelozza. Referee separates the action and Cappelozza pops out the jab. Deljia search for far punches until shooting in on a defended takedown. Cappelozza finds an overhand right with another Delija takedown attempt following.

Round 4

Delija continued with his grappling attempts early into the championship rounds. Ultimately providing Cappelozza with his back and more openings to land some punches. The action moved over to the cage with Cappelozza dictating. Breaking, Delija shot in again and hoisted his opponent up and onto his back. Delija controlled from half guard. Every escape form Cappelozza led to him defending Delija’s takedowns repositioning them fighting for cage control.

Round 5

A hard Cappelozza leg kick begins the final round. Delija shoots low again to no avail as both are back to the cage with Cappelozza in control before hitting a big takedown of his own. Cappelozza began working from half guard with little output until he was slid off from Delija trying to stand. Cappelozza gets the underhook again and keeps Delija backed up. A slam for Cappelozza lands the two in guard. Cappelozza drops punches as time runs out.

Result: Bruno Cappelozza def. Ante Delija via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 48-46)

 

Lightweight: Claressa Shields vs. Abigail Montes

Round 1

Montes circles away from Shields’ power hand to start the action with a leg kick inside. A fast overhand right for Shields just misses as she takes another leg kick. Montes continues to chop at Shields as a flurry comes her way and she grabs ahold of the Olympian. Shields overpowers and backs Montes to the cage holding a left overhook. Montes reverses position to press Shields to the fence. Montes controls with minimal output. Around the final minute, some punches to the body are traded while they move around the wall. Montes connects with a right hook with a second remaining.

Round 2

Montes continues to look for leg kicks to open round two. Shields blitzes in but can’t find a home as they clinch again giving Montes cage control. Montes struggles to take Shields down with her brief attempts. The two break and Shields attacks again in a flurry. A nice body hook lands for Shields. Her forward pressure results in Montes countering with a blast double driving her across the cage. Shields works from bottom guard trying to land effective blows as Montes does the same from top, neither find much success until Shields wall walks to her feet with 20 seconds remaining.

Round 3

Montes sticks to her leg kick heavy attack in the opening minute. Hard overhand punches from each connect in the clinch and Montes reinitiates the clinch holding Shields to the fence. Shields manages to muscle away from the cage and break off. Montes avoids Shields’ wide haymakers to once again score a big takedown landing in half center of the cage. Montes works her way into mount and starts raining down punches as the bell rings.

Result: Abigail Montes def. Claressa Shields via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

 

Welterweight – 170lbs: (C) – Ray Cooper III vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov

Round 1

Cooper starts the action with a jab to the body and head. Magomedkerimov returns with a hard outside leg kick.  The Russian fired off another one that buckled Cooper before a nut shot from Magomedkerimov halts the action. The fight resumed and Cooper came forward and was swept off his feet and onto his back in butterfly guard. Magomedkerimov pops Cooper’s feet outward to maintain guard. Referee Gary Copeland had seen enough and stood the two up as Magomedkerimov went back to working Cooper’s legs. On the pursuit, Cooper headhunts with big haymakers that can’t connect. Time expires.

Round 2

Cooper gets back on the prowl to start the second frame. Magomedkerimov aims for a step-in knee that Cooper catches to turn into a takedown where he finds himself in top guard. Magomedkerimov throws up multiple rubber guard looks and kimura teases with nothing really there. Cooper begins to integrate some ground and pound shots before sinking in what appeared to be a tight arm-triangle. Magomedkerimov plays it cool and escapes. Cooper rides out the rest of the round on top.

Round 3

Magomedkerimov went right back to the outside leg kick before popping his jab on the back foot. Connecting over the top, Magomedkerimov was taken down again but only for a second. Magomedkerimov started unloading with straight shots and big knees that hurt Cooper. An overhand right for Magomedkerimov finds a home followed by a straight right. Magomedkerimov goes back to his jab as Cooper counters with a heavy right straight after one up high and closes the show to get redemption.

Result: Ray Cooper III def. Magomed Magomedkerimov via third-round knockout (punches) at 3:02

 

Lightweight: (C) – Kayla Harrison vs. Taylor Guardado

Round 1

Guardado attacked immediately with a one-two. Harrison got hold of Guardado where she shortly after hit a trip ad fell into Guardado’s guard. Transitioning between side control and half guard, Harrison started to pummel. A kimura attempt from Harrison didn’t last as Guardado began turtling to give up her back while Harrison maintained wrist control and dropped punches. Guardado managed to scramble to her feet as Harrison swung wildly seeking the finish. A strong right hand from Harrison stung Guardado but she continued to press and walk into a Judo throw near the wall.

Round 2

A missed head kick for Harrison was followed by a takedown that pinned Guardado’s head against the cage where she began absorbing punches. Harrison slowly maneuvered into full mount where she consistently annoyed Guardado with punches. Harrison decides to hunt for the armbar and gets the tap.

Result: Kayla Harrison def. Taylor Guardado via second-round submission (armbar) at 4:00

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