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PFL playoffs shaken up as fighters fall out of bouts ahead of Aug. 13 event

The first PFL playoff event of 2021 has seen some changes as it rapidly approaches.

On Wednesday the promotion revealed a handful of changes made to the upcoming Aug. 13 ESPN event.

Effecting the welterweight semifinals is the departure of Joao Zeferino who was set to take on a past champion in Russia’s Magomed Magomedkerimov. Because of Zeferino’s injury, the No. 5 seeded Sadibou Sy will now take his place. Sy’s first regular-season bout resulted in a no contest before he earned a unanimous decision over UFC veteran, Alexey Kunchenko.

Sy was originally set to battle Brazil’s Gleison Tibau who will now compete opposite Curtis Millender.

At lightweight, former champion Natan Schulte is out of his bout with Canada’s Olivier Aubin-Mercier due to undisclosed reasons. “OAM” will now be tasked with Darrel Horcher who makes his promotional debut. Horcher went 1-3 in the UFC starting with the short notice tilt with future divisional kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Back at welterweight, former Bellator title challenger Brett Cooper is also getting a change in opponent. Originally set to take on Nikolai Aleksakhin, Cooper will now face PFL newcomer Tyler Hill. Aleksakhin’s reason for withdrawing is unknown.

Lastly, an entirely new bout was added to the event. The 5-0 Elvin “The Prodigy” Espinoza will take on Hopeton Stewart in a lightweight affair.

The full first PFL playoff card on Aug. 13 can be seen below.

  • Welterweight – 170lbs: Rory MacDonald vs. Ray Cooper III
  • Welterweight: Sadibou Sy vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov
  • Lightweight – 155lbs: Clay Collard vs. Raush Manfio
  • Lightweight: Loik Radzhabov vs. Alexander Martinez
  • Lightweight: Darrell Horcher vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
  • Welterweight: Curtis Millender vs. Gleison Tibau
  • Welterweight: Tyler Hill vs. Brett Cooper
  • Welterweight: Magomed Umalatov vs. Micah Terrill
  • Welterweight: Kyron Bowen vs. Michael Lombardo
  • Lightweight: Elvin Espinoza vs. Hopeton Stewart

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