PFL 3 Middleweight Results: Abus Magomedov and John Howard Lead the Pack
Washington, DC – The first round of 185 pound regular season bouts at PFL 3 saw UFC veteran John Howard and German prospect Abus Magomedov sprint to the head of the middleweight pack in the race for the Pro Fight League $1 million tournament. Read on for recaps and clips from all six world-class middleweight contests at PFL 3, featuring world ranked competitors from across the globe.
PFL Scoring: 6 points for a round 1 finish, 5 points for a round 2 finish, 4 points for a round 3 finish, 3 points for a decision win.
Standings after Week 1:
In order of points scored:
Abus Magomedov (20-3, #89 World) KO1 Danillo Villefort (15-6, #99 World)
Superior FC champion Abus Magomedov earned this opportunity by dominating the German regional circuit, and he made a serious statement in his US debut as he demolished Strikeforce vet Danillo Villefort within a round. Magomedov attacked with liver kicks from both orthodox and southpaw stances that set the Brazilian on his back foot from the outset. Once Villefort was hurt, Magomedov refused to follow the Brazilian to the mat and instead finished on the feet with smooth punches and a finishing kick to the body. Referee Fernando Yamasaki required a number of extra finishing shots after Villefort was out of the fight, and Magomedov begrudgingly obliged for the round 1 TKO. Practically zero damage taken by the rangy 6’2″ striker Abus Magomedov in this spectacular PFL debut. 6 points for Abus Magomedov
John Howard (26-13, #71 World) Sub2-RNC Gasan Umalatov (17-6-1, #98 World)
When UFC vets Doomsday Howard and Gasan Umalatov met in the center of the PFL cage, both men swing bricks until Howard connected with a shot that staggered the Russian two minutes in. Umalatov managed to recover, but ended up back on the mat to end round 1 after eating a pair of hooks inside the pocket. The American kept up the pressure in round 2 with a sweet step-in left hook that he followed up by ducking under for a takedown. The Boston native is mostly known as a slugger, but he showed his jiu-jitsu chops by taking Umalatov’s back. After securing the position, Howard slipped his arm under the Russian’s neck and squeezed out the tap! John Howard became the first man to finish Gasan Umalatov in his decade-long pro career after dominating the contest bell-to-bell. 5 points for John Howard
Louis Taylor (15-4, #67 World) TKO3 Anderson Goncalves (11-2, #112 World)
After scoring first round KOs on three continents in 2017, 6’5″ Brazilian specimen Anderson Goncalves made his North American debut opposite former WSOF title challenger Louis Taylor and found himself in the brawl that Taylor promised via pre-fight interview. Taylor closed distance by leaping into his punches and had some success finding Goncalves’ face in round 1. The Brazilian fired back with solid looking leg kicks, but ate canvas courtesy of a big right hand from Taylor early in the second. Instead of swinging on his fallen foe, Taylor pulled the much bigger man down into a guillotine try. That proved to be a questionable decision as Goncalves used his ground skills to scramble to the back and threaten with RNC tries for the last two minutes of round 2. Taylor survived, and he came out with a fury in round 3 as he leapt forward and cracked Goncalves with a legit 10 punch combo against the cage! Huge round 3 TKO win for the 39 year old veteran Louis Taylor to cap an exciting, back and forth fight! 4 points for Louis Taylor
Shamil Gamzatov (12-0, #33 World LHW) UD3 Eddie Gordon (8-5, #146 World)
Two-time TUF alum Eddie Gordon and undefeated Dagestani talent Shamil Gamzatov bit down on their mouthpieces and swung for the fences across the duration of this stellar 15 minute contest. Both men found some success in the boxing department, with Gamzatov landing solid jabs that periodically stopped Gordon in place. Gordon was competitive on the feet, including a nice flurry of punches late in round 1 that put Gamzatov on his back foot. But the ACB alum used a consistent kick attack to keep Gordon at bay and wear his man down. A series of high-energy scrambles near the end of round 2 electrified the crowd but seemed to ultimately sap Gordon’s energy. The Dagestani finished round 2 strong with nasty standing knees, and went right back to work with a glancing head kick seconds into the final frame. “The Truck” pushed forward persistently in round 3 but didn’t make much headway. Instead, Gamzatov landed the bulk of the strikes as he showed off a crisp jab off his back foot. With about 20 seconds left Gordon finally managed to force the brawl and absolutely smashed Gamzatov with a couple of huge shots, but both men gritted it out to the final bell. Gordon’s late onslaught wasn’t enough, as all three judges were impressed by the all-around skills displayed by Shamil Gamzatov. 3 points for Shamil Gamzatov.
Bruno Santos (17-2, #47 World) UD3 Sadibou Sy (6-3, #289 World WW)
After tasting the power in Sadibou Sy’s feet early in round 1 courtesy of a thudding body kick, well-traveled big show veteran Bruno Santos forced this contest to his world in the clinch. That’s where Santos controlled much of round 1, though Sy showed very nice balance as he defended takedowns. The Swedish action movie actor did a better job keeping his torso out of Santos’ clutches in a close, low-volume round 2 that took place entirely on the feet. But things went sour for Sy in round 3, as Santos achieved an inside trip takedown and exhibited heavy top control for the last few minutes of the fight. After passing to side control, Santos sealed the unanimous decision win by working to mount and pounding away for the final moments of the contest. 3 points for Bruno Santos
185: Rex Harris (11-3, #127 World) SD3 Andre Lobato (24-8, #191 World)
Rex Harris earned his spot in the PFL middleweight draw with three wins in four bouts inside the PFL and WSOF cage. Meanwhile, his foe Andre Lobato gained notoriety as champion in Brazil’s Jungle Fight promotion before falling by decision to Yushin Okami at PFL’s inaugural event last July. Following an early trip takedown it looked like Harris might be able to control Lobato with wrestling, much like Okami did to the Brazilian. But Lobato showed good scrambling skills and he may have stolen back round 1 with a half-dozen power punches to the dome. Lobato kept his roll going in round 2 with a patient striking performance that saw him do solid work from the clinch and drop Harris briefly with a nasty leg kick. After finishing round 2 with a scary-looking kimura try, seemed to tire as he mostly retreated in the final stanza. Harris scored a takedown along with plenty of straight punches in the third frame, but never really pressed for a finish. That lack of urgency appeared to cost Harris as the judges awarded the split decision victory to MMA Masters’ Andre Lobato, who picked up his first career win outside Brazil. EXCEPT! The DC commission reversed the decision after a few moments due to a score reporting error. Your winner by split decision, Rex Harris. 3 points for Rex Harris
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