PFL 205 pound leader Vinny Magalhaes (via @vinnymma)

PFL 5 Results/Clips: Vinny Magalhaes, Natan Schulte, Maxim Grishin vault atop the $1 million standings

Long Island, New York – The PFL kept their 2018 regular season rolling with another eventful, finish-packed set of world class fights at PFL 5.  Former M-1 Global stars Vinny Magalhaes and Maxim Grishin leapt to the head of the light heavyweight pack with impressive finishes, while upstart Brazilian prospect Natan Schulte shocked a second straight solid veteran when he choked out Strikeforce & UFC alum Jason High in the main event.  Read on for recaps and highlights from from PFL 5, and click here to rewatch the first 3 fights of the night on PFL’s Facebook page.


PFL 5:  Light Heavyweight Regular Season Week 2

205: Vinny Magalhaes (16-9, 12 points, #48 World)  TKO1  Brandon Halsey (11-4, 4 points, #36 World)

Former Bellator champ Brandon Halsey danced with the devil early when he took Vinny Magalhaes down to the mat. That didn’t last long, as the wrestler wanted nothing to do with Magalhaes once the BJJ ace started working for an omoplata. Halsey tried to get his work done swinging bombs on the feet, but he ate a massive right head kick to the back-left of his dome that splattered him to the ground! The ground-and-pound finish was academic, as Vinny Magalhaes earned a second straight massive highlight reel finish after plowing through Jamie Abdallah at PFL 2. 6 points for Vinny Magalhaes, who earned 12 regular season points overall. Brandon Halsey probably will net a playoff spot based on his 4 point TKO win over Smealinho Rama at PFL 2.


205: Maxim Grishin (28-7, 11 points, #31 World)  Sub2-RNC  Rakim Cleveland (19-10-1, 4 points, #20 World)

In a battle of training partners, Maxim Grishin used a high-volume leg kick assault to batter Rakim Cleveland early and foil the American finisher’s knockout plans. Both men got their licks in as they traded strikes in the second. As soon as Grishin decided to shoot for the takedown he got it as Cleveland’s legs gave out immediately. Cleveland briefly threatened with a guillotine, but that proved to be a last gasp effort as Grishin wrapped up the RNC moments later. 5 points for Maxim Grishin, for 11 points total. Rakim Cleveland will probably still earn a playoff shot based on the 4 points he earned TKO’ing Rashid Yusupov at PFL 2.


205: Dan Spohn (18-5, 7 points, #35 World)  UD3  Artur Alibulatov (19-4, 0 points, #183 World M185)

Dan Spohn and Artur Alibulatov played a violent game of standup chicken throughout most of this fight, with moderate damage inflicted from kicking range. Spohn landed the best shot of round 1 with a short left hook that buckled Alibulatov’s legs. The Russian seemed to be turning the tide in round 2 when he paused Spohn with a liver kick. But Spohn powered his way into a takedown against Alibulatov, who usually fights at 185, and spent most of the last minute of the second in mount. In the first minute of round 3 Alibulatov landed a pair of crushing nut kicks that left Spohn wretching in a bucket. A point was deducted from Alibulatov and they went to the scorecards early, where Dan Spohn won a 29-27, 29-27, 30-26 unanimous decision. 3 points for Dan Spohn, and 7 points total. Alibulatov exited the competition with 0 points after stepping as a late replacement.


PFL 5: Lightweight Regular Season Week 2

155: Natan Schulte (13-3, 9 points, #111 World)  Sub1-RNC  Jason High (21-8, 0 points, #74 World)

UFC and Strikeforce veteran Jason High was considering retirement after a local Illinois referee claimed that he tapped versus Efrain Escudero and stopped their fight at PFL 2. High didn’t actually tap in that robbery, and he never tapped in this legit loss either as recently unknown Brazilian Natan Schulte put him out cold via RNC late in round 1. High experienced some early success on the feet against his former training partner, but Schulte used clever trip and sweep takedowns to achieve dominant position. Once he got his arms around High’s neck, the Brazilian overpowered the veteran and squeezed out the technical submission victory with 42 seconds left in the first frame!  6 points for Natan Schulte for 9 total in the PFL regular season. High exited the competition with 0 points in 2 fights.


155: Will Brooks (20-4, 6 points, #26 World)  UD3  Robert Watley (11-2, 5 points, #50 World)

Finishing points are nice, but Will Brooks was happy to use positional control to cruise to a second straight decision and a place in the PFL $1 million playoffs. Watley enjoyed a few brief moments of top control after a surprise takedown in round 1, but once the ex-Bellator champ Brooks kicked it in gear he scored takedowns and secured back control in rounds 2 and 3. Nothing thrilling in this one, as Brooks swept the unanimous decision. 3 points for Will Brooks, for 6 points total. Robert Watley makes the playoffs with 5 points earned when he somehow was awarded a TKO after Thiago Tavares bowed out following a nut shot at PFL 2.


155: Rashid Magomedov (21-2, 3 points, #39 World)  UD3  Luiz Firmino (20-10, 0 points, #67 World)

With an incredible 13-2 record in UFC & M-1 Global competition, Rashid Magomedov figured to be a favorite when he signed with PFL. But the talented striker suffered a setback when an injured forced him out of his PFL 2 fight. Magomedov briefly found himself in trouble when Firmino burst out of the gate and into the clinch. Firmino worked to the back but never seriously threatened over 2 minutes of contorl, but Magomedov reversed position and ended the first frame on top. With that poor start out of the way, Magomedov kicked things into gear in the second stanza and went to work with his impressive kicking offense. Firmino had trouble forcing the brawl until the Dagestani tired down in round 3. Both guys landed bombs midway through a much closer third round, but the judges were more impressed with Magomedov’s work and awarded him the 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 unanimous decision. 3 points for Rashid Magomedov, who clinched a playoff spot according to onscreen graphics. Luiz Firmino bowed out of the competition after falling to Will Brooks at PFL 2.


155: Chris Wade (13-4, 6 points, #132 World)  Sub1-Guillotine  Yuki Kawana (14-3-5, 0 points, #200 World)

What a scene at the opening bell, as both men sprinted forward and Chris Wade glanced Yuki Kawana with a jumping front kick to the face! The hometown boy expended a ton of energy trying to finish his wounded foe with D’Arce and guillotine choke tries, but he couldn’t find the angle to force the tap. After a great first two minutes for the American, Yuki Kawana reversed to top position briefly. But before long, Chris Wade found the neck again and squeezed out a guillotine in the last minute of round 1! 6 points for Chris Wade, who rebounded from an upset decision loss to Natan Schulte in his first PFL bout. Yuki Kawana was eliminated from $1 millon consideration after falling to Wade and Islam Mamedov in his two outings.


155: Thiago Tavares (22-8-1, 3 points, #194 World)  SD3  Arthur Estrazulas (10-4, 0 points, #160 World)

For the first two-and-a-half rounds of the PFL 5 opener, longtime UFC featherweight Thiago Tavares looked set to cruise to a lopsided decision win. Tavares used his impressive takedown and BJJ skills to plant AXS TV Fights Arthur Estrazulas on the mat and thwart the underdog’s triangle choke and scrambling efforts. Estrazulas finally got to his feet and got things going late in round 3, as he smashed Tavares with an uppercut and nearly decapitated him with a vicious knee that missed by inches. The tired veteran clung on from bottom position and survived until the final bell – good enough for a win via split decision. 3 points for Thiago Tavares. Arthur Estrazulas was eliminated after competing in just 1 fight as an alternate.


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