Josh "Cuddly Bear" Copeland (pic via PFL)

PFL 8 Results & Clips: Josh Copeland vs Philipe Lins, Lance Palmer vs Steven Siler booked for $1 Million Finals

New Orleans, Louisiana – The inaugural PFL playoffs kick off at PFL 8, where top heavyweights & featherweights from the Pro Fight League regular season vie for a spot in the $1 Million PFL 2018 finale.  This is the most grueling portion of the PFL schedule, as each fighter must win two bouts at PFL 8 in order to get their crack at the big check on New Years’ Eve.  Read on for live updates and highlight clips as the PFL 8 action goes down on Facebook (7 PM EST) and NBCSN (9 PM EST).

 

 

PFL 8 Heavyweight Playoffs:

2 round bouts in the quarterfinals, in case of draw, whoever won round 1 advances

 

Semifinals:

Josh Copeland (18-5-1, #8 Seed, #54 World)  KO1  Alex Nicholson (13-7, #5 Seed, #89 World)

It looked like the Cinderella story was over for Josh Copeland after he ate a huge spinning backfist from Alex Nicholson that opened up a massive cut over his eye early in round 1.  Nicholson swarmed like a maniac, offering a flying knee and reckless punches, but instead Copeland retaliated with an enormous right hand that sent Nicholson down to the mat out cold!  What a way to cap PFL 8, as all-around good guy Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland authored the KO of his career and booked himself a ticket to the New Years’ Eve finals!

 

 

Philipe Lins (13-3, #3 Seed, #78 World)  TKO2  Jared Rosholt (17-6, #7 Seed, #53 World)

After dominating a 10 minute grappling match versus Kelvin Tiller, Jared Rosholt had just enough gas left in the tank to dominate Philipe Lins for the first five minutes of this three round semifinal. Unfortunately for the wrestling ace, Rosholt had absolutely nothing left for round 2.  The Brazilian took advantage by smashing Rosholt with a flurry of punches that sent the American careening to the mat and precipitated the round 2 finish!  Massive win for Bellator alum Philipe Lins, who scored his second finish of the evening en route to securing the first birth in the PFL 11 $1 million heavyweight finals.

 

 

Quarterfinals:

Josh Copeland (17-5-1, #8 Seed, #54 World)  UDraw  Francimar Barroso (21-7-1, #1 Seed, #46 World) – Copeland Advanced

The “Cuddly Bear” showed his best form of the PFL 2018 season as he enjoyed noticeable early strength and striking advantages against UFC vet Francimar Barroso. The Brazilian has done his best work at light heavyweight, and the size difference showed as he flew back toward the cage every time Copeland landed a punch. To his credit, Barroso did a solid job of firing back with counters as Copeland charged foreward, head down.  The American staggered Barroso with a crisp punch in the final minute of round 1, while the Brazilian largely whiffed on haymakers while trying to slip in a fight-changing body kick. Both men exchanged clinch control and traded knees late as the fight cruised to a decision finish.  Good enough for Josh Copeland to score a draw, and the defacto 8 vs. 1 seed upset via round 1 tiebreaker.

 faces the winner of:

Alex Nicholson (13-6, #5 Seed, #89 World)  TKO1  Jack May (10-5, #4 Seed, #76 World)

After a lot of ground work on the PFL 8 Facebook card, UFC alums Alex Nicholson and Jack May gave the fans a treat in the online stream headliner with a quick, intense brawl. Nicholson seemed intent on taking May’s head off from the opening bell and did a good job of backing the 6’8″ Californian into the cage. May nearly connected with homerun counters, but 90 seconds in “The Spartan” found the mark with a series of shots that nearly put May on the canvas. May re-established range but his leg went out on him, and shortly thereafter Nicholson ended the grudge match in style with a finish via ground strikes.  Another quarterfinal fight, another seemingly undamaged winner as Alex Nicholson advanced to the semis in short order.

 

Jared Rosholt (17-5, #7 Seed, #53 World)  UD2  Kelvin Tiller (10-2, #2 Seed, #30 World)

Wrestling guru Rosholt enacted his wrestling gameplan to perfection, starting out with a bullrush at the opening bell that seemed to catch Tiller by surprise.  That worked well as Rosholt avoided the big finish that Tiller caught him with during their regular season matchup at PFL 4.  He never came close to taking out “Mama’s Boy” Tiller, but no damage incurred here for Jared Rosholt, who appeared to be in fine shape heading into the quarters against Philipe Lins.

Rosholt faces Lins in the semis:

Philipe Lins (12-3, #3 Seed, #78 World)  Sub1-Guillotine  Caio Alencar (12-4, Injury Alternate, #41 World)

The pupil outdid his mentor here, as Philipe Lins tapped longtime friend Caio Alencar in just 35 seconds. Lins, 33, tapped out his 39 year old pal when he caught a guillotine off of Alencar’s first takedown attempt.  Easy work heading into the semifinals for Philipe Lins, who will be tasked with trying to stay on his feet against the NCAA wrestling star Rosholt.

 

 

 

PFL 8 Featherweight Playoffs:

2 round bouts in the quarterfinals, in case of draw, whoever won round 1 advances

 

Semifinals:

Steven Siler (32-17-1, #1 Seed, #36 World)  DQ2  Alexandre de Almeida (20-9, #5 Seed, #111 World)

The second featherweight semifinal started out as a matchup of Alexandre de Almeida’s wrestling game versus Steven Siler’s ability to deal damage at close range in round 1.  The slightly bloodied Almeida fell to his back early in roudn 2 and ate a couple of punches from Siler, only to drill the American with an illegal upkick that sent him toppling to the mat.  Siler, incapacitated, was unable to continue and ended up winning the bout via disqualification.  A disappointing way to advance, in some regards, but no doubt Steven Siler will be ready to throw down once his 12/31 million dollar bout with Lance Palmer is on tap.

 

 

Lance Palmer (16-3, #2 Seed, #31 World)  UD3  Andre Harrison (20-1, #3 Seed, #16 World) 

These former WSOF title adversaries spent most of round 1 circling and posturing, with Harrison controlling center cage.  Things heated up in round 2 when Palmer used a double leg to take Harrison down. When “The Bull” scrambled, up Palmer took his back standing and applied a body triangle that he held onto for over 3 minutes while working a face crank. “The Party” repeated his trick in round 3, dumping Harrison to the mat early and working to back control with four minutes left in round 3. Palmer worked to mount and held the position en route to securing his place in the $1 million finals.  Not exactly exciting, but with this much money on the line, it’s hard to blame Palmer for employing such a low-risk strategy.  Meanwhile, Andre Harrison finally caught his first loss after 20 pro wins spread over 7 years.

 

 

Quarterfinals:

 

Steven Siler (31-17-1, #1 Seed, #36 World)  MDraw  Nazareno Malegarie (35-5-1, #8 Seed, #66 World) – Siler Advanced

#1 seed Steven Siler got off to a beautiful start in this quarterfinal matchup, cracking Nazareno Malegarie with a right hand that dropped him to the mat in the opening minute. The born finisher Siler followed up with ground-and-pound and choke tries but couldn’t find the early submission. After that initial rush, Malegarie gathered his bearings and started chipping into Siler’s lead in the striking exchanges. The Argentinian probably needed a finish entering round 2, while Siler didn’t even seem interested in winning the round. Malegarie pressed the action as Siler slowed.  The #8 seed didn’t land anything big on the feet but did end up on top with 2 minutes work. After Siler tied him up, Malegarie got back to his feet and spent the final minute swinging for the KO with no effect until a couple of last minute shots landed.  Nazareno Malegarie’s round 2 efforts earned him the draw, but Steven Siler advanced to round 2 via tiebreaker since he won round 1.  Next up, a rematch with Alexandre de Almeida.

Winner faces the winner of:

Alexandre de Almeida (20-8, #5 Seed, #111 World)  MD2  Jumabieke Tuerxun (20-9-1, Injury Alternate, #533 World)

Injury replacement Jumabieke Tuerxun registered as a huge underdog versus former WSOF champ Alexandre de Almeida, but he got off to a quick start with an early takedown.  That approach bore no fruit as the BJJ ace used omoplata & kneebar attacks to reverse to top control.  After finishing round 1 on top, Almeida landed a few punches to start round 2. Tuerxun ducked under for a takedown, but moments later Almeida swept to mount and stayed there for most of the second stanza. The Chinese fighter was game on  short notice but just couldn’t threaten Almeida, who looked pretty tired but unhurt as he advanced to the semifinals.

 

Lance Palmer (15-3, #2 Seed, #31 World)  UD2  Max Coga (20-6, #7 Seed, #80 World)

Lance Palmer’s wrestling won the day as he planted and controlled Max Coga for the vast majority of this two round clash.  Coga tried his hardest to attack from bottom and initiate scrambles, with little luck until the end of round 2 when he clamped on a scary-looking heel hook. According to Palmer’s post-fight interview, his legs were too slick for the hold to cause any damage – looks like Lance Palmer is set to go through to the PFL featherweight semifinals.

Palmer faces Harrison in the semis:

Andre Harrison (20-0, #3 Seed, #16 World)  MD2  Alexandre Bezerra (22-6, #6 Seed, #42 World)

Andre Harrison forewent his typical wrestling game plan in this round 1 clash, a serious show of respect for Bellator alum Alexandre Bezerra’s jiu-jitsu skills.  That approach worked flawlessly for “The Bull” during the first 4:30 of round 1, as he picked apart Bezerra with punches. Bezerra turned the tide when he rocked Harrison with a 3-shot combo late in round 1.  The Brazilian appeared to be in trouble when he ate a nasty leg kick that left him limping in the second minute of round 2. Bezerra bit down on his mouthpiece and did his best to force Harrison into a brawl, and he kept it tough for the favorite all the way to the bell. But ultimately Andre Harrison’s skills allowed him to advance to the quarterfinal matchup with Lance Palmer, whom he defeated for the WSOF title back in March 2017.

 

 

PFL 8 alternate bouts:

 

265: Mo De’Reese (7-0, #159 World)  TKO1  Mike Kyle (23-17-1, #74 World)

After scoring a highlight reel KO on the PFL 7, Mo De’Reese took on a slimmed-down Mike Kyle and immediately tackled the veteran to the mat. From there De’Reese advanced to side control before forcing the stoppage with punches from mount in about a half-a-round.  Very impressive work from 30 year old Queens native Mo De’Reese, who will take a semifinal spot if all heavyweight quarterfinalists are unable to continue after their first fight. Either way, expect De’Reese to make his way to PFL Season 2 thanks to another eye-opening showing.

 

145: Jeremy Kennedy (12-1, #78 World) vs. Marcos Galvao (18-11-1, #229 World)

Kennedy scratched due to existing contract with Brave CF, former Bellator champ Marcos Galvao advances in case of injury

 

 

Love World MMA? So do we! Covering PFL 8 and every major fight in the Geek Guide:

MMA Geek Guide 10/3 – 10/8/18: Results/Recaps/Clips of UFC 229, PFL 8 Playoffs, KSW 45, every major fight worldwide!

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