PFL Crowns Kings and Queens of European Competitions
There is a lot of buzz surrounding the Professional Fighters League. Following a recent acquisition of Bellator, the PFL is looking to diversify as quickly as possible to try and build up its reputation as a top mixed martial arts organization. One of PFL’s strategies was to try to hold its own European-only competition.
The blowout for the four championship bouts took place at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, last Friday. This was great for local fans because the fights took place at local primetime. Some American fans were left disappointed that the bouts weren’t broadcast overseas. But despite some minor hiccups, many people were happy with the event that saw four fighters rewarded with $100,000 checks.
PFL Europe 4 didn’t see the judges having to get involved very much. Nine of the 11 fights on the card would end in a finish, according to MMAfighting latest news.
Ditcheva Continues to Build Her Reputation
English fighter Dakota Ditcheva built her reputation by being one of the best Muay Thai fighters in the world. Ditcheva won a gold medal at the IFMA World Championships in 2016. During Ditcheva’s Muay Thai career, she finished with a 10-1 record.
Ditcheva didn’t transition to professional MMA until 2021. There have been few more exciting flyweight prospects than Ditcheva since she started fighting professionally. This PFL Europe season ended up being a perfect opportunity to display what talent she has.
Ditcheva capped her championship run by bludgeoning Valentina Scatizzi before the fight was halted by the doctor after the first round. On Ditcheva’s way to the finals, she submitted Malin Hermansson in the quarterfinals and knocked out Cornelia Holm in the semifinals with a body shot.
Ditcheva is 10-0 in her career thus far and has eight wins by knockout, according to MMA news sites.
Irish Fighter Impressed in Front of Home Fans
Irish fighter Nathan Kelly has been battling to make a mark on the PFL featherweight scene for a few years. Giving him the opportunity to fight Dimitry Solimeis in the main event in Dublin felt like a nice reward for the crowd and the fighter. Kelly didn’t disappoint.
He was able to force Solimeis to the mat and wrap up a rear-naked choke with 13 seconds left in the first round. Kelly improved to 8-2 on his career and has now won all four of his fights in the PFL. With his success in one-off bouts, Kelly will get an opportunity to enter a season-long tournament soon.
The Boar is Running Wild
Irish fans were ready to celebrate hometown guy John Mitchell winning the PFL Europe lightweight championship. But life seldom goes how people plan it. Mitchell rushed out and put a beating on Polish fighter Jakub “The Boar” Kaszuba.
But Mitchell didn’t earn a stoppage in the first round. When he went out and attempted to finish things in the second round, Mitchell got dropped himself. Kaszuba was able to swarm him and pick up the knockout. Kaszuba is now 11-0 in his career.
Tajikistan Fighter Claims Bantamweight Gold
Khurshed Kakhorov introduced himself to a whole new audience in the bantamweight final. During the second round of his title fight against Frans Mlambo, he landed a vicious counterpunch that allowed him to pick up a second-round TKO victory. It was a sudden jolt of power that he hadn’t displayed previously in the tournament.
During the first two rounds, Kakhorov had to rely on all his skills to grab a pair of unanimous decision victories. Kakhorov improved to 12-1 in his career.
Slovenian Slugger Dominates Light Heavyweight
Jakob Nedoh didn’t treat Simeon Powell unlike any of his other opponents during the PFL Europe light heavyweight championship bout. The only difference between Powell and Nedoh’s first two opponents was that Powell managed to escape the first round. However, Powell couldn’t avoid Nedoh’s power forever.
Nedoh caught him in the second round to earn a TKO victory. Prior to fighting in PFL Europe, Nedoh has mostly fought on the regional scene. Sporting an 8-1 record with six knockouts, there will be plenty of opportunities for Nedoh following the win, according to the best MMA news site.
Two Former UFC Fighters Pick up Wins
Brett Johns, who fought most recently in Bellator but also fought in the UFC, didn’t wait long to take advantage of the PFL putting on an event in Europe. The Welsh fighter took a fight against David-Tonatiuth Crol and made the most of his opportunity. Johns would use an accumulation of strikes to drop Crol in the third round for a TKO win.
Johns is 19-3 in his career. The win over Crol was just the fourth knockout of his career. Johns has never been finished in a fight himself, with all three of his losses coming via decision. One of Johns’ losses came to a future UFC champion, Aljamain Sterling. Johns also has a loss against respected UFC veteran Pedro Munhoz.
Tom Breese won his 2024 PFL Global League qualifier by submitting Cleiton Silva in the first round. Breese, who is 18-4 in his career, has had some notable fights during his UFC career. Breese lost a split decision to current UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland in June 2016.
He was cut from the UFC after losing two of his last three fights in the organization, including a submission loss to Omari Akhmedov in January 2021.
Showcase Card Had Plenty of Action
While four champions being crowned was the most important part of the night, there was plenty of action going on in the 3Arena. Here’s a look at the other results from the night that weren’t mentioned above.
- Lightweight: Dylan Tuke submitted Yazid Chouchane, 2:36 Round 2
- Bantamweight: Weslley Maia win by decision Lewis McGrillen-Evans, 29-28 (x3)
- Bantamweight: Kikadze Bondo win by decision Dominique Wooding, 29-27 (x2) 29×26
- Lightweight: Connor Hughes win by technical knockout (retirement) over Sebastian Santana Guedes, Round 1, 5:00
- Amateur: Nate Kelly win by submission Calum Seaton, Round 2 :51
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