With no MMA on this weekend, I wondered how I would get my MMA fix. Enter the Professional Fighters League World Championship.
When I was trying to make my way as an MMA writer and blogger, I would watch as many events as I could. Everything from Aussie promotions, if they were streaming, through to regional US promotions, and of course, I was also watching Strikeforce and Bellator. Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I have watched another promotion besides the UFC.
I watched almost the entire thing, though I did fall asleep just as Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Stevie Ray were making their way to the cage; I woke up in enough time to see the start of the co-main event between Brendan Loughnane. While asleep, I did miss Aubin-Mercier’s KO, which was a bummer.
Watching the event from start to finish was excellent. I enjoyed all the fights I watched, but my favourite was ‘Razor’ Rob Wilkinson’s fight. The Tasmanian defeated Omari Akhmedov for the Light Heavyweight Championship. Wilkinson also won 1 million USD (1.4 million AUD). Wilkinson looked sharp, and a performance like that will get the UFC’s attention.
The co-main event and the main event were both excellent contests. Brendan Loughnane showed that Dana White shouldn’t have passed on giving him a UFC contract, defeating Bubba Jenkins via unanimous decision. Loughnane is a quality fighter with the perfect game plan for the win.
In the main event, Larissa Pacheco gave Kayla Harrison her professional loss, winning unanimously. In a back-and-forth fight, Pacheco showed the heart of a champion by overcoming Harrison. She also got one over on her biggest rival, with Harrison winning the last two fights.
Here in Australia, we were lucky enough to have the event on Stan Sports. For those that don’t know, Stan is a streaming platform in Australia like Hulu and the like, and it is a joint venture by Nine Entertainment Co and Fairfax Media. Stan has rights to Rugby Union, Superbikes, and the UEFA Champions League.
The only criticism I had with the stream was that when the commentators were doing their analysis on screen, the sound would be so low, but when they went to a fighter’s package, it would be back at the normal sound. Also, there were a couple of times that the Spanish commentary was played over the top of the English commentary; I’m not sure if the same thing happened on the ESPN+ feed, which wasn’t enjoyable. The good thing was that it didn’t happen all the way through.
I really enjoyed the fights I watched, and I will watch PFL whenever possible.