After watching the heavyweight bracket take shape over the course of the night, Jared Rosholt came out and punched his ticket to the playoffs for the second-straight season.
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Rosholt faced judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii in the main event of the Professional Fighters League’s sixth and final regular-season event of the 2019 season. “The Big Show” emerged victorious on the scorecards with a unanimous decision win (30-27, 29-28 2x).
Ishii and Rosholt engaged in a feeling-out process early on. Both fighters pose a significant threat in the grappling department, but neither was able to take control after nearly four minutes.
With a minute left, Rosholt landed his first takedown of the fight after finding success in the clinch. He had an opportunity to take the back but was unable to do so or mount any significant offense. Ishii didn’t stay down for too long, and the round ended with him pressing Rosholt against the cage.
Rosholt got off to a much quicker start in the second round, bringing his opponent to the mat right away. Once again, Ishii escaped after briefly giving up his back.
The two grapplers let their hands fly a bit more in the second round with each landing. The striking battle wouldn’t last long, though. Rosholt returned to his wrestling with a minute left in the round, taking Ishii down again without landing much in the ground and pound department.
Ishii came out aggressive in the third round, aware of the fact that he was likely down two rounds. Rosholt nullified Ishii’s pressure by initiating a clinch. Neither fighter was able to advance or land anything significant while inside the clinch, but both repeatedly returned to the position as the round continued.
The two fighters returned to the center of the cage with a minute left. Both showed signs of fatigue, breathing heavily and holding their hands low. They clinched once again and rode out the final moments of the fight on their feet.
By the end of the fight, Rosholt had outlanded Ishii by 21 strikes according to the PFL’s Cagenomics. He also notched four takedowns.
The victory earned Rosholt the necessary three points to get him into the playoffs, and it broke his two-fight losing streak that dates back to last season. In 2018, Rosholt won his first playoff bout against Kelvin Tiller but would go on to lose to eventual champion Philipe Lins by TKO later that night.
In his one prior appearance this season, Rosholt was defeated by Denis Goltsov by first-round TKO.
For Ishii, the loss does not spell the end of his PFL run.
Making his PFL debut in June, Ishii defeated Ezekiel Tuinei-Wily by split decision to earn three points. Those three points were enough to land him the eighth spot in the playoffs.
The loss to Rosholt did break Ishii’s seven-fight winning streak.
The full results from PFL 6, as well as the solidified light heavyweight and heavyweight playoff brackets, are listed below.
PFL 6 Results
- Jared Rosholt def. Satoshi Ishii via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 2x)
- Vinny Magalhaes def. Rakim Cleveland via submission (armbar) – R1, 1:56
- Viktor Nemkov def. Rashid Yusupov via split decision (29-28 2x, 28-29)
- Ali Isaev def. Carl Seumanutafa via unanimous decision (30-27 2x, 29-28)
- Maxim Grishin def. Mikhail Mokhnatkin via KO (punch) R1, 0:48
- Muhammed DeReese def. Valdrin Istrefi via TKO (punches) R1, 2:06
- Umar Nurmagomedov def. Sidemar Honorio via unanimous decision (30-27 3x)
- Francimar Barroso def. Ben Edwards via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 2x)
- Denis Goltsov def. Kelvin Tiller via submission (Ezekiel choke) – R2, 3:40
- Emiliano Sordi def. Bozigit Ataev via KO (ground and pound) – R1, 1:22
- Alex Nicholson def. Zeke Tuinei-Wily via TKO (punches) – R1, 3:07
- Jordan Johnson def. Sigi Pesaleli via unanimous decision (30-27 3x)
Following tonight’s results, the light heavyweight bracket is complete.
The quarterfinal matchups are as follows:
- No. 1 Emiliano Sordi vs. No. 8 Sigi Pesaleli
- No. 4 Bozigit Ataev vs. No. 5 Viktor Nemkov
- No. 3 Vinny Magalhaes vs. No. 6 Rashid Yusupov
- No. 2 Maxim Grishin vs. No. 7 Jordan Johnson
In the heavyweight division, the quarterfinal matchups are listed below.
- No. 1 Denis Goltsov vs. No. 8 Satoshi Ishii
- No. 4 Kelvin Tiller vs. No. 5 Ali Isaev
- No. 3 Alex Nicholson vs. No. 6 Francimar Barroso
- No. 2 Muhammed DeReese vs. No. 7 Jared Rosholt
The quarterfinal and semifinal fights of the brackets will take place on Thursday, October 31 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Shane Connelly is a journalism student at Penn State with a passion for sharing the stories of MMA fighters.