The Professional Fighters League 2023 regular season continues this Friday with a card from the Overtime Elite Arena. Featherweight champ Brendan Loughnane will fight UFC veteran Marlon Moraes in the main event.
MMA Junkie will provide live and official results from the main and preliminary cards. The promotion’s points system awards fighters based on the round they win in.
Main Event: Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Shane Burgos
Professional Fighters League fans will be treated to a full card of action when the 2023 Regular Season kicks off Friday night live from the Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on ESPN+. Several of last year’s welterweight champions return to the SmartCage, while some of the sport’s newest stars make their debuts for the franchise.
In the main event, 2018 welterweight champion Magomed Magomedkerimov faces an opponent with a lot to prove in his PFL debut. Ben Egli has put together an impressive regional resume, but he’s going to be tested by Magomedkerimov’s world-class striking and submission skills.
Burgos has spent his entire career fighting at featherweight, and it’s going to be a huge challenge for him to adapt to the much larger size of welterweight. Aubin-Mercier is a massive individual, and he will use his size and strength advantage to dominate Burgos throughout the fight.
A pair of veterans will compete in the co-main event, as American Clay Collard meets Japan’s Yamato Nishikawa. Both fighters are a perfect 3 for 3 in the PFL, and this should be a fun fight to watch.
The rest of the main card features a mix of experienced and fresh talent, with all six fights taking place over three rounds. In the televised prelims, 2022 welterweight season winner Sadibou Sy takes on Shane Mitchell, while former Bellator MMA veteran Jarrah Al-Silawi battles newcomer Nayib Lopez.
Round one saw Romero pushing Aubin-Mercier back to start the fight, but it didn’t last long as OAM started pounding him with punches and kicks. At one point, Romero jumped to throw a knee, but he hit his head on the cage and was knocked out as the round came to a close.
Round two started with a back-and-forth as both fighters searched for a finish. In the final seconds of the round, OAM tried to land a left hook, but was caught with a short right hand that put him on the floor. He got up but was unable to continue, and the referee stopped the fight.
Co-Main Event: Clay Collard vs. Yamato Nishikawa
The Professional Fighters League returned to action on Friday (June 23) with PFL 6 at the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the sixth event of the 2023 regular season and featured action in both the welterweight and lightweight divisions. Olivier Aubin-Mercier, the 2022 Lightweight World Champion, faced Shane Burgos in his PFL debut. Meanwhile, Yamato Nishikawa took on Clay Collard in the co-main event.
Both men were able to get off to fast starts in this one. Collard threw some big body shots early and used his range to make sure that he was in front of his opponent throughout the fight. Nishikawa had some success with his leg kicks, but he was unable to put together any sort of a rhythm and was often a step behind Collard.
In the second round, Collard started to pound away on the legs of Nishikawa and threw some solid jabs as well. He stuffed some takedown attempts from Ray and would use his boxing to keep the fight on the feet as much as possible.
As the fight continued, Nishikawa started to find his footing and would begin to land some decent combinations. He also landed some big shots to the body and threw a few strikes up top as well. However, when the fight went to the clinch, Collard was able to pull away and use his boxing skills once again.
Both fighters looked to be a bit tired in the final round and a few big punches from Collard were enough to get him some momentum. Nishikawa tried to regain the clinch but was never able to get it done. As the fight came back to the feet, Collard got into some great posture and rained down heavy ground and pound on the smaller Japanese fighter.
With the win, Collard moved to 3-0 in the PFL this season and improved to 16-4 overall. He now stands just a few points outside of the top-5 in the Lightweight standings. For his efforts, he earned the $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus award. This was Nishikawa’s first loss in the PFL and he falls to 3-3 in the promotion. He is still very young and has plenty of time to turn things around and return to the top level of the division once again. He is just two losses away from a title shot at this point.
Preliminary Event: Sabidou Sy vs. Jarrah Al-Silawi
The Professional Fighters League’s regular season concludes with a pair of men’s welterweight and lightweight fights Friday night in Atlanta. 2022 PFL champion Sadibou Sy headlines the show against Jarrah Al-Silawi in a welterweight matchup that is expected to have playoff implications. Other matches on the card include Olivier Aubin-Mercier facing off against Shane Burgos and Clay Collard facing off against Yamato Nishikawa.
Sy has a very strong submission game, but his striking abilities also make him a tough opponent to beat. He has won seven of his 12 professional fights via KO/TKO and five by submission. Al-Silawi was part of last year’s PFL Tournament Series, winning one fight before losing his second to Magomed Umalatov in the final. The former BRAVE CF champ has won eight of his 11 fights by decision and is looking to get off to a fast start in his first PFL appearance of 2023.
Both fighters enter this fight with a chance to earn last-chance points to advance to the promotion’s 2023 Playoffs, which will see the winners compete for $1 million in prize money. The playoffs will be held in late June.
In the lightweight division, Aubin-Mercier has a chance to finish out the regular season in first place as he faces Burgos. Burgos was an impressive opponent in his PFL debut in April, but he ran out of time in the third and fourth rounds against Aubin-Mercier’s superior footwork and wrestling skills. With a win here, the former collegiate wrestler can ensure that he gets into the playoffs as the top-seeded fighter in his weight class.
Al-Silawi will be trying to avoid a three-straight defeat in his first PFL appearance of 2023 as he takes on Sweden’s Sy. Sy is a strong finisher and outworked his opponents in most of his wins in 2022, including a unanimous decision win over Gleison Tibau. Al-Silawi is a well-rounded fighter who has won seven of his 11 fights by submission and six by KO/TKO, but his recent loss to Umalatov makes him an underdog heading into this fight.
The prelims on ESPN+ will begin at 6:00pm ET before the main event airs on ESPN and ESPN+ at 9:00pm ET. Stay tuned to MMASucka for more staff picks for Friday’s PFL 6 event. MMASucka is the official MMA blog of the Professional Fighters League, which offers a mix of MMA news and analysis for fans, featuring the best fighters and teams in mixed martial arts. The site is free to join and can be accessed by anyone worldwide. The MMASucka staff has been providing MMA coverage, news and analysis since 2023. Follow us on Twitter @MMASucka for the latest updates and to participate in the discussion.