Professional Fighters League 1.0, A MSG and Dan LaMorte road journal
The road journal of the world’s favorite comedians who are also MMA media members (excluding Joe Rogan) continues today. As always I am Dan LaMorte of absolutely no fame, unlike Utica, I am joined tonight with our whole team. That means Luke Touma and Diego Lopez are also here. The here I am referring to is none other than Madison Square Garden. Well the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, but close enough. It’s in the same building. We are here covering the inaugural Professional Fighters League, formerly the World Series of Fighting. This article will highlight the highlights of the night. Weirdly enough the fights started 13 minutes early, hopefully this isn’t foreshadowing of bad luck for the new league.
I have some time to kill since there’s two fights left on the prelims that are supposed to end at 9pm and it’s only 7:25pm. Right now Bas Rutten and Randy Couture are in the ring with Yves Edwards going over the past four fights and the crowd is absolutely loving it. It’s a pretty packed theater, looks like the PFL did a solid job promoting.
The first two highlights for me were both impressive victories. At this point every fight has ended in the first round. Highlight number one comes from UFC veteran, Steven Siler. His opponent was Magomed Idrisov, another solid fighter from Dagestan. I don’t know what’s in the water there but I assume it might be one of the toughest places in the world. Magomed, by all means, should have won that fight. He knocked out Siler but somehow he flailed around enough to not have the ref stop it. He lasted through an onslaught of hammerfists, got Magomed down and finished him with a beautiful triangle submission. Not a bad way for Siler to pick up his 30th career win.
The second highlight comes with one of the most brutal knockouts I’ve ever seen in person. Kelvin Tiller absolutely floored Caio Alencar to improve to 9-1. They call him “Mamas Boy” and Bas Rutten properly started the interview with a “Mama said knock him out”. Kelvin looked like he was in trouble for a minute but then threw a counter overhand right to match Alencar’s overhead right. The outcome was a brutal knockout and even more brutal head off the canvas bounce. It was one of those beautiful walk off punches where there was no need for another strike. Land the right, walk away, get closer to a million dollars.
There was lots of concern for Alencar, with the president of the PFL even coming in the ring to check on him. He thankfully walked out on his own, but a scary and beautiful moment all tied into one. Time to watch the 5th prelim. A Brazilian is walking out to Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind…very ballsy move Mr. Marcos Galvao. Next highlight coming up soon.
I’m just typing right now because of boredom. Prelims ended an hour early but now I’m being told there is another fight. There seems to be confusion all over but they’re working out the kinks. The crowd doesn’t seem to mind. They did an incredible job on what appears to be a sellout. I don’t see many empty seats and we’re still almost an hour away from the main card. Oh here comes the walkout of the next fight, it appears the Rosholt vs Istrefi fight will headline the prelims as planned after a very long break in action. Still waiting for the next highlight.
As I sit awaiting the main card to start I will share my next highlight. They made us stand for the national anthem here (no kneeling don’t worry) and they had a Brooklyn based singer doing it. She was crushing it, hit one tough note and the crowd erupted into boos. But New York is fair, she ended strong and they gave her some of the loudest cheers of the night. New York will turn on you quickly but if you’re strong it’ll pick you back up, unless you’re as heavy as me. New York isn’t that strong. A mini-highlight is sitting this close to Randy Couture and Bas Rutten (I hope he mistakes me for Kevin James.) I’m in MMA heaven.
The next highlight comes from the first fight on the Main Card of PFL 1. I love flying knees, but I love them even more when it’s a heavyweight flying through the air with violence. Alex Nicholson knocked out Jake Heun to kick things off on the televised card. Maybe to knee things off would be a better term. For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing heavyweights fight live, what are you waiting for? The thud of each strike literally silences arenas full of people. It’s truly something beautiful and not beautiful all at the same time. Love Handles never look scarier.
— #PFLmma (@ProFightLeague) June 8, 2018
The last highlight ends with Andre Harrison. He didn’t finish the fight, but it’s always fun to see a 30-26 score. That really adds insult to injury. He’s a massive featherweight, throws with a ton of power and kicks with power. He scored a first round knockdown with a low leg kick. It’s a thing of beauty.
There’s one more fight left, I don’t think it’s being televised. They’re ending with a Facebook live fight. As David Bixenspan said on twitter, it’s the postlims baby. All in all I think the PFL pulled off a great first event. There were some hiccups along the way and some funny footage that went live that shouldn’t have, but we really enjoyed ourselves. This has been Dan, Luke and Diego. We are the Fight Fist Podcast Crew and you can hear us every week on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, SoundCloud, etc. See you at the next event!
Well I lied to you all. The highlight of the night actually came in the last fight, a fight in which was broadcast on Facebook after the main card had already ended. It was Josh Copeland vs Jack May, a man most people don’t know. He won in the first round. How did he celebrate? He turned to Media Row and told all the press to go fuck themselves and to continue to write negative shit about him. I honestly had no idea who he was, but now I do. And I’m petty so I will only find negative things to say about him. He seems to be an angry man. Hopefully he finds some THC in his life.
The night ended on a bang at #PFL1 with a Jack May knockout and what does he do? He turns to all of us on Media Row and says, "Fuck you all. Write that bad shit about Press, fuck all motherfuckers." Such a kind gesture from a fighter most people don't know.
— MiddleEasy (@MiddleEasy) June 8, 2018
And now, I’m out for real. Thanks to the PFL for having us. Peace.