Interview with PFL playoff fighters from ATT and Sanford MMA


The Professional Fighters League (PFL) semifinals will be in South Florida throughout August, and they will feature several fighters who train in South Florida.

That group includes Kayla Harrison, Antonio Carlos Junior, Raush Manfio, and Magomed Magomedkerimov from American Top Team in Coconut Creek and Rory MacDonald and Loik Radzhabov from Sanford MMA in Deerfield Beach.

The PFL semifinals are Aug. 13, 19 and 27 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood in South Florida. There will be other fights on each card.

Semifinal winners advance to the championships TBD. Each champion wins $1 million.

PFL is innovative in the MMA world, conducting a regular season and playoff format.

Harrison, Carlos Junior, Manfio and Magomedkerimov participated in a PFL Media Day at American Top Team.

My video interview with Kayla Harrison.

Harrison (10-0) battles Genah Fabian (4-1) of Auckland, New Zealand in the semifinals of the PFL playoffs in the women’s light heavyweight division on Aug. 19 from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near (South Florida) Hollywood.

Harrison is in the main event, which will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN+.

Harrison, 31, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, becoming the first U.S. Olympian to win gold in judo.

She is also the defending PFL champion.

Originally from Middletown, Ohio, Harrison currently resides in South Florida with her niece and nephew.

She is giving back to the community through her Fearless Foundation, currently helping the people of the (Miami) Surfside building collapse.

My video interview with “Shoeface” Antonio Carlos Junior.

Carlos Junior (11-5) battles Emiliano Sordi (23-8-1) in the semifinals of the PFL playoffs in the light heavyweight division on Aug. 27 from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near (South Florida) Hollywood.

Carlos Junior, 31, is from Brazil. He won the Ultimate Fighter Brazil Season 3 and competed in UFC.

Carlos Junior is part of the third night of PFL action, which will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN+ on Aug. 27.

My video interview with Raush Manfio.

Manfio (13-3) battles Clay Collard (20-8) in the semifinals of the PFL playoffs in the lightweight division on Aug. 13 from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near (South Florida) Hollywood.

Manfio, 29, is from Brazil. He participated in the Ultimate Fighter Brazil Season 4 and competed in Titan FC.

Manfio is part of PFL playoff opening night, which will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN+ on Aug. 13.

My video interview with Magomed Magomedkerimov.

Magomedkerimov (28-5) battles João Zeferino (26-9) in the semifinals of the PFL playoffs in the welterweight division on Aug. 13 from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near (South Florida) Hollywood.

Magomedkerimov, 31, is from Russia. He won the PFL championship in 2018.

Magomedkerimov is also part of PFL playoff opening night, which will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN+ on Aug. 13.

From The PFL

The PFL Playoffs in South Florida

The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league, announced the final four fighters for each divisional bracket for its 2021 playoff events on Aug. 13, 19 and 27 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood in South Florida.

Elite competitors from six weight classes are set to take the next step toward earning a world title and a $1 million purse, as 12 finalists will qualify for the 2021 PFL Championship later this year.

All three events in August will air live on ESPN networks and streaming platforms.

“No sports league can match the thrilling action Professional Fighters League will deliver this August as the final four fighters for each weight division will compete for a spot in the $1 million world championship bout,” PFL CEO Peter Murray said in a release. “The only playoff format in the sport gives every fighter a chance. The more than 550 million MMA fans around the world are going to witness unmatched intensity during every fight in the PFL SmartCage.”

Fighters from the men’s welterweight and lightweight divisions will compete at the first playoff event on Aug. 13, broadcast live across ESPN2 and ESPN+, with former world champions Ray Cooper III and Rory MacDonald of (South Florida) Sanford MMA facing off in the highly anticipated main event.

Magomed Magomedkerimov of (South Florida) American Top Team will look to follow up on his 2018 PFL welterweight championship when he takes on Joao Zeferino in the semifinals.

The lightweight division will see boxing crossover sensation Clay Collard take on Raush Manfio of (South Florida) American Top Team, and 2019 PFL lightweight runner-up Loik Radzhabov of (South Florida) Sanford MMA will start his postseason campaign against newcomer Alexander Martinez who is making his PFL Playoff debut.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2019 PFL Champion Kayla Harrison of (South Florida) American Top Team begins her quest for the 2021 women’s lightweight world title when she fights Genah Fabian at the second playoff event on Aug. 19, which will air live across ESPN and ESPN+.

In the other half of the division, top-seeded Larissa Pacheco faces off against Taylor Guardado for a spot in the PFL championship. In the heavyweight division, Bruno Cappelozza matches against Jamelle Jones, and Denis Goltsov versus Ante Delija.

The final PFL Championship spots will be up for grabs when contenders from the featherweight and light heavyweight divisions compete at the third playoff event on Aug. 27 in primetime on ESPN2 and ESPN+.

Following an impressive debut PFL Regular Season, Brendan Loughnane will look to punch his ticket to the featherweight world championship when he battles Movlid Khaybulaev in the night’s main event.

Chris Wade – who is a two-time PFL lightweight division semifinalist – will look to earn his first world title shot when he competes against Bubba Jenkins in the other half of the featherweight bracket. In the light heavyweight division, 2019 PFL champion Emiliano Sordi begins his postseason against Antonio Carlos Junior of (South Florida) American Top Team, and Cezar Ferreira faces Marthin Hamlet.

In the playoffs, fighters compete to advance to the 2021 PFL World Championship, the biggest night in MMA – with six title fights in one night. The winner of each championship bout will earn $1 million.

PFL Playoffs 1 Card:

Aug. 13 on ESPN2

Rory MacDonald of (South Florida) Sanford MMA vs. Ray Cooper III

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Photo By Jim Varsallone

Loik Radzhabov of (South Florida) Sanford MMA vs. Alexander Martinez

Joao Zeferino vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov of (South Florida) American Top Team

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Photo By Jim Varsallone

Clay Collard vs. Raush Manfio of (South Florida) American Top Team

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Photo By Jim Varsallone

Other bouts Aug. 13 on ESPN+

Natan Schulte vs. Oliver Aubin-Mercier

Sadibou Sy vs. Gleison Tibau

Nikolai Aleksakhin vs. Brett Cooper

Darrell Horcher vs. TBA

Magomed Umalatov vs. Micah Terrill

Kyron Bowen vs. Michael Lombardo

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PFL Playoffs 2 Card:

Aug. 19 on ESPN

Bruno Cappelozza vs. Jamelle Jones

Denis Goltsov vs. Ante Delija

Larissa Pacheco vs. Taylor Guardado

Genah Fabian vs. Kayla Harrison of (South Florida) American Top Team

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Photo By Jim Varsallone

On ESPN+

Renan Ferreira vs. Stuart Austin

Kaitlin Young vs. Marina Mokhnatkina

Carl Seumanutafa vs. Muhammed DeReese

Mariana Morais vs. Zamzagul Fayzallanova

Cynthia Vescan vs. Amanda Leve

TBD vs. TBD

PFL Playoffs 3 Card:

Aug. 27 on ESPN2

Brendan Loughnane vs. Movlid Khaybulaev

Chris Wade vs. Bubba Jenkins

Cezar Ferreira vs. Marthin Hamlet

Emiliano Sordi vs. Antonio Carlos Junior of (South Florida) American Top Team

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Photo By Jim Varsallone

About Professional Fighters League (PFL)

Professional Fighters League (PFL) is the first and only sports combat company to present MMA in the sports-season format where individual fighters compete in regular season, playoffs and championship.

PFL is the innovation leader with the PFL SmartCage delivering viewers on-screen fight analytics and real-time prop bets. The 2021 PFL Season began with 60 fighters in six weight divisions. The playoffs commence with 24 fighters competing for 12 spots in the Championship event and one of six $1 million title purses. All PFL 2021 playoff events are live in primetime on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN+ in the U.S., as well as on leading broadcast and streaming outlets in 160 countries worldwide.

For more info visit www.PFLmma.com and follow PFL on Instagram (@PFLmma), Twitter (@PFLMMA), and Facebook (/PFLmma).

https://www.espn.com/mma/story/_/id/31852395/pfl-news-notes-pay-per-views-2022-new-finals-date-location

https://www.newsday.com/sports/mixed-martial-arts/pfl-playoffs-2021-1.50293738

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My MMA & Pro Wrestling Talk on the Web and Social Media

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Jim Varsallone covers pro wrestling, something he’s done since his college days in the late 1980s. Now in his fifth decade of coverage, he currently follows WWE (Raw, SmackDown and NXT), AEW, Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, MLW, WOW, FSCW, and the South Florida indies. He also writes MMA — mostly profile stories and video interviews with American Top Team and Sanford MMA fighters in South Florida. As for pro wrestling, he writes feature stories and profile pieces, updates upcoming show schedules in South Florida, photographs the action and interviews talent (audio and video) — sharing the content here and via social media on his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel: jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel).
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