Going down December 31 at Madison Square Garden, six title fights on the card to determine the winners of the first season in Professional Fight League history. To make things juicier, all championship fights have $1,000,000 on the line!
Ray Cooper III vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov
Ray Cooper had to take the hard road through the PFL season and his side of the bracket. Cooper had to take out the legend, Jake Shields, twice and the heavy hitter Handesson Ferreira in the semifinals. He is a second generation fighter from Hawaii with a great wrestling base and bombs in his hands.
Magomed is a typical high-level sambo player from Russia; tricky looping punches and great wrestling. He has the experience to win this fight and might have enough veteran savvy to win a decision or late finish. I think power will prevail in a close fight until the end.
Prediction: Ray Cooper by KO in the third
Philipe Lins vs. Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland
Copeland barely made it into this tournament and now finds himself in the finale. I love the story of this guy who has floated around organizations and is now one fight away from making a million dollars. Feels like a cheesy plot in a movie.
In the other corner is a guy named Philipe Lins and that's most of what I know about him. He had a tough go in Bellator at light heavyweight and seems to be having more success at heavyweight. He hits hard, young for the heavyweight division, from a great camp, with some ground game. This is heavyweights so anything can happen.
Prediction: Hoping Cuddly Bear by TKO for the movie finish
Vinny Magalhães vs. Sean O'Connell
Magalhaes has looked like a different fighter now that he is in the PFL. He has finished his four fights in the PFL and the total time in the cage is under seven minutes. Sean is going to have to do something special to be able to put a stop to this train. Sean isn't known for being very athletic and more of a grinder. Vinny has flying armbarred black belts in competition. Sean is going to have to weather the storm and hope Vinny fades after the first. That is a big storm and wishful thinking on Vinny’s gas tank.
Prediction: Vinny by submission in the first
Natan Schulte vs. Rashid Magomedov
A former UFC fighter, Rashid Magomedov is a legit lightweight. Even with 25 professional MMA fights, he has a ton more experience from his combat sambo career so he has seen it all.
Natan is a solid fighter. 14-3 record with most of his wins by submission. Stylistically, this is a tough fight for Natan. He is the much younger fighter and can be making a leap.
Prediction: Rashid by decision
Steven Siler vs. Lance Palmer
Siler has had a pretty easy run so far in the PFL. He got a bunch of point in the preseason when the referee stopped a fight for a submission that wasn’t close to being finished and no tap in sight. Plus his semi-final fight in the season ending in a DQ from an illegal upkick. Now he is in the fight of his life for a million dollars.
Lance Palmer is an animal! He beat Siler a year ago and can’t image much will change this time out.
Prediction: Lance Palmer by decision
Abuspiyan Magomedov vs. Louis Taylor
I am continually impressed by how well Louis Taylor keeps performing at 39 years old. A former NCAA Division 1 wrestler, Taylor is very well rounded.
Abuspiyan is big for the division and loves to hit people hard on the feet and has a knack of sinking up the guillotine when needed. The German will have the height and reach advantage. As long as he can use it and prevent some takedowns, Magomedov should take this one.
Prediction: Magomedov by KO