I know what you were thinking when the announcement was made of the PFL's first show.
Don't feel guilty though, because it is probably the same thought that swims through the mind of every MMA Journalist, Fight Fan, competitor and couch potato that has followed the sport long enough to watch the Elite XCs, IFLs, Afflictions, Rizins, Bellators and yes, even the WSOFs of the world, either die a slow painful death or consider to be a second fiddle product in comparison to Uncle Dana's playhouse:
"Yeah. but it's not the UFC."
And yes you are absolutely right, it is not the UFC, the product had the feeling of being nothing close to the UFC, and perhaps that is why the first show will go down in the books as a huge success.
This isn't a product going by the same UFC/MMA formula that many organizations try to imitate, this league when announced promised to go against the grain and do something different, and the result is you finally have a real alternative to the Ultimate Fighting Championships.
From the moment the first undercard fight to kick off the inaugural 2018 season took place, from a fight fan's perspective, you got this feeling of excitement knowing that this fight matters. You and i both know when you hear "Undercard Fight", the casual MMA viewer hears "Who gives a shit" and while UFC fights happen all the time with the competitors main objective is to grab a W in hopes of making the super slow climb up an over saturated weight classes ladder, you knew the winner of this fight would have instant gratification. That instant gratification is points, with the hopes of building up enough points to punch their ticket into the playoffs this October, and possibly get into the Championship to win more money than my underpaid ass will see this lifetime.
And without further delay, let's kick this review on a third rate website just going by the same MMA Journalism formula right with the Prelims.
Francimar Barroso defeats Daniel Gallemore by TKO/Referee Stoppage RD1
Now for two heavyweights, these guys wasted zero time and went right after it. Daniel Gallemore's eye closed and despite the fact this bad mofo wanted to continue, the referee was forced to stop the fight.
Great effort from both fighters. 6 Big Points for Mr. Borroso.
Alexandre Almeida defeats Lee Coville by Armbar RD1
Almeida's slick grappling made quick work of Lee Coville, getting him to the deck and submitting him early to nab him 6 points.
Steven Siler defeats Magomed Idrisov by Triangle Choke RD1
Damn was this fight good, Damn does Idrisov hit like a mack truck, and Damn Super Steve Siler. The Veteran of 46 Pro Fights looked like he might have been in trouble early, only to lock in a hail mary triangle choke to put away the tough Dagestani fighter. As far as prelims go, this was the most exciting one of the evening.
Kelvin Tiller defeats Caio Alencar by KO RD1
The crowd went crazy and MSG was shaking when "Mama's Boy" lowered the boom on Caio Alencar in 3 Minutes of the First Round after countering an ill timed right hook, scoring a big 6 points to begin his Heavyweight Season.
Nazareno Malegarie defeats Marcos Galvao by DECISION
Early on Marcos looked like he wanted to counter and catch Nazareno on the rebound, but Nazareno got into a rhythm and picked up on Galvao to outpoint the Brazilian native. Both men showed off high level striking and skill. I had it 2 rounds to 1 for Nazareno going into the judges score cards for Nazareno. Two out of Three of the judges agreed with me.
Jared Rosholt defeats Valdrin Istrefi by DECISION
We end the prelims with Rosholt and Istrefi putting on an 3 round show with Rosholt nabbing a decision. Great effort from both talented heavyweights.
We end the prelims and go on to beginning of the NBC Sports Main Card, with Bas Rutten and Randy Couture your toast master general of ceremonies. Kudos to the people who picked these two legends to work the broadcast. Excellent choice.
Alex Nicholson defeats Jake Heun by KO RD2
A back and forth entertaining battle turned into the knee heard around the world, Alex Nicholson timed Honey Bear perfectly timed a flying knee to wrap this fight up in the 2nd Round. Alex also screamed "THIS IS SPARTA" on the mic, which was the most epic post fight comment ever.
Timur Valiev defeat Max Coga by DECISION
How the battle was won: Takedowns. Valiev used his stellar wrestling ability in order to get past a very game Max Coga as they brawled it out to finish this exciting fight.
Lance Palmer defeats Bekbulat Magomedov by Submission RD2
This fight kicked out with (ironically enough) a hard kick that Magomedov caught and nearly took Palmer right off his feet. The Former Ohio State buckeye was able to defend the takedowns early and even securing one of his own to end round 1. Palmer got another takedown in Round 2 and secured a Rear naked choke to get a big 5 points.
Andre Harrison defeats Jumabieke Tuerxun by DECISION
The Undefeated 5 Time Champion in 5 Different Promotions Andre Harrison is gifted, there is no two ways about it and he once again proved it tonight. Tuerxun was never able to get into a rhythm, as Harrison cruised right past him to a dominant decision victory. Look for Harrison to be a player in the finals.
Jack May defeats Josh Copeland by KO RD1
Jack May fired off a thunderous kick to the liver to put away Josh Copeland in Round 1, and get himself and Famed Coach Colin Oyama back on a plane to Chicago to support Carla Esparza in her UFC 225 bout. Jack May is going to be dangerous in this division, and he proved it tonight.
FIGHT OF THE NIGHT: Harrison/Tuerxun
KNOCKOUT OF THE NIGHT: Alex Nicholson
HOLY SH*T MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Siler with the comeback triangle
An incredible night of fights and kicking off this new promotion right. Be sure to check out PFL 2 in Chicago June 21,2018.