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Lance Palmer wants to party like it’s 2018.
The competitor nicknamed “The Party” won the inaugural PFL featherweight title last year, along with the $ 1 million prize that went with it.
Thursday night, Palmer opened the defense of his title with a victory in his first 2019 regular-season matchup. Palmer was simply too much for upstart Alex Gilpin in the feature bout of PFL 2019, Week 2 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
The judges’ scores were 30-27 across the board as Palmer cruised to a unanimous decision victory, good for three points in the PFL standings system.
“I’m not super happy with it, but he’s a tough opponent,” Palmer said after his seventh consecutive victory. “There’s a reason he was 12-1 coming into the fight, I felt I controlled the entire fight.”
Palmer (18-3 MMA) got things going in earnest with a crisp left hand which dropped Gilpin in the first round. While he couldn’t put Gilpin away, he did land a brutalizing series off left hands to Gilpin’s ribs from top control, which appeared to slow Gilpin (12-2 MMA) for the rest of thefight.
Which may explain why Palmer was able to easily use his four-time collegiate All-America wrestling game to get Gilpin to the mat the rest of the way and control him in top position. Palmer didn’t come close to a finish over the final two rounds, but nor could Gilpin get anything untracked.
Wade wins grueling grappling affair
The striking stats were close enough, with Andrews landing 67 strikes over the course of the bout to Wade’s 61. But Wade (15-5 MMA) landed three takedowns to Andrews’ none, and that was enough to spell the difference in Wade’s unanimous decision victory on scores of 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28.
“I thought it would be really easy for me to take him down with trips and throws and I wound up spending a lot of energy,” Wade said after his 10th career decision win. “He was ready for those, which surprised me. … Damn, he was a tough guy. I thought I was going to put him away easier. He was game.”
This was in evidence in the final round, as Andrews (15-2 MMA), who had won his previous seven fights via submission in the regional circuit, went for broke on the mat after Wade scored his final takedown. The duo scrambled back and forth as Wade twice sunk in rear-naked chokes and Andrews went for an armbar in the waning seconds, only to have time expire.
Harrison grins out a victory
If Andre Harrison had shown the same urgency over the first 14:30 of his featherweight bout against Peter Petties that he displayed over the final 30 seconds, he probably would have walked away from the evening with more than three points in the standings.
Harrison (22-1 MMA), a local favorite from down the road in Freeport, took down Petties (8-5 MMA) early in each round of the fight, then stayed on top of him but did little else. Until that final flurry, at least, in which he first got a rear-naked choke, then a guillotine, before time ran out.
As it was, Harrison, a semifinalist last year who lost to eventual champ Palmer, earned the victory on scores of 30-27 across the board.
And he seemed to know he could have accomplished more.
“Yeah I mean it’s definitely good to start the season off with a win, but there’s definitely more I could have done in there,” Harrison said after his 16th career decision win.
Schulte beings title defense
Palmer wasn’t the only defending PFL champion who had his mind on his money and his money on his mind Thursday night. Defending lightweight championNatan Schulte, who was inexplicably relegated to the prelim portion of the festivities, made a statement with his first-round victory over Bao Yincang.
Schulte (16-3-1 MMA) put on a textbook display in grappling as he scored the takedown, the methodically moved into position for the rear-naked choke. Schulte earned victory 3:03 of the first round as Yincang (13-8 MMA) tapped.
“New Year, new season,” said Schulte, who is unbeaten (5-0-1) in his past six fight. “Time to put in the same hard work to make this trek back to another million.”
MAIN CARD results
- Lance Palmer def. Alex Gilpin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Chris Wade def. Nate Andrews via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Andre Harrison def. Peter Petties via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27. 30-27)
- Akhmed Aliev def. Carlos Silva via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:21
- Islam Mamedov def. Ylies Djiroun via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
PRELIMINARY CARD results
- Rashid Magomedov def. Loik Radzhabov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Natan Schulte def. Bao Yincang via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:03
- Luis Rafael Laurentino def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (head kick and punches) – Round 1, 0:23
- Movlid Khaybulaev def. Damon Jackson via KO (flying knee) – Round 1, 0:10
- Gadzhi Rabadanov def. Steven Siler via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
This is a PFL regular-season event. Under the PFL’s standings format, a fighter who wins via first-round finish earns six points; second-round finish earns five; third-round finish earns four; decision victory earns three; a draw earns both fighters one point; and a losing fighter earns zero. A fighter who wins but missed weight the previous day is not eligible to earn points.
News | MMA Junkie