The Professional Fighters League (PFL) opened its 2018 season on Thurday with 11 bouts at Hulu Theater at MSG, highlighted by New York’s Andre Harrison winning a unanimous decision over Chinese contender Juma Tuerxun by scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26, in a match televised on NBCSN.
“We couldn’t have asked for a more successful kick-off of our 2018 regular season,” said Carlos Silva, League President of PFL. “It’s clear from the way that the fights went down that our fighters are determined to take full advantage of the ability to win points early. That’s the power of this format–guys know what it takes to get to the next fight and the title–and they put in the work to get there.”
Former Ohio State Buckeye Lance Palmer took care of Bekbulat Magomedov via rear naked-choke in the second round of their featherweight matchup. The four-time All-American was more than ready to grapple with Magomedov who was moving up from bantamweight. Palmer shut down all of his opponents’ shots and eventually maneuvered to Magomedov’s back before sinking the fight-ending choke at 3:21, earning him five points in the competitive featherweight division.
The highlight of the night came when heavyweight Alex Nicholson landed a spectacular flying knee just 58 seconds into the second frame of his fight with Jake Heun. The former Hawaii linebacker landed some big shots and danced around the cage in the first, but Nicholson caught him with a devastating knee in the second round that sent Heun crumbling to the canvas. The win banked five points for Nicholson and made him a virtual lock for the playoff round.