PFL Execs Ray Sefo, Carlos Silva Reflect on PFL 2’s Controversial Finishes, Debut of Kayla Harrison

PFL 2 - Carlos Silva and Ray Sefo
Carlos Silva and Ray Sefo (righ), PFL 2 Credit: Mike Straus/Cageside Press

PFL President Ray Sefo and PFL League President Caros Silva had plenty to talk about following Thursday’s PFL 2 in Chicago, including the Jason High vs. Efrain Escudero finish, and a couple other controversial rulings by the athletic commission in Illinois.

A lot has gone right with the Professional Fighters League debut season thus far in 2018. Just two events in, split between New York and Chicago, and the finishing rate has been impressive. Just three decisions on the PFL 2 card on Thursday night certainly spoke to that. Ten finishes overall. Yet a number of those ended in controversy.

On the preliminary card, two fights were ruled to have ended at 0:01 of the third round when fighters couldn’t answer the bell. Doctor’s stoppages are not uncommon in MMA, yet historically, a fighter not able to continue would be ruled to have lost via TKO at the end of the previous round. After all, the next round didn’t start, right?

If you’re wondering what difference a single second (and therefore round) makes, look no further than the PFL’s merit-based scoring system. The tournament allows three points for a win, and bonus points for finishes: three additional points for a first round stoppage, two points for a stoppage in the second, and a single bonus point for a third round finish.

Due to the Illinois Athletic Commission ruling two fights ended at 0:01 of the third round, rather than 5:00 of the second, both Brandon Halsey and Rakim Cleveland lost out on an extra point. PFL President Ray Sefo and PFL League President Carlos Silva addressed the situation following PFL 2 in Chicago — and also tackled the actions of Jason High following what appeared to be a blown call for a non-tap in his fight against Efrain Escudero.

Check below for their thoughts on the controversy from the night, as well as the debut of Kayla Harrison, who made a big splash with a first round finish of Brittney Elkin.