The Professional Fighters League playoffs continue at PFL 9, but light heavyweight Sean O’Connell doesn’t feel the seedings matter since everyone’s in the same boat: win or go home.
Long Beach, CA — Sean O’Connell won’t be doing double duty as fighter and commentator at PFL 9, but he may have to pull double duty should he win his quarterfinal fight against Dan Spohn. With quarterfinal bouts being two rounds in the PFL playoffs, winners move on to the semifinals, and compete again on the same night. If all goes well for O’Connell, who caught the attention of MMA fans during his UFC run, it’ll be not one, but two occasions having his hand raised in Long Beach on Saturday.
“In training youv’e got to prepare for fighting five rounds in a night, right?” he told Cageside Press on Thursday, at the PFL 9 open workouts. “With a weird little break in between. So we tried to replicate that a little bit in our training camp. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to win that first fight if you want to fight in the second one. So we’re looking for a strong start, in that first round and obviously in the first fight, and then we’ll kind of plan on the second fight after that.”
That leaves no time for commentary duties. Earlier in the year, O’Connell actually worked the mic and fought in the cage on the same night. But come playoff time, it’s all business. After all, there’s a bit more pressure with a million dollars that much closer to reality.
“I think there’s more pressure, more anxiety with the win or go home scenario,” said O’Connell, “and that’s what this format has kind of set up for all of us. That’s the nice thing, everyone faces the same pressure here. Being the number one seed or the number eight seed or the number six seed like I am, on Saturday it really doesn’t matter. You’ve got to win two fights, if you win both, you’re fighting for a million dollars on New Year’s Eve. So all of us are facing the same pressure coming on Saturday night.”
Catch our full interview with Sean O’Connell ahead of PFL 9 above! The card airs live on NBC SN on Saturday, October 13 following prelims on Facebook Watch!