PFL 9: Ray Sefo and Carlos Silva Address PFL 2018 Finals, 2019 Season, and Schulte vs. Wade


PFL 9 is in the books, and Professional Fighters League execs Ray Sefo and Carlos Silva took time out to talk about Schulte vs. Wade, what to expect in the finals, and the 2019 season.

Long Beach, CA — The second event of the Professional Fighters League post-season took place on Saturday at PFL 9, and saw the lightweight and light heavyweight finals set. At 205lbs, Vinny Magalhaes will face Sean O’Connell. At lightweight, meanwhile, Natan Schulte will take on teammate Rashid Magomedov. They join Josh Copeland vs. Philipe Lins and Steven Siler vs. Lance Palmer in the heavyweight and featherweight finales, respectively. Welterweight and middleweight will be determined next week and PFL 10.

“More of what just happened tonight,” Ray Sefo, President of Fighting Operations answered when we asked what he expected at the PFL finale in December. “When it got to the later parts of the show and the semifinals were set, it just blew the roof off the house. Natan and Chris Wade, that had Fight of the Night. Those guys really went out there, they showed they really wanted it.”

“You know, we started this journey a couple years ago. We both had our own perspective on how this would play out,” PFL League President Carlos Silva added. “Ray had such an interesting perspective, because just like all the guys that won tonight, Ray understood what it was like to walk into the ring in a tournament format. And I’ve been in sports and media, in many many tournaments of my own over the years, just in a different sport. It proves out that if you leave it in the athlete’s hands to win and advance, they’re going to put on a show.”

It seems like it just wouldn’t be a PFL show without just a little bit of controversy. This time out, it was with the judges. Natan Schulte vs. Chris Wade ended in a split decision win for Schulte, despite Wade dominating in the stand-up department. “I thought the judges got it right,” Sefo told Cageside Press in regards to the decision. “The first two rounds were very close, but I thought Natan edged it. The last round, it’s obvious Chris won that round, because he threw a hell of a lot more shots and landed a hell of a lot more, but in my opinion, at that point Chris needed a finish to win that fight.”

Admitting that you never know how judges are going to score a fight, Sefo added that “it was a close fight. It was a good fight. Unfortunately, there’s got to be a winner and a loser. In my opinion, neither of those guys lost, because they put on a great fight.”

Next year, the PFL season will be longer. And just like in the NHL or Major League Baseball, there will be a champion at the end of this year — one who will have to go back into the tournament next year, and try to win it all again.

Before any of that, however, it’s on to Washington, D.C. next weekend for PFL 10 and the last quarterfinal and semifinal fights of the season.


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