Satoshi Ishii, Jeremy Kennedy Among Latest Additions to PFL 2019 Roster

Jeremy Kennedy, UFC featherweight, will appear next at UFC 221
Jeremy Kennedy, left, of Canada, fights Alessandro Ricci, of Canada, during a lightweight bout at a UFC Fight Night event in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday, Aug.27, 2016. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Round three of the PFL 2019 roster selection has been announced, and standouts Satoshi Ishii and Jeremy Kennedy are among the additions to the league this year.

On Monday, the Professional Fighters League announced the latest additions to their upcoming season. Among the new names joining the PFL 2019 roster are Japanese heavyweight Satoshi Ishii, and Canadian standout Jeremy Kennedy, last seen competing in the UFC. The promotion revealed those names, and several others, via press release.

The most interesting addition, without question, is Satoshi Ishii, who has long been one of the most notable heavyweight competitors outside the UFC. A gold medal winner in Judo at the 2008 Olympic games, Ishii went 12–2–1 to start his career, before running up against Mirko Cro-Cop and suffering a pair of defeats in back-to-back fights against the Croatian legend. Ishii would later begin training with Cro-Cop, and now represents Croatia, becoming a citizen earlier this year.

Interestingly, Ishii (21-8-1) signed with KSW just months ago, after letting slip that he was headed to the PFL. That made it seem like any appearances with the PFL were off. Something underlined by Ishii’s debut win in that promotion in March, which saw him win a split decision against Brazil’s Fernando Rodrigues Jr. at KSW 47. KSW heavyweight champ Phil De Fries expected to face Ishii next, but he’ll now be tied up in the PFL tournament for quite possibly the remainder of the year.

Jeremy Kennedy (13-1), meanwhile, is a huge addition to the PFL’s featherweight division. He went 3-1 in the UFC, but could not come to terms with the promotion on a new deal, and made his exit last year. Just 26 years old, the B.C. native has won his last two fights, under the Brave CF banner.

Also joining the PFL this year, Mexico’s Jorge Gonzalez, at 15-4 light heavyweight on a six fight win streak. In his most recent outing, he knocked out former UFC talent Luke Barnatt.

Current LFA interim featherweight champ Damon “The Leech” Jackson, also a former Legacy FC featherweight champion, steps into the PFL for the 2019 season as well. Jackson (16-2-1 (1)) is currently on a five fight win streak under the LFA banner. His only loss since 2016 came against Kevin Aguilar, who fought at UFC Philadelphia over the weekend.

At 37–6, Brazil’s Ronys Torres likely has the deepest record of any of the new additions. He’ll be joining the promotion’s lightweight division. Chris Curtis (20-5) is a Contender Series alum (he won, but didn’t get a contract) currently on a seven fight win streak. He steps in at welterweight.

Returning to the PFL in 2019 are Francimar Barroso, who was the number one seed at heavyweight in 2018, and Rashid Yusupov, a light heavyweight whose season ended early after a broken jaw knocked him out of the tournament.

The PFL 2019 season launches Thursday, May 9 on ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes, as well as on TSN in Canada.