Ali Isaev went to his roots at PFL 3 2019, dominating Valdrin Istrefi on the mat for 15 minutes.
Ali Isaev is an Azerbaijani fighter who won the European Championships in freestyle wrestling. He is 4-0 so far with a pair of knockouts in his last two fights, including a wheel kick KO. Despite his inexperience in MMA, his wrestling prowess and knockout power make him a name to watch out for.
Valdrin Istrefi is looking to finish a full PFL season this year, as he pulled out of the first round of the playoff (in which he was the sixth seed) with an injury. After losing to Jared Rosholt in the regular season, the Liechtenstein native won via leg kick TKO in his second appearance to earn five points. Prior to joining the promotion last year, Istrefi was 12-1 with five submissions and knockouts each.
Ali Isaev started the fight with some leg kicks, then Isaev drove the fight to the ground. Istrefi turned to all fours and Isaev battered him from the back. Istrefi eventually rolled to guard, but Isaev controlled the round from the top position, which happened to be a theme of the fight.
Isaev landed another takedown to start the round and Istrefi had no answer. From exposing his back, to rolling to his back, Istrefi simply could not get up from the canvas. It was all Ali Isaev in Nassau Coliseum.
Valdrin Istrefi was able to get off his back after a third-round takedown, but Isaev made him pay with a swift kick below the belt. After a pause in action, Isaev went back to work and dragged Istrefi down and kept him there for the entirety of the final round. A dominant performance for Isaev, but yet another decision at PFL 3 2019.
Ali Isaev def. Valdrin Istrefi by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)