PFL President Ray Sefo knows anything can happen in MMA, from Magomed Magomedkerimov potentially winning a second PFL season, to John Howard’s knockout of Ray Cooper III at PFL 4 2019.
Atlantic City, NJ — Following a brief presentation by PFL CEO Peter Murray, League President Ray Sefo took to the podium to address the media at the Oceans Resort Casino in Atlantic City, NJ in the wake of PFL 4 2019. July 11 was a big night for the promotion: despite a couple of fights falling off the card due to blown weight cuts, the in-cage product was outstanding. Six of eight fights ended in finishes, many in the opening round.
Kayla Harrison finished Morgan Frier in the co-main event, earning six points, and the second seed in the women’s lightweight division heading into the post-season. Welterweight champion Magomed Magomedkerimov, meanwhile, won his 10th straight fight, seven of which have come under the PFL banner.
That fight came against Chris Curtis, and got a little heated at times. Reflecting on the bout, Sefo told Cageside Press and other media outlets that “obviously Chris couldn’t implement his game. Magomed was able to kind of pick him apart from the outside, then take him down and control him on the ground as well.”
“I think he [Curtis] got a little bit frustrated there. Listen it’s MMA, as much as Chris wanted to stand and bang, he probably needed to initiate that a little more if that was the case.” Curtis could not, and as a result, he was handed the loss by the judges.
“At the end of the day it’s an MMA fight. You can knock the guy out, you can submit the guy, you can wrestle the guy to the ground, and so on. It’s part of the game,” Sefo pointed out. He also agreed that the defending champ could very well be among the first to repeat as PFL tournament winner.
“He’s headed that way. He’s a complete fighter,” Sefo said of Magomedkerimov. “Again, this is the fight game, anything can happen. Look at what happened tonight with Ray Cooper and John Howard. John Howard, he’s a guy with experience, he’s fought in some big fights before. Ray obviously got caught. And then John was able to finish. That’s the fight game, you blink and it could be over.”
Women’s lightweight star and Olympic gold medal winner Kayla Harrison had another big performance at PFL 4 2019, and looked like she was making a statement. Addressing her performance, Sefo said, “Kayla you always expect to fight. She’s not a two-time Olympic champion for nothing. She’s always going to bring the fight, she’s always aggressive, and that’s what I love about Kayla, is that she’s got that hunger, that aggressive style with her that doesn’t matter if she’s standing or taking the fight down to the ground.”
“If she happens to mount and [it] be ground n’ pound, I’d hate to be one of the ladies on the receiving end of the ground n’ pound,” he added, “because she throws some heavy leather. She’s always impressive, so it’s good to see.”
For more from the PFL’s Ray Sefo, watch the press conference video above.