Glaico Franca was the top seed heading into the PFL 2019 playoffs, but in the semifinals, it was David Michaud having a perfect night, as he mounted an impressive third-round comeback to earn a spot in the finale.
The final welterweight semifinal at PFL 7 2019 saw David Michaud take on top seed Glaico Franca. Michaud had got the better of John Howard to move on to the semis, while Franca defeated Andre Fialho.
A chance to compete for a million dollars was on the line in Las Vegas Friday. Michaud was the underdog, based on the outcome of the regular season. And Franca was throwing hard early on. But Michaud answered. Franca would chop at his opponent’s lead leg, a move he would go back to several times. Michaud double-pumped his jab, and both men were willing to stand and trade. While Franca was the heavy hitter early, a straight right had him wobbled with 90 seconds left. Michaud unloaded with a number of follow-up strikes, punctuated with a leg kick. Franca, however, seemed to regain his composure.
The second round had Franca taking his opponent to the ground early, trapping him against the cage. Michaud didn’t stay down long, as he worked his way up. Franca stayed on him, however. And soon had him back down, while Michaud appeared to be looking for a guillotine. Again, Michaud worked his way up. Again, he was planted on his back. Franca was taking control thanks to his wrestling, the ‘Brazilian Zombie’ working from half guard, landing hammer fists.
Round three opened with an early low blow, leading to a stop in the action. Michaud, the victim, was not happy that a second knee had landed, although the ref hadn’t stopped the action when it did. Michaud, bloodied, immediately latched on with a guillotine when they got back underway. Franca survived, but Michaud would go for the submission again. Tighter, but he was slick with blood, and lost it. However Michaud scrambled up, and was having a late resurgence in the fight. Franca looked winded, and Michaud was pouring it on. While both men were landing, Michaud seemed to have more effect. He worked the body as well, and while bloodied, seemed the fresher fighter. Franca was under fire again heading into the final minute. Uppercuts and hooks landed for David Michaud. He’d press the action til the final bell.
When the scorecards were read, two judges awarded the fight to David Michaud.
After the fight, Michaud graciously stepped aside to allow Franca to both announce his retirement, and propose to his girlfriend (who wasn’t in the cage, but Franca promised to film her reaction and provide it to the PFL to air later).
“I just had two wars with two of the toughest guys in the world — I’m ready for Ray Cooper!” Michaud exclaimed when he did get his turn on the mic. Michaud and Ray Cooper III will compete with a million dollars on the line at the PFL 2019 finale on New Year’s Eve in New York City.
Official Result: David Michaud def. Glaico Franca by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)