Showing improved standup in his semifinal victory over Alex Gilpin at PFL 8 2019, Lance Palmer earned himself a spot in the Professional Fighters League finals for the second straight year.
Lance Palmer and Alex Gilpni threw down in the first of two lightweight semifinals at PFL 8 2019 on Thursday night in Las Vegas. Palmer had earned his semifinal berth by defeating Alexandre Almeida by unanimous decision earlier in the night. Gilpin, meanwhile, had choked out Andre Harrison in the second round of their quarterfinal fight.
It was Palmer attacking first in this lightweight semifinal. Gilpin would mix up his strikes, going to the body and the head, but before long, Palmer powered into a double leg shot, landing the takedown. Gilpin kept him in guard, while Palmer launched a number of strikes to the body. At least until Gilpin kicked him off and scrambled back up.
On the feet for the remainder of the round, Palmer would prove he wasn’t just a ground fighter. He’d move into a counter-striker role at times, landing a number of solid left hands. He’d also attack with a jump knee, nearly unheard of from the sturdy, grinding wrestler. Gilpin, at times, would switch stances, having absorbed a number of leg kicks in his first fight of the evening. Between the early takedown and surprisingly solid striking, Palmer would appear to head to the second in the lead.
Round two saw Palmer’s left hands land clean once, then twice. A third would come up short, but Gilpin looked for takedown anyway. Gilpin would go on the offensive after that failed, with Palmer circling and countering. Palmer mixed things up, targeting the body, landing his right, then going back to the body with a left. Gilpin fired off a head kick that was easily blocked. Palmer would land a heavy left by the ear of Gilpin as they approached the 90 second mark. And then Palmer would land another takedown, his first of the round. Moving to guard, he’d finish the round on top and in control.
The third round had Gilpin likely in need of a finish. But it was Palmer wobbling Gilpin early. A combination followed from Lance Palmer. Palmer, however, ate a knee, and Gilpin locked on with a front headlock. Palmer would go to his back, and Gilpin moved to side control, landing a number of punches. Palmer reversed, scrambling to the top and moving into guard. He rode out the round there, landing punches from the top while Gilpin tried to return fire from his back.
For the second straight year, Palmer, the 2018 lightweight champ, heads to the finals with a million dollars once again within his grasp.
Official Result: Lance Palmer def. Alex Gilpin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)