Wild, foul-filled, but fun ultimately described the PFL 2019 heavyweight quarterfinal scrap between Alex Nicholson and Francimar Barroso.
A grudge match between former UFC fighters Alex Nicholson and Francimar Barroso was one of the more promising pairings to adorn the PFL 9 2019 card. The quarterfinal fight was a rematch from their regular season meeting, and promised fireworks.
It certainly delivered.
Barroso fired off a leg kick early, and was wary of Nicholson’s power. He’d then get the fight to the ground, but Nicholson did a good job battling out of that particular spot. And while Nicholson’s power was a threat, it was Barroso who clipped Nicholson with a right after Nicholson escaped the takedown! ‘The Spartan’ was hurt, and Barroso kept up the attack. Nicholson fired a kick, but Barroso wobbled him with another punch, then followed him to the ground, eventually working his way to the back. Nicholson somehow made it back up, clinching and firing a knee. Barroso fired an elbow.
A short right sunned Nicholson again, but Nicholson clipped Barroso moments later, then moved in with a flying knee! The knee missed, and they wound up down by the fence. Barroso was bleeding from a cut by the eye, while the pair grappled by the cage. A Nicholson knee then landed low, followed by one upstairs before the ref could move in to pause the action.
When the action resumed Barroso immediately went for a takedown, but Nicholson scrambled free. Barroso landed a right, but Nicholson continued walking him down. Nicholson was on the hunt, eating whatever Barroso threw at him. Like a shark sensing blood, Nicholson kept moving forward, despite Barroso swinging for the fences. By the end of the round, however, both men remained standing.
Round two opened with another low blow, once again by Nicholson, who slipped while delivering a kick. After resuming, Nicholson almost immediately landed low with yet another kick, although this time, it appeared to hit thigh more than anything. Still, a point was deducted, putting Nicholson in a tough spot. Nicholson went on the attack immediately, with Barroso egging him on. Barroso would then catch Nicholson with a right, dropping him! Nicholson powered up under fire, but Barroso picked him up and slammed him! Nicholson would survive, trying to scramble free, throwing a punch in the process. Barroso, however, remained in control, until Nicholson latched on with a kimura. Unable to finish or use it to sweep, Nicholson bought time, then tried to sink in a choke from bottom. No dice there either, and they’d run out of time.
Thanks to the point deduction, what would have been a majority draw resulted in a unanimous decision win for Barroso, who moves on to face fellow UFC alum Jared Rosholt in the semifinals.
Official Result: Francimar Barroso def. Alex Nicholson by unanimous decision (20-17, 19-18, 19-18)