As much as calf kicks have become a huge part of MMA, it’s still far from commonplace to see a fight finish with them. Which makes Michael Lombardo’s finish early on the PFL Playoffs 1 card Friday something special.
Lombardo, who moved to 12-2 (1NC) with the win, attacked the legs of opponent Kyron Bowen early on in the fight. By the time just a few of those whip-like kicks had landed, Bowen was clearly pained. It wasn’t long before one toppled him.
Taking a page out of Cowboy Cerrone’s handbook, Lombardo then added one final, crisp leg kick to the downed Bowen, who was unable to hide the discomfort on his face. That was enough for the ref to wave off the fight, with a TKO finish being declared.
— PFL (@PFLMMA) August 13, 2021
For Lombardo, the win comes in his first fight since a second appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series. The American Top Team fighter first appeared on the show in 2019, losing to Kyle Daukaus, who would go on to the UFC proper. Three fights later, Lombardo would get a second look on the 2020 edition of DWCS, earning a unanimous decision win against Korey Kuppe.
Lombardo did not secure a UFC contract with that victory — though after his performance at the PFL Playoffs 1 (PFL 7) card Friday, Dana White may be regretting that decision.
Friday’s card was the first of the League’s 2021 post-season. The night kicked off with Elvin Espinoza securing a technical submission via rear-naked choke against opponent Hopeton Steward. Later, undefeated prospect Magomed Umalatov improved to 11-0 with a unanimous decision win against Leandro Silva.
Official Result: Michael Lombardo def. Kyron Bowen by TKO (leg kicks), Round 1, 3:42