It was a heck of a night, and a heck of a post-fight interview for PFL Challenger Series heavyweight Denzel Freeman on Friday night.
Going down in Orlando, Florida, the final week of this year’s Challenger Series featured “second chance” fights, though Freeman was actually competing under the Professional Fighters League banner for the first time.
Regardless, Freeman (4-0) made his appearance count. He hit a head kick on opponent Raiden Kovacs inside of 30 seconds, catching the debuting fighter with his guard down. Kovacs hit the mat, and while he recovered momentarily, some follow-up ground n’ pound sealed the deal.
The total time was all of 27 seconds, leaving Freeman a great shot at grabbing a PFL contract at the end of the night. And with or without the contract, Freeman will see his profile elevated — thanks to a smart post-fight interview.
👀 How about this angle of the Denzel Freeman KO!#PFLonFubo LIVE NOW | @fuboSports
🌎: https://t.co/jPNvomCxHI pic.twitter.com/DylqjzI7ZL
— PFL (@PFLMMA) March 18, 2023
After a clip was shown of two-time PFL women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison screaming “oh my God!” as the kick landed, Freeman, a former Marine, dedicated his performance to the late Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who served as a mentor to the heavyweight.
“He was a very incredible moment in my career. Every fight, every win from now on is going to him,” said Freeman, who finished off his time on the mic by saying “and if Liv Morgan is listening, I’m trying to take you out on a date, girl.”
Morgan is one of the biggest stars in women’s professional wrestling at the moment, competing for sports entertainment behemoth WWE.
— LIV Morgan (@YaOnlyLivvOnce) March 13, 2023
Update, 11:05PM ET: Freeman has earned himself a PFL contract with Friday’s performance.