PFL Suspends Raush Manfio and Natan Schulte After Low-Action Fight, Burgos Granted Playoff Spot

Raush Manfio and Natan Schulte, 2023 PFL 6
Raush Manfio and Natan Schulte, 2023 PFL 6: Atlanta at the OTE Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Friday, June 23, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

After a lackluster fight between good friends Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio at PFL 6 in Atlanta, GA on Friday night, the Professional Fighters League has suspended both athletes — disqualifying them from the post-season.

The surprising move comes after the Brazilian pair, who expressed their dissatisfaction with facing one another during the regular season ahead of the bout, competed in what amounted to a low-action sparring match on the PFL 6 preliminary card. Schulte would go on to pick up the win, and (temporarily, as it turns out) a playoff spot, but was seen in tears following the fight.

Schulte is the godfather of Raush Manfio’s daughter.

In a statement issued Saturday, league officials explained their decision, with grants Shane Burgos a playoff spot.

Last Night Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio did not meet the standards which all PFL fighters agree to uphold in competition.

All fighters in their PFL Fight Agreements agree to use their “best efforts … skills and abilities as a professional athlete to compete … and defeat any opponent.”

It was very clear that Natan and Raush did not meet that contractual standard in yesterday’s bout.

PFL immediately suspended both fighters from the season and deemed the fight to have 0 points for purposes of League standings.

PFL takes this action in recognition of its responsibility to all PFL fighters and all PFL fans.

In an interview with Cageside Press ahead of the fight, Manfio called the booking a “terrible situation” and a “bad surprise.” The matchmaking was quickly criticized by fight fans who questioned the need to pair the two up during the regular season, which unlike the post-season isn’t booked via seeding.

Burgos, meanwhile, jumps into the playoffs after earning three points in his first win under the PFL banner. The former UFC featherweight, now competing in the lightweight division, won a unanimous decision against Yamato Nishikawa.