PFL 5: Impa Kasanganay Clinches Playoff Spot, Lands Ferocious Finish of Jakob Nedoh

Impa Kasanganay and Jakob Nedoh, PFL 5
Impa Kasanganay and Jakob Nedoh, 2024 PFL 5: Salt Lake City at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

2023 PFL light heavyweight champion Impa Kasanganay looked to book a trip back to the playoffs at the 2024 PFL 5 card on Friday, taking on PFL Europe champ Jakob Nedoh.

For Kasanganay, there were any number of paths to the playoffs. Any form of win, be it finish or decision, would pave the way for a playoff berth. So too would a draw, or even a loss, so long as it came on the scorecards, or outside of the first round.

Nedoh, however, needed a first round finish for the six points necessary to claim a playoff spot. He needed those points in less than 3:39, in fact, the time it had taken for fourth-place Kasanganay to claim his own six points earlier in the year.

Jakob Nedoh started the fight with that fact clearly on his mind, walking Impa down. It was Kasanganay, however, ripping a combo and connecting about a minute in, then doing it again, though this time, Nedoh blocked more of Impa’s punches. Still, time was ticking away, and soon enough, half the round had passed, with Nedoh yet to sniff a finish. Instead, it was Impa circling outside, and flashing a front kick. Kasanganay fired another combination, while Nedoh answered with a single jab.

Time tick, tick, ticked away, and the window to the playoffs closed for Jakob Nedoh. Nedoh would manage to drop Kasanganay, but it wouldn’t matter as Impa recovered. Impa clinched the playoff spot, now it was just a matter of who would win the fight.

Round two saw a firefight erupt after Nedoh hit the canvas off-balance. Kasanganay began lighting up the Slovenian, landing lefts and rights leaving Nedoh rocked. Still, the larger man waved Kasanganay on, and later landed himself, including a knee up the middle. Moments later, with just 90 seconds left on the clock, he secured a knee takedown, putting Kasanganay on his knees. In a close round where both men had done damage, that might have been key, especially with Kasanganay bloodied. Nedoh, meanwhile, landed an uppercut when they went back to the feet, while Impa exploded forward, hitting the body then head.

Then, with time winding down, Kasanganay dropped Nedoh! The right hands were nasty. Nedoh was being pieced up, but somehow struggled up, still under fire! The ref let it go, and Nedoh looked to be in zombie mode, eating more and more damage until right at the buzzer, Kasanganay landed once more, sending the ref in to finally, mercifully wave things off. Technically, as the buzzer had sounded, a third round might have been on the cards, but the cageside physician was having none of it, and rightfully so.

Official Result: Impa Kasanganay def. Jakob Nedoh by TKO, Round 2, 5:00