Three takeaways from PFL 4.
PFL 4 ended with some entertaining fights and a strong debut for Claressa Shields.
The occasion offered some thrilling finishes and grueling three-round battles, capped off with Shields late battle TKO of Brittney Elkin. Specializing in the featherweights and lightweights, listed below are three takeaways from the occasion.
Not each Khabib Nurmagomedov fighter goes to run by their promotion
Most would agree that the standard and tenacity of fighters popping out of Eagles MMA Academy, the fitness center headed by former UFC champion and arguably one of many sport’s GOATs Khabib Nurmagomedov, is spectacular. With so lots of his fighters shifting up the rankings shortly inside their organizations, many have puzzled if the fitness center can be the following ATT, coaching a number of world champions throughout all the foremost promotions.
Effectively, PFL 4 confirmed us that not each Eagles MMA fighter can be fast-tracking to a title shot. Akhmed Aliev suffered an embarrassing loss to Loik Radzhabov within the third battle of the occasion. Aliev didn’t land a single strike, and Radzhabov completed him in 26 seconds of the primary spherical. No different member of his camp has misplaced on this trend in a serious promotion.
Nurmagomedov could have completed his combating profession undefeated, however all of his pupils is not going to.
Even with an thrilling PFL 4 occasion, PFL, prefer it or not, remains to be the 4th MMA promotion
The PFL is doing every little thing it may well to distinguish its promotion and present why it needs to be thought of a top-tier group. From its “sports-style” level system and playoff construction to its Fighter Efficiency Rating, there’s no scarcity of ways in which the PFL is a bit totally different. Nevertheless, totally different doesn’t at all times equate to raised, and final evening highlighted how a lot work stays to get the promotion into the very best tiers of MMA.
From inexperienced fighters making novice errors to veteran fighters exhibiting that their skillsets haven’t advanced, the general high quality of the expertise feels extra aligned to LFA to any of the massive three. Moreover, the printed crew comprised 100% of fighters (Kenny Florian, Randy Couture, and Sean O’Connell) lacks steadiness and cohesion within the commentary. There’s a motive that the entire different main promotions embrace no less than one non-fighter member to mediate the dialog and keep away from the fighters from going too far over the viewers’s heads.
Nonetheless, PFL 4 was entertaining to observe, and the sports activities format is intriguing. The PFL simply not higher or extra entertaining than the UFC, Bellator, or One Championship but. The PFL is shifting in the precise route however nonetheless has a methods to go.
Claressa Shields did exactly what the PFL wanted her to do
The PFL has already legitimized itself as a powerful MMA promotion. Nevertheless, it has struggled to search out the precise fighter with the correct amount of star energy to get followers actually engaged and dedicated to tuning in. When Anthony Pettis was signed, many assumed he can be that man. Nevertheless, dropping his debut to Clay Collard left followers resolved that he has extra days within the cage behind him than in entrance of him.
Shields, nevertheless, gave the PFL one other alternative to attract in new viewers. Sports activities and non-sports media shops, and normal sports activities followers, have been following her PFL 4 debut. Many adopted, questioning if it could mimic the spectacle of the Paul boxing matches. Others adopted to see if an athlete of her caliber might be taught and carry out in a completely totally different sport at a excessive degree. And nonetheless, purists adopted to observe her fail.
Whatever the reasoning, the PFL acquired extra curiosity for this battle than another in latest historical past. And with that quantity of consideration, the promotion wanted Shields to appear to be an MMA fighter at a naked minimal however win convincingly. And Shields delivered with a third-round TKO.
Though it was clear that Shields’s ability set remains to be very inexperienced, she confirmed poise, took instruction from her nook effectively, and confirmed why her placing is already essentially the most harmful within the sport. Higher than that, she exuded confidence and humility in her post-fight interview and demonstrated that her character in addition to her repute is marketable and can return dividends for the PFL so long as she continues to enhance.