The Professional Fighters League Challenger Series concluded the eight-event series from Universal Studios in a night that featured fighters in the the Welterweight, Light Heavyweight, Women’s Lightweight, and Featherweight divisions who looked to capitalize on a second chance opportunity to earn a PFL contract. Judges Ray Lewis, Tyron Woodley, and Wiz Khalifa were in agreement with the fans, and Simeon Powell became the ninth Challenger Series fighter to be awarded a PFL contract.
Powell joins Week 7 Lightweight Alexei Pergande, Week 6 Heavyweight Adam Keresh, Week 5 Lightweight Bruno Miranda, Week 4 Welterweight Boston Salmon, Week 3 Women’s Lightweight fighter Martina Jindrova, Week 2 Welterweight fighters Jarrah Al-Silawi and Chris Mixan, as well as Week 1 Light Heavyweight winner Bruce Souto.
Powell defeated Tobias Baker by unanimous decision in a Light Heavyweight contest. The London native who grew up down the road from iconic Wembley Stadium, moved his undefeated career record to 5-0, with his four previous victories settled in the first round.
In the evening’s main event, Carlos Leal and Chris Brown fought an instant classic, with both fighters landing an array of strikes in back-and-forth action. The fight wound up going the three-round distance, and Leal earned a hard fought split decision, and improved his career record to 16-3. The victory marked Leal’s second win in the PFL Challenger Series, his first coming via TKO in week 2.
Further action on the card saw Jackie Cataline and Jeslen Mishelle square off in a Women’s Lightweight matchup. The contest went the three round distance with Mishelle declared winner via unanimous decision, handing Cataline her first pro loss. Mishelle, a three time amateur MMA champion, earned her second professional victory. Both professional victories came in the PFL Challenger Series.
To lead off the action on fuboTV, Aaron Blackie matched up with Ali Zebian in a hard fought bout that went the distance. In the end, Zebian, the Boston native who represents Lebanon, his parents native country, defeated Blackie by unanimous decision, and picked up his fourth consecutive victory which boosted his overall record to 8-2.
“Tonight in the final event of the inaugural Professional Fighters League Challenger Series on fuboTV, fighters received a second chance to earn a life-changing PFL contract,” said Peter Murray, PFL CEO. “The action was intense and a fitting conclusion to the PFL Challenger Series. Simeon, welcome to the PFL.”
“I am proud of every fighter that took part in The PFL Challenger Series,” said Ray Sefo, President of Fighter Operations. “We witnessed hungry fighters looking for a chance to earn a PFL contract. Simeon Powell, welcome to the PFL, you earned your contract.”
The 2022 PFL Regular Season kicks off on April 20 at Esports Stadium Arlington with the Lightweight and Light Heavyweight divisions set to take to the SmartCage.
OFFICIAL 2022 PFL CHALLENGER SERIES WEEK 8 RESULTS
Welterweight: Carlos Leal def.Chris Brown by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Light Heavyweight: Simeon Powell def. Tobias Baker by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Women’s Lightweight: Jeslen Mishelle def. Jackie Cataline by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Featherweight: Ali Zebian def. Aaron Blackie by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) (PR)