– ESPN MMA (@espnmma)
April 30, 2021
Rory MacDonald could not have been more effective.
The former Bellator MMA champion dazzled in his Professional Fighters League debut as he submitted Curtis Millender with a back naked drowning in the first round of the 2021 PFL 2 welterweight headliner Thursday at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Miller (18-7, 0-1 PFL) bowed 3:38 in Round 1.
MacDonald (22-6-1, 1-0 PFL) was eliminated in the middle of the first round, moved backwards and secured his place with a body triangle. He then distracted Miller with a series of blows to the heel in the abdomen and calmly dropped the drowning that ended the fight when the Californian lowered his guard. The compression was too much to overcome the CSW product.
In the welterweight co-main event, Ray Cooper III submitted the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship alum Jason Ponet with first-round arm drowning. Ponet (20-14-1, 0-2 PFL) conceded a 1:23 defeat in Round 1, and then seemed to lose consciousness for a while.
Cooper (21-7-1, 8-2-1 PFL) received a knee from the Frenchman in the first minute and turned into a blow. He shifted from the side control to half a bumper, when he flanked the chuck and fell. Ponet tried to stay clear as Hawaii cut off blood flow to his brain, but ultimately had no choice but to surrender.
The 28-year-old Cooper has scored three wins in a row, all of which are over.
Meanwhile, Joao Zeferino bent down in crisp boxing, a strong chest and lateral movement as he claimed the unanimous verdict for Gleison Tibau of the American top team in a three-round welterweight feature. Zeferino (25-9, 4-1 PFL) swept the scores with 29-28 points from all three judges.
The amazing nature of the 15-minute meeting did not favor Thimbau (35-15, 0-1 OFL). Zeferino picked up with piercings, kept him out of balance with lures and threw a few kicks to the body. He pushed Timbau with a straight right in the third round and then endured a slow exit from the veteran of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Zeferino will bring a victory in four games in his next mission.
Finally, the export of Nova Uniao Emiliano Sordi went through an exhausting war to claim a unanimous decision for Chris Camozzi in a light heavy three-round showcase. All three cageside judges scored for Sordi (23-8, 7-1 PFL): 29-28, 29-28 and 28-27.
Camozzi (25-15, 0-1 PFL) had the exhausted Argentine in real danger in the midfield, where he took advantage of a slip, took the lead and broke the “He-Man” with ground-and-pound. However, he failed to decide enough to secure a break. Sordi’s superiority in the controversy and the central knockdown provided the difference. He dominated the first and third rounds with a fierce top game that included continuous land and pound explosions and tried to drown.
Sordi, 30, has scored six consecutive wins.
In another action, Antonio Carlos Jr. (11-5, 1-0 PFL) submitted Tom Lawlor (10-8, 0-1 PFL) with a guillotine drowned 4:43 in the first round of their lightweight heavyweight collision. Cezar Ferreira (14-8, 1-0 PFL) knocked down Nick Roehrick (9-2, 0-1 PFL) with punches 37 seconds into the first round of their lightweight heavyweight bout. Marthin Hamlet (7-1, 1-0 PFL) drowned Dan Spohn (18-8, 2-3 PFL) unconscious with a triangle arm drowned 52 seconds in the second round of their lightweight pair. and an involuntary eye Sadibou Sy (8-5, 2-3-2 PFL) led to a non-competition with Nikolay Aleksakhin (24-5, 1-0 PFL) 1:56 in the second round of the welterweight tilt.