Fight Facts is a breakdown of all of the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.
* * * TOTAL NUMBER OF PFL FIGHTS: 450
TOTAL NUMBER OF PFL EVENTS: 46
Kicking off the playoffs for its 2018 season, the Professional Fighters League on Friday brought the quarterfinal and semifinal matchups for the featherweight and heavyweight divisions to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. PFL 8 featured the winningest active fighter on the roster, an undefeated juggernaut getting the first blemish on his record and the first fighter to ever tap to strikes under the PFL-World Series of Fighting banner.
RULES TO LIVE BY: As fighters under American commissions are allowed to fight a maximum of five total rounds in one day, the quarterfinals were limited to two-round bouts while setting semifinals at three rounds. In the event of a draw, which happened more than once at this event, the winner of the first round would move on to the next round.
DOUBLE IMPACT: Prior to this event, the only two fighters in company history to ever win twice in one day were Brian Foster and Joao Zeferino, who each stopped two opponents at WSOF 25 as part of its lightweight tournament. At PFL 8, Josh Copeland, Steven Siler, Philipe Lins and Lance Palmer each scored two wins.
MAJORITY INACTION: Due to quarterfinal bouts only lasting two rounds, two bouts at PFL 8 were scored as majority decisions, doubling the total number of majority decisions in promotional history.
ON THE ONE HAND: In the featherweight division, both the No. 1-seeded Palmer and No. 2-seeded Siler prevailed in their quarterfinal and semifinal bouts to advance to the final on Dec. 31.
AND ON THE OTHER: Shocking the entire heavyweight bracket, eighth-seeded Copeland drew with No. 1 seed Francimar Barroso but advanced after winning the first round. He then delivered a one-punch knockout of Alex Nicholson to secure his spot in the final. His opponent will be the No. 3 seed Lins, who choked out short-notice replacement Caio Alencar in less than a minute and then starched Jared Rosholt in the semifinals.
DISQUALIFIED! THERE’S ONE EVERY SEASON: After landing an illegal upkick on the grounded Siler’s head, Alexandre Almeida was disqualified. It marked the first time since WSOF 18 in 2015 that a fighter lost by disqualification. Back then, an Andrew McInnes’ headbutt on Cody McKenzie was the culprit.
PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT!: After scoring two decision wins over Max Coga and Andre Harrison, Palmer now celebrates nine victories inside the promotion -- the most of any fighter currently on the roster. Overall, he trails Marlon Moraes (11), David Branch (10) and Justin Gaethje (10) on the all-time PFL-WSOF list.
SORRY TO BE TARDY TO THE PARTY: After competing twice at PFL 8 to qualify for the featherweight final, Palmer has now made more appearances (12) than any other fighter in promotional history, trumping Moraes’s previous record of 11.
TWO STEPS FORWARD, THREE STEPS BACK: Harrison improved his undefeated record to 20-0 with a majority decision over Alexandre Bezerra. However, in his second bout, he dropped a decision to Palmer to end that streak. With the loss, Harrison became one of a number of notable undefeated fighters this year to lose. Russian fighter Aziz Pahrudinov (20-0-1) took a decision loss to Eduard Folayang at One Championship “Reign of Kings” in July, and Darren Till (17-0-1) suffered his first career setback after getting submitted by Tyron Woodley at UFC 228 in September.
LINSANITY: By forcing friend and training partner Alencar to tap to a guillotine choke in 58 seconds, Lins scored the fifth-fastest submission in PFL-WSOF history and the fastest for a heavyweight.
NOT APT TO TAP: Lins’ submission victory was the second by a heavyweight in company history. The first belonged to Barroso at PFL 4.
PRINCE MO: Improving his undefeated record to 7-0 by forcing Mike Kyle to tap to strikes, Muhammed DeReese has stopped five of his opponents in the first two rounds.
TAKE STOCK OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS: After submitting to strikes from DeReese, Kyle has now dropped six bouts inside the PFL-WSOF decagon, extending his own record for the most losses in company history.
LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY: When he tapped to punches from DeReese, Kyle became the first fighter in PFL-WSOF history to ever submit to strikes.
NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into PFL 8, the PFL had never held an event in Louisiana, Alencar had never been submitted (15 fights) and no PFL event had ever featured multiple fights end in draws.
CURSES, FOILED AGAIN!: Walking out in both of his previous PFL bouts to Eminem’s “Go to Sleep,” a song he used many times during his Ultimate Fighting Championship career, Barroso defied the odds to go 2-0 in the opening round of the heavyweight tournament. At this event, he changed his walkout song to the Pride Fighting Championships theme song and drew but did not advance.
Jay Pettry is an attorney and a statistician. Writing about MMA since he started studying the “Eminem Curse” in 2012, and writing for Vice Sports and Combat Docket along the way, he put together many fight result and entrance music databases to better study the sport. You can find him on Twitter at @jaypettry.