PFL To Debut An Annual Awards Program

Looking to be as interactive as possible with its fanbase, the Professional Fighters League announced an awards ceremony to honor the best moments from the 2019 season.

The PFL Awards will be voted on by fans, media, fighters and PFL members. Voting started yesterday, February 26 and ends on March 1. The winners will be announced during a March airing on ESPN+.

“We are excited to announce the launch of the first-ever annual PFL Awards,” PFL CEO Peter Murray stated via a press release “2019 was a record year for the PFL on ESPN, doubling our Championship audience with over 400,000 TV viewers in the U.S., and over two million globally. This success is attributed to our great fighters, many of whom had to fight five times last season for a shot at the $1 Million Dollar Championship. Through the PFL Awards, we will shine a light on the many fighter achievements and moments deserving of recognition. Our voting process is unique – fans, media, and fighters, along with the league, have a say in who brings home the awards.”

The categories include:

  • Best Fighter (separate male and female categories)
  • Fight of the Year
  • Knockout of the Year
  • Submission of the Year
  • Professional of the Year
  • Holy S— Moment
  • Most Improved
  • Toughest
  • On Notice (Fighter to Watch in 2020)

The nominees include:

Male Fighter of the Year

  • Lance Palmer – Two-time Featherweight Champion and $1 million winner. 10-0 in the PFL cage.
  • Natan Schulte – Two-time Lightweight Champion and $1 million winner. Went 5-0 in 2019.
  • Emiliano Sordi – 2019 PFL Light Heavyweight Champion and $1 million winner. Went 5-0 in 2019 with five stoppages.

Female Fighter of the Year

  • Kayla Harrison – First-ever PFL Women’s Lightweight champion and $1 million winner. Has been perfect (7-0) in PFL competition.
  • Sarah Kaufman – #1 seed in the PFL before losing in the semifinals of the women’s lightweight tournament.
  • Larissa Pacheco – Beat Sarah Kaufman in the semifinals and took on Kayla Harrison in the PFL finals

Knockout Of The Year

  • John Howard KOs Ray Cooper III
  • Movlid Khaybulaev’s flying knee v. Damon Jackson
  • Ray Cooper III KOs Chris Curtis

Submission of the Year

  • Alex Gilpin puts Andre Harrison to sleep
  • Magomed Magomedkerimov’s guillotine finish to John Howard
  • Natan Schulte’s 52-second choke against Ramsey Nijem

Pro of the Year

* The award goes to the fighter who uses their platform to make a positive impact

  • Francimar Barroso: Owns a gym in Brazil, working with young talent to take them off the streets
  • Kayla Harrison: Creator of the Fearless Foundation (shines a light on child sexual abuse and enriches the lives of survivors through education and sport)
  • David Michaud: Actively gives back to the youth in the Native American community he grew up in.

Fight of the Year

  • Ray Cooper III v. David Michaud: PFL Welterweight Championship Final
  • Movlid Khaybulaev v. Andre Harrison: PFL 5
  • Natan Schulte v. Loik Radzhabov: PFL Lightweight Championship Final

Holy S— Moment of the Year

  • Ray Cooper III’s first KO defeat at the hands of John Howard
  • Ali Isaev’s buzzer beater KO of #1 seed Denis Goltsov in the PFL heavyweight semifinals 
  • Movlid Khaybulaev’s flying knee v. Damon Jackson

Most Improved

  • Natan Schulte: Proved his 2018 run wasn’t a fluke
  • Emiliano Sordi: From the quarterfinals in 2018 to champion in 2019
  • Rashid Yusupov: Made it past the quarterfinals in 2019 after almost suffering a broken jaw in 2018

Toughest Fighter (Playoffs)

  • Ali Asaev: Knocked out #1 seeded heavyweight Denis Goltsov in the semifinals
  • David Michaud: Defeated #4 seed John Howard and #1 seed Glaico Franco en route to a championship
  • Loik Radzhabov: Secured two upset wins as the #7 seed in the lightweight tournament

On Notice / Fighters to Watch in 2020

  • Nikolay Aleksakhin (24-5) (welterweight): A newcomer within the division, Nikolay is on a seven-fight win streak
  • Denis Goltsov (25-6) (heavyweight): 3-1 in the PFL in just a short time in the league
  • Brendan Loughnane (19-3) (featherweight): 2-0 in the PFL and on a five-fight win streak
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