Kicking off the main card of 2021 PFL 4 at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. on Thursday evening, England’s Loughnane (21-3) was set to take on Diamond (12-2) in a matchup that had the potential to steal the show, and it certainly lived up to that promise. The bout card aired on ESPN2 following prelims on ESPN+.
Diamond kept the pressure high early in the first, striking fast and cutting off the cage as his Loughnane was content with counters. Loughnane began throwing kicks in the latter half of the opening round, including finding a home for a hard calf kick that caused Diamond to drop to the canvas briefly.
Diamond opened the second round in a similar fashion to the first, looking to push the pace. Loughnane stunned him with a clean counter that sent him to the canvas. Pouring on the pressure and raining down heavy ground and pound, Loughnane tried to finish the fight.
Diamond remained as calm as he could to weather the storm, making it to the end of the round.
In the third round, Loughnane continued his effective striking, hurting Diamond early in the round. It appeared the finish was near again, but Diamond managed to find top position on the mat to slow the pace.
With Loughnane showing fatigue, Diamond began to lean on his wrestling skills, keeping him on his back. Loughnane worked his way up with about a minute remaining and the pair would slug it out until the final horn.
Two of the judges saw the bout in favor of Loughnane with scores of 30-27 and 29-27, while the other judge scored the bout a draw at 28-28, giving him a majority decision victory.
“I’m covered in his blood, he’s covered in my blood, what a show for the PFL fans,” Loughnane said during his post-fight interview.
Loughnane, 31, picked up six points with his first-round knockout of Sheymon Moraes at 2021 PFL 1, the only finish to occur on that evening.
“That was better for me than beating Sheymon Moraes. I just had to dig to somewhere I didn’t even know I had tonight,” Loughnane said after the bout.
With the unanimous decision win on Thursday, he added another three points to his total to keep his lead in the featherweight standings and secure his spot in the playoffs.
You can check out the full results of 2021 PFL 4 here.