2021 PFL Championship results: Raush Manfio tops Loik Radzhabov in classic slugfest

·3 min read

One million dollars was on the line when Raush Manfio and Loik Radzhabov stepped into the 2021 PFL Championship cage Wednesday – and the two men fought like it.

With the stakes higher than ever, Manfio (15-3) and Radzhabov (15-3-1) battled it out for a full 25 minutes. Although most men had their moments, Manfio earned a unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 49-46) victory from the judges to win the 2021 PFL featherweight championship and $1 million prize.

2021 PFL Championship took place Wednesday at Seminole Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Hollywood, Fla. The main card aired on ESPN2/ESPN+ after prelims on ESPN+.

For five full rounds, the two fighters slugged it out. The fight seldom hit the canvas. Instead, both men bit down on their mouthpieces and hurled punches at one another. While the fight began fairly even as each fighter connected on head and body punches as well as leg kicks, Manfio pulled away as the fight progressed.

In Round 4, Manfio really pulled away. As Radzhabov seemingly gassed, the Brazilian appeared to get stronger, faster, and more explosive. He marched down Radzhabov and landed hellacious body punches and kicks. Somehow, a scratched-up, scraped-up Radzhabov stayed in the fight – and even found a second wind in Round 5.

Both men were exhausted when the final horn sounded. The limited-attendance in-person audience went bananas as both men attempted to signal their victory but also compose themselves after the 25-minute cardio-drainer. After brief tallying from the judges, Manfio was declared the victor.

“This is a dream come true,” Manfio said in the cage after the fight. “Only God could make this in my life (and) Jesus Christ. He opened the door up and now I am here with a million dollars, more than happy to provide for my family.”

After two regular season wins against Joilton Lutterbach and former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, Manfio defeated Clay Collard in the opening round of the playoffs to advance to the $1 million championship.

For the second straight season, Radzhabov finds himself one win short of a PFL championship and the $1 million prize money. In 2019, the Tajikistan fighter lost a unanimous decision to multi-time winner Natan Schulte.

The up-to-the-minute 2021 PFL Championship results include: