HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Movlid Khaybulaev is one fight away from winning $1 million.
The 30-year-old outpointed Brendan Loughnane in the main event of 2021 PFL Playoffs 3. Khaybulaev (18-0-1) took home a split decision victory, winning 30-27, 28-29, and 29-28 on the judges’ scorecards. Khaybulaev is now set to take on Chris Wade, who defeated Bubba Jenkins in the co-main event of the card, at the 2021 PFL Finals on Oct. 27.
The 2021 PFL Playoffs 3 took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The main card aired on ESPN 2 and ESPN+ with the prelims exclusively on ESPN+.
It was a fairly clean and dominant win for Khaybulaev despite the split decision.
In the first round, Khaybulaev completely dominated. He took down Loughnane (21-3) early in the fight and kept him on the ground for the entirety of the round. Loughnane did a good job at avoiding heavy ground-and-pound but was unable to get up or set up any attacks off his back.
The second had more stand-up action. It was a fairly even affair, but halfway through the round, Khaybulaev was once again able to get the fight to the ground. He controlled Loughnane until the bell rang.
The third and final round got briefly shaky for Khaybulaev. The Englishman was able to keep the fight on the feet and even tagged and rocked Khaybulaev with an overhand right. Khaybulaev was on the back foot recovering from the shot and managed to avoid further shots by Loughnane. Khaybulaev took the fight to the ground with about a minute remaining and kept it there.
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With the result, Khaybulaev remains unbeaten in his professional MMA career. The Dagestan fighter defeated Lazar Stojadinovic, Lance Palmer, and now Loughnane to get to the 2021 PFL featherweight final.
Meanwhile, Loughnane saw a seven-fight winning streak. He entered the semifinal bout with wins over Sheymon Moraes and Tyler Diamond. His last defeat prior to the Khaybulaev loss was back in 2017 in a split decision loss to UFC veteran Pat Healy.
Movlid Khaybulaev def. Brendan Loughnane via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Chris Wade def. Bubba Jenkins via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Antonio Carlos Junior def. Emiliano Sordi via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Sheymon Moraes def. Lazar Stojadinovic via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:45
Chris Camozzi def. Cory Hendricks via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Anthony Dizy def. Jesse Stirn via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Bobby Moffett def. Jason Knight via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alejandro Flores def. Carl Deaton via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)