Rory MacDonald to Battle David Michaud in PFL Debut
By press release
The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league, today announced its main event and full card matchups for PFL 2, taking place on April 29. Top-10 ranked welterweight and former Bellator world champion Rory MacDonald will make his highly anticipated PFL debut when he takes on 2019 runner-up David Michaud.
The co-main event features 2019 PFL welterweight champion and Hawaiian knockout machine Ray Cooper III as he looks to start his path to back-to-back titles with a clash against Frenchman Jason Ponet. Cooper is a rising star in the MMA ranks after a slew of highlight-reel knockouts over his first two PFL campaigns.
The owner of the most dominant PFL season in history, Emiliano Sordi, returns with his sights set on bringing another light heavyweight title back to Argentina as he takes on UFC and Glory veteran Chris Camozzi. Sordi finished all five of his opponents, with four in the first round, en route to the 2019 PFL title and looks to string together another impressive season as he climbs the sport’s light heavyweight rankings.
Jordan Johnson and Tom Lawlor will square off in a light heavyweight bout that will have major title implications. Johnson was the runner-up to Sordi in 2019 and he has his sights set on clearing the final hurdle this year to claim the million-dollar top prize. Lawlor, an entertaining veteran, brings a ton of fight experience as well as the charismatic personality that has made him a fan favorite on the independent professional wrestling circuit.
Magomed Magomedkerimov, the 2018 welterweight champion, will return for another shot at PFL gold when he takes on talented Brazilian Joao Zeferino. Magomedkerimov remains undefeated (8-0) in the PFL after having to withdraw with an injury following his quarterfinal win in the 2019 Playoffs.
“PFL 2 is sure to be a thrill and full of suspense,” said PFL CEO, Peter Murray. “The world-class talent that these matchups offer is unmatched, and we can’t wait to see all of the action on April 29 on ESPN and ESPN+. This season will bring nonstop excitement and a world-class fan experience, and we can’t wait for it to begin.”
“PFL prides itself on being a fighter-first organization and we look forward to seeing the superior talent in each matchup,” said PFL President of Fighter Operations, Ray Sefo. “I’m excited to see both the welterweights and light heavyweights live in action as I know PFL 2 will be one to remember.”
The 2021 PFL Season will begin April 23 on ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ in primetime. The remaining Regular Season events will take place on April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25.
Professional Fighters League has quickly established itself as the No. 2 MMA company in the world. The league has experienced tremendous YoY growth across digital channels – 68% follower increase on Instagram, 30% total audience growth across digital and a 200% social engagement spike. Domestic linear viewing audience was up 43% in 2019, and the Championship on New Year’s Eve surpassed 500,000 viewers, a 65% YoY increase.
ESPN 2 Card
Rory MacDonald vs. David Michaud
Ray Cooper III vs. Jason Ponet
Jordan Johnson vs. Tom Lawlor
Emiliano Sordi vs. Chris Camozzi
Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Joao Zeferino
Smealinho Rama vs. Jordan Young
Cezar Ferreira vs. Nick Roehrick
Gleison Tibau vs. Aleksei Kunchenko
Sadibou Sy vs. Nikolai Aleksakhin
Dan Spohn vs. Marthin Hamlet