It’s Russia vs. USA in the featherweight final of the PFL’s 2021 season as Movlid Khaybulaev and Chris Wade turned to their wrestling to grind their way to victory at the PFL Playoffs in Hollywood, Florida.

The pair both scored decision wins at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Friday night, with Khaybulaev earning a split-decision win against England’s Brendan Loughnane in the main event, while Wade dominated Bubba Jenkins en route to a unanimous decision victory in the night’s co-main bout.

The light heavyweight final was also set, with 2019 champion Emiliano Sordi denied the chance to retain his title by Brazil’s Antonio Carlos Jr, who claimed a unanimous decision victory to put himself in a major title fight for the first time in his career.

He’ll take on Norwegian contender Marthin Hamlet, who defeated Cezar Ferreira via TKO after the Brazilian sustained an injury with the first kick of the fight in their 205-pound semi-final bout.

“Tonight capped off a thrilling month of win-or-go-home action that only PFL can deliver for MMA fans around the world,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray.

“The final four contenders from the featherweight and light heavyweight divisions put it all on the line and I can’t wait for the biggest night in the sport on October 27.

“Twelve fighters across six divisions will strive to forever change their legacies by becoming world champions and earning the $1 million prize.”

The PFL’s president of fighter operations Ray Sefo also paid tribute to the night’s big winners, saying, “I want to congratulate the four fighters who booked their spot in the PFL World Championship on October 27.

“Our league is a true meritocracy where everything is earned and we can’t wait to crown our new champions.”

The PFL Championship Finals will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Wednesday, October 27, with each divisional winner set to be crowned champion and receive a prize of $1 million.

PFL Playoff results

Featherweight semi-finals

  • Movlid Khaybulaev def. Brendan Loughnane by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
  • Chris Wade def. Bubba Jenkins by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Light heavyweight semi-finals

  • Antonio Carlos Jr. def. Emiliano Sordi by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Marthin Hamlet def. Cezar Ferreira by TKO – Round 1, 0:13

Photo credit: PFL MMA