The PFL’s lightweight playoffs have received a major change with the news that two of the fighters in action at PFL 6 have been suspended by the promotion.

PFL 2018 and 2019 lightweight champion Natan Schulte and 2021 lightweight champ Raush Manfio faced off in the final round of regular-season matchups at PFL 6 in Atlanta in a bout that pitted the longtime friends, teammates and training partners head to head in a bout that neither seemed that comfortable with.

And, after their bout went to the scorecards, with Schulte taking the unanimous decision, the manner of the matchup prompted the PFL to take unprecedented steps to sanction both fighters for their respective performances.

A statement, posted to the PFL’s official website, read:

“Last night Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio did not meet the standards which all PFL fighters agree to uphold in competition.

“All fighters in their PFL Fight Agreements agree to use their ‘best efforts … skills and abilities as a professional athlete to compete … and defeat any opponent.’

“It was very clear that Natan and Raush did not meet that contractual standard in yesterday’s bout.

“PFL immediately suspended both fighters from the season and deemed the fight to have 0 points for purposes of league standings.

“PFL takes this action in recognition of its responsibility to all PFL fighters and all PFL fans.”

The decision to suspend both fighters and not award any points to Schulte effectively eliminated the two-time PFL champion from the lightweight playoffs, with new PFL signee Shane Burgos the beneficiary, with the American moving up into the fourth playoff spot as a result.

It means Burgos, not Schulte, will face top seed Clay Collard in the semi-finals. The 2022 champion, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, will face Bruno Miranda in the other semi.