Atlantic City: PFL MMA 2021 #2 Preview

By: Jon Husler

Thursday 29th April 2021
Ocean Casino Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey

The PFL returns tomorrow night with the welterweight and light heavyweights set for action in Atlantic City. With a wealth of experience and talent on show, this year’s competition sees a glut of former UFC veterans take to the PFL stage for the first time as the likes of Rory MacDonald, Curtis Millender, Gleison Tibau, Tom Lawlor, Cezar Ferreira, Antonio Carlos Jr., and Chris Camozzi join the ranks.

In the main event, former Bellator welterweight champion and UFC title contender, Rory MacDonald makes his long-awaited PFL debut against another debutant in Curtis Millender. After losing the Bellator title in his last outing against Douglas Lima back in October 2019, PFL announced the signing of the Canadian BJJ black belt two months after his defeat to Lima but due PFL not running any events in 2020, MacDonald has had to bide his time for his debut.

After stepping in as an alternative in this year’s welterweight tournament, Curtis Millender is handed a baptism of fire against MacDonald in the opening round of fights. Replacing David Michaud, Millender comes into this one with three defeats in his last four fights including a unanimous decision defeat to Sabah Homasi in his last outing at Bellator 243 in August of last year.  

The co-main event sees returning PFL champion Ray Cooper III begins the defense of his title against Frenchman Jason Ponet. Following his 2019 welterweight success, Cooper III will look to continue his impressive finishing streak with all twenty of his professional wins coming by way of a finish (14 KO/TKO and 6 submissions).  

Elsewhere, the current PFL light heavyweight champion Emiliano Sordi begins the defense of his crown against Chris Camozzi. On a five-fight finishing streak, Argentine Sordi has only experienced defeat on just occasion but hasn’t looked back since a first-round defeat to the Russian, Bozogit Ataev during the PFL 2018 campaign. With the second-fastest KO in PFL history, Sordi meets the highly experienced Chris Camozzi who will be making his PFL debut.

With twenty UFC performances under his belt, including a TUF Finale appearance, Chris Camozzi certainly has the experience to be a dangerous opening-round competitor for the reigning champion. With thirty-nine professional fights in the bag, Camozzi got back to winning ways last time out with an arm-triangle choke submission over Tony Lopez on the SCL 76 card in 2019. Prior to that, Camozzi was riding a four-fight losing streak which ultimately cost him his place in the UFC.

Watch all the action live from Atlantic City tomorrow night on ESPN+ from 5.30pm ET and ESPN2 from 9pm ET.

Full Card

Welterweight: Rory MacDonald (21-6-1) vs Curtis Millender (18-6)

Welterweight: Ray Cooper III (20-7-1) vs Jason Ponet (20-12-1) 

Welterwight: João Zeferino (24-9) vs Gleison Tibau (34-14)

Light Heavyweight: Emiliano Sordi (22-8) vs Chris Camozzi (25-14) 

Light Heavyweight: Antônio Carlos Júnior (10-5) vs Tom Lawlor (10-7) 

Light Heavyweight: Vinny Magalhães (19-12) vs Jordan Young (11-1)   

Light Heavyweight: Cezar Ferreira (13-8) vs Nick Roehrick (9-1)             

Welterweight: Sadibou Sy (8-5-2) vs Nikolay Aleksakhin (26-5)                  

Light Heavyweight: Dan Spohn (18-7) vs Mathin Hamlet Nielsen (6-1)          

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