PFL 5 results: Gleison Tibau wins controversial split decision over Rory MacDonald

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Gleison Tibau won’t make the playoffs, but he still got a huge win in the PFL 5 main event after winning a controversial split decision over Rory MacDonald.

Almost everyone who watched the fight was shocked by the scorecards after two judges gave the fight to Tibau 29-28, with the third official giving MacDonald the nod by the same score of 29-28 . A downcast MacDonald left the cage shaken by the decision as Tibau celebrated arguably one of the biggest wins of his career.

It was certainly a confusing call by the judges as MacDonald was largely in control from the start of the fight, pushing Tibau around the cage with his smooth strike while also mixing up several wrestling rallies that showed his skills in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. . Time and time again, MacDonald was able to step forward and then slip behind Tibau’s back as he sought the end of the submission.

To his credit, Tibau was able to withstand the mighty onslaught coming from MacDonald, but he always seemed to lag behind former champion Bellator. MacDonald’s speed and footwork was really a problem for Tibau, especially when he came forward trying to shake things up.

As MacDonald landed the best shots all night, Tibau refused to back down as he swung powerfully behind each punch in order to cause upset. Tibau also managed to ignore a number of MacDonald’s pull-out attempts, but he couldn’t do much in return each time the Canadiens closed the distance.

Even early in round three, MacDonald remained technical with his strikes, throwing a series of straight punches and then throwing kicks whenever Tibau left his body open. The jab was MacDonald’s best punch, as he used his considerable eight-inch reach advantage to keep Tibau at bay.

Tibau was swaying decidedly hard and he was happy to engage in trading with MacDonald in the pocket, but it never appeared that he was doing so much damage to his feet. Either way, judges Cardo Urso and Dave Tirelli obviously believed he did enough to secure the victory after both of them scored the fight for him.

Despite the breathtaking result, MacDonald will still qualify for the PFL playoffs. Tibau will not advance in the season but he will return home with his win bonus and a victory to his credit on one of the best welterweights in the sport.


Returning welterweight champion Ray Cooper III scored a well-deserved victory in his fight against Nikolay Aleksakhin after failing to gain weight on Wednesday, which meant he had to come out victorious to advance to the playoffs.

Although he didn’t score one of his signature knockouts, Cooper was relentless with his offense throughout the fight, including numerous takedown attempts and lightning punches throughout the three rounds.

It was pure aggression from Cooper from the second he was freed from his corner, as he stepped forward and continued throwing successive combinations. In return, Aleksakhn was able to absorb a lot of damage and then retaliate with his own powerful shots, including several jumping knee hits as he sought out the highlighter knockout.

Over time, Cooper was genuinely determined to deliver the punishment as he applied his wrestling and then blasted the Russian with punches. While Aleksakhin was never out of the fight, he struggled to break free from Cooper’s grip to win the rounds to make the decision on the scoreboards.

Cooper now faces MacDonald in the playoffs as he looks to win his second PFL Championship after winning the $ 1 Million Prize in 2019.


Former PFL champion Emiliano Sordi found himself in a grueling three-round war with Dan Spohn in a fight that many thought was an almost automatic pass for the playoffs, but instead the light heavyweights fought back. for a draw.

The difference in the scorecards is due to what happened in the first round. Sordi hit Spohn with a series of ground strikes, but the barrage also came with plenty of shots to the back of the head. Following a warning, referee Vitor Ribeiro suspended the action and deducted a point from Sordi’s scoreboard for the repeated fouls.

As the fight continued, Sordi and Spohn engaged in a foot and ground scuffle, with both fighters having their own moments during the 15-minute session. As Sordi carried out the cleaner strikes, Spohn refused to leave and this allowed him to reach the final bell.

Thanks to that point deduction, Sordi couldn’t separate enough from Spohn in the final two rounds and the scorecards reflected that, with all three judges scoring the fight 28-28.

Regardless of the draw, Sordi has still amassed enough points to advance to the light heavyweight playoffs where he will meet Antonio Carlos Jr. in his next appearance in the PFL cage.


In the opening bout on the main card, Chris Camozzi survived an early ground attack from Cezar Ferreira, then delivered a punishing performance to win a unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the bout 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27 in his favor.

After an impressive start to his PFL career earlier this year, Ferreira tried to do the same in his second fight, and after dragging Camozzi to the canvas, it appeared he could nab an early submission. Unfortunately for him, Camozzi survived and came back strong in the second round where he dropped the Brazilian with a nasty left hook and nearly scored the finish.

From that point on, Camozzi stayed in control, stuffing takedowns and landing combinations on the feet to secure the victory. The only downside was that Camozzi needed a finish to secure his playoff ticket, which means his PFL season is still over.

Meanwhile, Ferreira will continue to move forward after a huge first-round finish in his first performance in the PFL.

PFL 5 results:

  • Gleison Tibau beat. Rory MacDonald via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Ray Cooper III has def. Nikolay Aleksakhin via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Emiliano Sordi vs. Dan Spohn ends in draw (28-28, 28-28, 28-28)

  • Chris Camozzi beat. Cezar Ferreira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
  • Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Vinny Magalhaes ends in No Contest (groin strike) at 2:45 from R1

  • Cory Hendricks beat. Marthin Hamlet via submission (naked rear choke) at 4:09 from R3

  • Joao Zeferino beat. Jason Ponet via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:16 from R2

  • Magomed Magomedkerimov beat. Curtis Millender via submission (ezekiel choke) at 1:57 from R1

  • Tom Lawlor beat. Jordan Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Sadibou Sy has def. Alexey Kunchenko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)



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