Alexei Pergande’s young professional career has been exclusively seen in the PFL, and it has brought him success thus far. Pergande, who did jiu-jitsu, boxing, and wrestling as a youth, scored a second-round submission of Joe Hamm in the 2022 Challenger Series and earned a contract. Since then, Pergande has scored a split decision over Elvis Lebron Quiles and a first-round submission of Akeem Bashir, the latter of which came in Atlanta in June.
Shawn Stefanelli comes into his PFL debut tonight with a 4-2 record since turning pro in 2021. The wrestling and grappling expert comes into this bout off two straight wins, most recently earning a unanimous decision over Cole Alaxanian in March.
Who will get the win in this featherweight showcase battle?
Pergande with a front kick to the body. Side kick by Stefanelli. Another front kick by Pergande and another side kick from Stefanelli. Stefanelli does a level change, which results in a scramble that ends with Stefanelli on top briefly before Pergande gets back to the feet. Pergande tags with a knee before scoring his own takedown in Stefanelli’s guard. Pergande goes for a butterfly hook and is looking for an arm-triangle. Stefanelli uses his guard to negate the attack. Pergande with a couple of right hands from the top. Pergande breaks through with a couple of strong shots. Pergande is in side control and is searching for the arm-triangle again.
Pergande transitions into half guard. Pergande with a couple of more strong shots before standing up. Stefanelli gets back to his feet as well. Stefanelli misses a straight and a head kick. One-two by Pergande. Pergande with another flurry. Stefanelli with a side kick. Right hand by Pergande. Low kick by Stefanelli. Pergande comes in and scores another takedown. Pergande lands a few more shots from the top. Pergande gets into high mount and slips to Stefanelli’s back. Pergande looks for the arm-triangle again. Pergande with a couple of knees to the body from side control before the bell.
High kick from Stefanelli. Stefanelli comes forward but Pergande lands a couple of shots. Hook by Stefanelli is missed. Right hand by Pergande. Pergande with a counter shot. Side kick by Stefanelli. Pergande lands a right from short range. High kick and a small flurry from Pergande. Front kick by Pergande. Each throws a left. Pergande goes for another takedown and gets it. Stefanelli tries for a guillotine but can’t get it.
Pergande works some ground-and-pound with his right hand, battling in Stefanelli’s guard. Stefanelli tries to stifle Pergande’s offense with his guard, throwing a couple of rights to the head. Pergande lands a couple of more shots. Stefanelli stays on the ground and throws some kicks with about a minute left in the round. Stefanelli gets back to his feet with 50 seconds left. A right overhand and a left hook from Pergande. Pergande tags Stefanelli with a left in an exchange. Pergande lands a right before the bell.
Pergande catches a kick in the opening seconds of the round and scores another takedown. Pergande looks for a Von Flue choke, but Stefanelli gets out of it. Pergande appears to go for a headlock choke but Stefanelli gets out of that, too, though Pergande is still in top position. Pergande with another right hand. Pergande lands some more shots, not giving up his dominant position.
Stefanelli tries to scramble away, but Pergande remains on top. Pergande continues to work with the right hand. Pergande with some shoulder strikes. Stefanelli tries to use Pergande’s leg to turn himself over, but Pergande looks to get to it. Pergande gets a hook in. Pergande lands some strong right hands from the top. Pergande has a body triangle locked in on Stefanelli with about 60 seconds left in the fight. Stefanelli scrambles and now he’s on top! Pergande scrambles, but Stefanelli now tries to take Pergande’s back and looks to secure his own choke. Stefanelli can’t get it, and Pergande scrambles to end up on top and lands a couple of shots before the final bell!
Alexei Pergande def. Shawn Stefanelli via unanimous decision (30-27 30-27, 30-27)