It’s main event time already here at the PFL Challenger Series. UFC veteran Danilo Marques meets Bellator veteran Ras Hylton in our final bout of the evening as both men look to punch their ticket to the PFL Regular Season and beyond. While Marques is 37 years old, he’s “fight young” after only beginning to train in MMA at the age of 25, so there’s plenty of gas left in the tank. Ras meanwhile is no stranger to adversity after losing a brother at 10 years old. Ras credits MMA for his success in life, acknowledging the amount it has helped him through personal adversity.
Our main event of the evening is officially underway as the big boys begin to feel each other out. After a brief range finding period, Marques shoots for the first takedown of the bout, however he is rebuffed by Hylton and unable to finish.
Again Marques shoots and again Hylton is able to keep the fight on the feet. Neither man has landed a tremendous amount of offense yet and the low kick for Hylton seems to be the most effective strike of the bout early.
Marques attempts to go high with a kick but Hylton catches it and sweeps him, but Marques quickly pops back to his feet and gets back on the offensive, looking to establish his jab and build his offense from there.
With about 40 seconds remaining in the round, Hylton catches Marques on the cup badly with a kick and we’ll have a break in the action to allow Marques to recover.
The ref gives Hylton a stern warning and we’re back to the action with Hylton pumping out his jab and Marques returning fire with a nice body roundhouse before Marques lands a big overhand right that staggers Hylton.
Marques blasts Hylton with another right hand before taking him down with only 10 seconds remaining and unloading ground and pound until the end of the round.
After a strong finish to the round for Marques, we’ll see if he comes out aggressive and looking to finish quickly. It’s Hylton coming forward but Marques lands the first big strike of the round, slipping off to his right and hitting a Mayweather-esque pull counter.
Bizarrely, Hylton throws the exact same blow that he caught Marques with below the belt in round 1 and once again he catches Marques on the cup. This time, the referee decides to take a point as Marques recovers.
After a brief break in the action, we resume as Hylton marches forward but can’t land anything. Marques returns fire with a heavy outside leg kick that draws a reaction from Hylton before landing that same overhand right he has had success with all night.
Marques gets in deep on a single and just dumps Hylton to the mat, taking the back with very little resistance and almost three minutes to work. Marques begins attacking a rear naked choke and while he doesn’t quite have the angle, through pure will, strength, and squeeze he puts Hylton out cold! What a finish!
Danilo Marques earns his seventh career submission victory to give himself a chance at a PFL contract.
Danilo Marques def. Ras Hylton via 2nd Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke, 2:33)