Frans Mlambo represents Ireland and is an SBG talent who has been a sparring partner for “The Notoriousg” Conor McGregor. With a 13-5 record entering tonight, Mlambo has competed for various promotions, including Bellator, Brave CF, BAMMA, and Combate Global. In fact, his most recent MMA outing came with Combate in December 2021, where he won three fights in one night to win a bantamweight tournament.
Rachid Haz comes into this bout on just one week’s notice and on a four-fight win streak. Representing Spain and coming in with a 9-2 record, Haz has eight stoppages and most recently fought in February, scoring a third-round TKO of Victor Nunez at UWC Mexico 41.
Haz will come into this fight with an automatic one-point deduction after missing weight.
The winner of this fight will advance to the PFL Playoffs and take on the winner of tonight’s Francesco Nuzzi vs. Farbod Iran Nezhad main event.
Low kick by Haz missed. Left hand from Mlambo. Haz continues with the low kick attack, which Mlambo responds with one of his own. Action paused due to an eye poke. Upon the action resuming, Haz managed to score a takedown, but Mlambo reversed and got on top with a sweep, as he looked for a guillotine but was unsuccessful. Mlambo lands a low kick, but Haz fires off a high one. Mlambo lands a couple of more kicks from the outside before the two go into an exchange.
Haz scores another takedown halfway through the round, and he manages to land in side control despite Mlambo’s resistance. Haz looks for an arm-triangle choke but can’t get it. Haz looks to get into mount, but Mlambo blocks it. Haz lands knees and a couple of punches to the body. Haz looks for an arm-triangle again, but Mlambo escapes once more. Haz, however, is too in control on the bottom and ends the round on top.
Mlambo starts the round with a spinning push kick. Haz misses a couple of power shots, and Mlambo lands a quick right to the body. Haz tries to pressure Mlambo back, but Mlambo is still firing and lands a hook. Haz continues to fire low kicks before he clinches up briefly. Haz continues to press forward, but the referee pauses the action again to sternly warn Haz for spinning with his fingers open.
Haz lands a head kick and pins Mlambo against the SmartCage. Mlambo is able to counter and bring the fight back to the center, where he cracks Haz with a right hand and several follow-up shots. Haz lands a takedown, but Mlambo steps over, looking for Haz’s neck. Haz gets up, however, and is able to get out of Mlambo’s grasp. The two engage in another clinch battle near the SmartCage before he lands another takedown. Haz ends the round on top again in spite of getting wobbled earlier.
The two hug in the center to start the round. Haz looks to grab Mlambo’s leg, but Mlambo is able to clinch up. Back in the center, Haz lands a kick to the body before another level change that results in another takedown. Mlambo lands a low kick, but a kick by Haz briefly catches Mlambo’s attention. Mlambo avoids a spinning kick by Haz, and Mlambo rocks Haz with a big uppercut! Haz gets a takedown to try and save himself, but Mlambo locks in a guillotine. Haz avoids the submission, but he’s still in some big trouble.
Haz postures up and looks to fire some ground-and-pound, but Mlambo reverses, and now he’s in top control. Haz has Mlambo in his guard, but Mlambo doesn’t appear to be in trouble. Haz, however, throws his legs up more as he looks for a triangle choke, but Mlambo is able to get out of danger and endure the triangle until the final round!
Frans Mlambo def. Rachid Haz via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)