Manchester native Lewis McGrillen has proven to be a rising star in England in the sport since making his debut in September 2021. McGrillen, a former multiple-time regional champion, has won eight of nine, with all of his wins coming via KO/TKO. McGrillen is 2-1 in PFL Europe, scoring knockouts of Salih Kulucan and Amrali Saidoshurov last year before dropping a decision to Weslley Maia.


A product of SBG Ireland, Matiss Zaharovs has caused problems for his opponents, thanks to his striking. Zaharovs, making his PFL debut here tonight, is 6-2 with five KO/TKOs, four coming in the first round. Zaharovs most recently fought in October, knocking out Leandro Lima with a spinning backfist.


Which of these two will further their status with this showcase bout?



Round 1


McGrillen’s head kick attempt is blocked. Zaharovs with a left hand. McGrillen misses another kick. Spinning back kick attempt from McGrillen is missed. Round kick and a left hand from McGrillen. Zaharovs with a left hand and a punch. Side kick from Zaharovs. High kick from Zaharovs. Flurry to the body by Zaharovs. High kick from Zaharovs is dodged. Level change and a takedown by Zaharovs, but McGrillen gets back to his feet. High kick from Zaharovs. High kick by McGrillen is blocked.


Zaharovs goes in for a takedown, but McGrillen defends, and we briefly get a clinch battle. Zaharovs with a knee before the separation. Another knee from Zaharovs. High kick from McGrillen misses. McGrillen with a left uppercut, but Zaharovs nearly catches him with a kick. Low kick from Zaharovs misses. McGrillen catches Zaharovs coming in with a left hand. High kick from Zaharovs is blocked. McGrillen defends another takedown attempt. Low kick from Zaharovs. One-two from McGrillen. Left hand from McGrillen. Body kick by Zaharovs. One-two by Zaharovs. Left hand by McGrillen.



Round 2


High kick from Zaharovs is blocked. McGrillen coming up with a quick pace, firing off shots. Zaharovs misses a jab to the body. High kick is blocked for McGrillen. McGrillen catches Zaharovs with a left hand on the inside. Both land the left hand. Left hand to the body by McGrillen. Round kick by Zaharovs. McGrillen with a left to the body. Zaharovs moving on the outside. High kick from McGrillen is blocked. Zaharovs clinches up.


McGrillen lands a hook that appears to hurt Zaharovs. Zaharovs goes for a takedown but McGrillen defends well. Zaharovs was busted open by that hook. Round kick from McGrillen is blocked. McGrillen lands another left. Zaharovs with a combination. McGrillen takes a shot but continues to push forward. Low kick from Zaharovs. McGrillen grabs a hold of Zaharovs’s back as the two go against the fence. McGrillen jumps into backpack position and looks for a choke. McGrillen gets Zaharovs down and is chasing the neck. McGrillen gets into mount! He flattens Zaharovs out and fires off ground-and-pound! The fight gets back to the feet just before the horn.



Round 3


Zaharovs looks for a combination. Left hand from Zaharovs as McGrillen comes in. The two trade. Right hand by Zaharovs, and McGrillen answers. High kick for McGrillen is blocked. One-two by Zaharovs. The two trade as McGrillen continues to chase. Zaharovs grabs a leg and finishes the single-leg takedown. McGrillen, however, gets right back up. Both men firing off single shots. High kick misses for McGrillen. McGrillen catches a kick. McGrillen continues to press forward.


Left hand lands for McGrillen again. Beautiful combination by McGrillen, and Zaharovs seems gassed. One-two misses for Zaharovs, and McGrillen works the body again. High kick is blocked. One-two by McGrillen. Jab to the body by McGrillen. McGrillen with a head kick. Left uppercut by McGrillen. Zaharovs lands a strong knee, but McGrillen eats it and grabs the leg, pinning Zaharovs against the fence. McGrillen grabs a hold of Zaharovs again with a minute left in the fight. McGrillen lands a couple of more left hands. Low kick from Zaharovs, who continues to be chased by McGrillen. Level change by McGrillen scores him the takedown, and he gets to the back before the horn.





Lewis McGrillen defeats Matiss Zaharovs by unanimous decision (29-28x3) in a bantamweight showcase bout (non-season fight)