Olivier Aubin-Mercier arrived in the PFL for the 2021 Regular Season but missed its start due to injury. He competed in two bouts that year, winning both, before having a fresh start last year. His 2022 run ended by becoming the first Canadian PFL World Champion, defeating Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio in the regular season before wins against Alexander Martinez and Stevie Ray in the postseason to claim the World Championship. OAM’s mission to repeat started successfully in April with a win over Shane Burgos.
A black belt in Japanese and Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a junior black belt in taekwondo, Anthony Romero started his professional MMA career with nine straight wins. A veteran of various regional promotions, including the LFA & Fury Fighting Championship, Romero appeared on the PFL Challenger Series in February, scoring a unanimous decision win over Antonio Caruso. He now makes his official PFL debut tonight.
A win or draw will bring Aubin-Mercier back to the PFL Playoffs, while Romero needs a finish.
Romero attempting to bring pressure right away. Body kick by Aubin-Mercier to Romero against the cage. Romero circling on the outside. Right hand by OAM stumbles Romero back to the fence. A high kick from Romero is blocked. Aubin-Mercier lands an uppercut and misses on a hook. Romero lands a kick to the face, and OAM is wobbled! Romero presses Aubin-Mercier against the SmartCage in a chest-to-chest clinch.
Not long after the break, Aubin-Mercier lands a right, trying to get back into the fight. A low kick from Romero. Aubin-Mercier lands a body kick and an uppercut. OAM the one coming forward here. Aubin-Mercier lands a left and ducks out of the way of a Romero right. An uppercut and hook by Aubin-Mercier, as Romero is eating shots on the outside of the SmartCage. A couple of solid left hands from Aubin-Mercier. Romero fires off a right inside, and Aubin-Mercier responds with a punch to the body. Jumping knee attempt by Romero doesn’t land. A small solid combination by Aubin-Mercier ends the round.
A high kick from Romero is blocked. And a high kick from Aubin-Mercier is blocked. Aubin-Mercier lands on the body, and Romero misses another jumping knee. Hook from Romero. Aubin-Mercier lands a straight left. Aubin-Mercier working the left hand. Round kick from Romero. Kick to the body lands for Romero. Romero lands a jab and a leg kick. Round kick to the body for OAM. A clash of heads, as Romero stepped in for a hook, causes a pause in the action.
Another OAM head kick is blocked, and Romero misses a kick and spinning backfist. The two trading single shots before separating. A big knee from OAM that gets Romero against the cage for a second. The two go in for punches and we get another clash of heads. On the restart, the two traded kicks to the body. Sharp jab from OAM. And once again, a clash of heads when both men come in leads to a brief pause. On this restart, the two start to exchange again. A cut has developed on the left cheek of Romero. Aubin-Mercier tries for a jumping switch knee but he’s unable to connect. Aubin-Mercier misses a left hand. Romero backs Aubin-Mercier up in the closing seconds but he misses another knee.
Jab from Aubin-Mercier to start the round. Romero lands a combination. Another jab from Aubin-Mercier, followed by a hook. A left kick (more specifically the knee) catches Romero ducking and it lands, dropping Romero out cold! A follow-up right hand brings the referee in to stop the fight!
OAM gets his PFL Playoffs spot, and he’s one step closer to repeating as PFL Lightweight World Champion!
Olivier Aubin-Mercier defeats Anthony Romero by 3rd round KO (0:28) earning 4 points and clinching a playoff spot in the PFL Lightweight Division.
Final 2023 PFL Lightweight Playoffs Standings:
1. Clay Collard
2. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
3. Natan Schulte
4. Bruno Miranda