Our Lightweight World Championship tonight will feature #2 seed “The Canadian Gangster” Olivier Aubin-Mercier (16-5) clashing with #4 seed Stevie Ray (25-10). OAM has gone a perfect 5-0 under the PFL banner since joining the promotion last year and looks to take home a 2022 PFL World Championship and $1 million tonight after becoming the 1st fighter in PFL history to beat previous champions in back to back bouts (Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio). Ray meanwhile comes in off 2 consecutive wins over the legendary Anthony Pettis, including a rare modified twister submission in the first meeting between the pair. Pride and national bragging rights are on the line as OAM looks to become the first Canadian PFL World Champion and Ray seeks Scotland’s 1st MMA World Championship
OAM is coming forward and applying pressure early, but Ray seems comfortable fighting off his back foot as OAM lands a nice hook to get us going. OAM lands a heavy outside low kick that briefly sweeps Ray off his feet before they reset.
Ray now initiates the clinch but OAM is able to pummel to double underhooks and break, retaking the center of the SmartCage.
OAM is having success with low kicks early and Ray returns one for his trouble which is answered by yet another OAM low kick. The game plan for OAM seems clear early, chop the legs down and let the rest of the offense follow.
OAM again sweeps Ray off his feet with a low kick and the lead leg of Ray is already starting to show some damage as Ray initiates the clinch but winds up with his back to the fence and OAM all over him. Ray fires a big right hand on the break but can’t connect.
Ray already seems to be moving a bit slower and with more labor and that lead leg may already be compromised. Ray lands a nice straight to the body and OAM counters with a straight right to the head. As the 10 second clapper hits, OAM circles out and lands a nice right hook to punctuate a strong opening round.
Round 2 begins in the same fashion as round 1 with OAM taking the center of the SmartCage early. OAM fires a high kick but Ray is able to catch it and briefly take the Canadian to the mat. OAM pops back to his feet before a nice slam from Ray brings the fight back to the mat.
Ray is able to get the back with 1 hook in but OAM is perfectly defending the 2nd hook as he looks to reverse position and establish top control. OAM is attacking the wrists to negate the submission threat but he’ll need to find a way to explode out of this position or risk punting on a round.
OAM begins to attempt to walk the wall to flip position but Ray is wise to it and gets them away from the fence and into open space. As OAM attempts to build his base up Ray attacks the rear naked choke but can’t quite cinch it up.
OAM manages to explode out and back to his feet where he’ll have 90 seconds to salvage the round. OAM doesn’t seem overly urgent as he circles the SmartCage but Ray lands a nice right hand that gets his attention.
OH MY! JUST LIKE THAT! OAM flatlines Stevie Ray and the crowd at Madison Square Garden explodes!
OAM lands a million dollar right hook directly on the chin to put Stevie Ray to sleep and crown himself a PFL World Champion and a millionaire!
Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Stevie Ray via KO (Right Hook, 4:40 Round 2)