The most recent PFL fantasy MMA news from RotoWire.
Fantasy AnalysisOkami came in with the strategy of using grappling to defeat the much larger Saint Preux. However, this strategy backfired. Okami tried to sweep Saint Preux, but left himself wide open for the former Tennessee Volunteer's patented von flue choke. "Thunder" was choked unconscious and should not consider competing at light heavyweight after this fight.
Fantasy AnalysisOkami will be returning to the UFC after being released in September 2013. "Thunder" will be replacing "Shogun" Rua, who suffered a knee injury. The Japan native has seen success with the World Series of Fighting (Professional Fighters League) and won four straight. Back in 2011, Okami took on Anderson Silva for the middleweight title and lost. This short-notice chance could be a stepping stone back into the UFC for the 36-year-old. He is 34-10 overall.
Fantasy AnalysisFitch kept his winning streak alive at the promotion's inaugural event, picking up his fourth straight win with the company formerly known as the World Series of Fighting. The biggest knock on Fitch is that although he owns a 30-7-1 (1 NC) record, he rarely finishes his fights. That wasn't the case Friday, however, as he was able to survive many early charges from Foster, several of which had his legs wobbled. Foster would often go for a submission after hurting Fitch, and that ultimately proved to be his downfall, as Fitch was able to reverse position and secure the fight-ending choke from the side. It was probably closer to a Bulldog choke than a true rear-naked choke, but the move was effective nonetheless. Fitch himself referred to the move as a "ninja choke." Other fighters to pick up victories at the inaugural event include Herman Terrado (split decision), Jason High (unanimous decision) and Ronny Markes (unanimous decision).
Fantasy AnalysisHarrison comes from a judo background, having won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. As women's MMA pioneer Ronda Rousey once displayed, one can have a lot of success in the cage as a decorated judoka that mixes in effective grappling. Harrison will eventually have to hone her striking as well if she has aspirations of making it to the UFC, but starting in a lesser-known promotion is a good way to rack up the experience necessary for long-term success. The soon-to-be 27-year-old is expected to compete in the featherweight (145-pound) division.
Fantasy AnalysisShields ands Fitch were originally scheduled to throw down back in April, but a contract dispute between Shields and the promotion ultimately pushed back the bout. Now with a new deal, Shields will look to earn a belt in his fourth fight with the WSOF. He last fought professionally in August of 2015, suffering a controversial split-decision loss to Rousimar Palhares, who was suspended after the fight for holding his winning submission too long (aka "cranking"). Shields was more concerned about multiple eye pokes after that fight, and his response earned him an unsportsmanlike conduct suspension of his own. With all that in the past, Shields will now look to earn a belt against another former UFC product that matches up equally in terms of age, experience and measurements. It's an excellent matchup, though it will likely be overshadowed by UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden, which is set to air on the same night.
Fantasy AnalysisFitch is a former UFC product that has gone 4-2 since moving to WSOF in June of 2013. He'll face another fighter who used to grace the UFC roster in Shields, a welterweight that stacks up similarly in age, measurements and experience. The two were supposed to throw down back in April, but a contract dispute between Shields and the promotion pushed the bout back. It's a quality fight, but will likely be overshadowed by UFC 205 at the Madison Square Garden, which is set to take place on the same evening.
Fantasy AnalysisNijem's last fight was with UFC in July 2015, when he lost to Andrew Holbrook by decision. He's fought for the UFC since 2011, and racked up a 9-6 professional career.
Fantasy AnalysisRosholt was released by the UFC in March, despite holding a 6-2 record in the octagon. He was regarded as a boring heavyweight fighter, which could be why he was released. He is uncharacteristic as a heavyweight, most often winning fights by decision. He does not yet have a fight scheduled with his new promotion.
Fantasy AnalysisBradley's debut fight in the octagon will be announced in the near future. "The Gentleman" last fought under the Bellator banner, and had won two consecutive fights before signing with WSOF, most recently defeating Chris Honeycutt at Bellator 148 in late-January.
Fantasy AnalysisHawes has ended his first three professional fights via stoppage, as the former collegiate wrestler has been generating a significant amount of buzz of late. It's now time for the 27-year-old and former Ultimate Fighter contestant to put his skills to the test in a well-known promotion. Surely the world class coaches at Jackson Wink MMA Academy, where Hawes now trains, will get his career started on the right trajectory.
Fantasy AnalysisHood was inked to the WSOF heavyweight roster on the same day as Shawn Jordan, but unlike Jordan, he does not have any experience in the top-tier promotions such as the UFC. "The Dream Killer" was awfully close to making a debut for Bellator last August, but ultimately had to withdraw shortly before the event due to a knee injury. At 27 years old, Hood's best years could very well be ahead of him. For now, he will simply provide roster depth.
Fantasy AnalysisJordan was once part of the UFC's heavyweight roster, where he accumulated a 6-4 record dating back to 2012. He has a strong win against Derrick Lewis on his resume, but has suffered defeat when he has faced better competition (Ruslan Magomedov, Matt Mitrione, Cheick Kongo). He'll now bolster the depth of the WSOF heavyweight division.
Fantasy AnalysisThis development comes a bit over a month after he was defeated in a unanimous decision by Roy Nelson. Despite holding a 6-2 record in the octagon, Rosholt was regarded as one of the most boring fighters in the UFC, which could have been part of the reason the organization decided to let him go. Out of his six wins in the promotion, five went the distance and ended in decision, which is typically uncharacteristic of heavyweight fighters. Given his name recognition, Rosholt should at least see a modest offer from another promotion such as Bellator or WSOF.
Fantasy AnalysisTo give you an idea of how boring Rosholt is to watch, he somehow managed to lull Nelson into a snoozer. Rosholt went for a couple of half-hearted takedown attempts, but he mostly just stood around and did nothing for 15 minutes. It was a really bad look for a guy who has earned a reputation throughout the sport as being quite possibly the most boring fighter in all of MMA. There are plenty of fighters in the UFC's heavyweight division that Rosholt can beat, but his wins are typically so dull that he hasn't raised his stock much despite a career record of 6-2 inside the octagon.
Fantasy AnalysisRosholt is 6-1 in the UFC and he is coming off a victory over a big name in Stefan Struve, but his style is painfully boring to watch and he hasn't earned many new fans of late. Rosholt is a quality wrestler, but he brings little else to the table and it appears that a boring decision victory is his only path to a win here. Even as an underdog, he makes for a poor DFS play.