ATLANTA — Sadibou Sy is just continuing to establish himself as a man to beat in the PFL’s welterweight division — and doing it very well.
Sy (15-6-2) secured his spot in the PFL’s 2023 playoffs on Friday, with a highlight-reel spinning head-kick knockout over Shane Mitchell in PFL 6 inside the Overtime Elite Arena. The victory marked his sixth in a row, and he is looking to repeat a championship run in 2022.
The Swedish kickboxer will enter this year’s playoffs as No. 3 seed, but with the clear momentum of No. 1 seed. He eliminated both of his opponents this year. His knockout last Friday came in the second round of a fight he had already been running. Mitchell went down, and the fight was stopped without a follow-up shot.
Sy will compete with No. 2-seed Carlos Leal, who knocked out Dilano Taylor last Friday, in the semifinals. Sy defeated Leal (19-4) by unanimous decision in the playoffs last year. Former champion Magomed Magomedkerimov (32-6) is the welterweight’s No. 1 seed, thanks to a quick finish by David Zawada on Friday. He will face Magomed Umalatov in the semifinals.
Lightweight Olivier Aubin-Mercier (19-5), another PFL champion from 2022, also punched his ticket to the 2023 playoffs by finishing Anthony Romero in the third round in Friday’s main event. The fight waved off in the second round after Aubin-Mercier landed a hard knee to Romero’s chin along the fence.
Aubin-Mercier got the No. 2 seed and will face another former PFL champion in Natan Schulte (25-5-1), who won a decision against Raush Manfio in an amazing fight that saw two friends go head to head. Fan favorite Clay Collard (23-10) will seek his first PFL championship as the No. 1 seed. He will face Bruno Miranda (16-3) in the semifinals.
Shane Burgos (16-4), a major PFL acquisition in 2022, won over Yamato Nishikawa on Friday but failed to make the playoffs. It is unclear whether Burgos will be able to compete again in 2023 now that he is out of the PFL postseason. He lost by decision to Aubin-Mercier in the opening round of the regular season in April.