ATLANTA — Sadibou Sy just continues to establish himself as the man to beat in the PFL’s welterweight division — and looks really good doing it.

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 at PFL 6 inside Overtime Elite Arena. The victory marked his sixth in a row, and he’s looking to repeat a championship run of 2022.

The Swedish kickboxer will enter this year’s playoffs as the No. 3 seed, but with the clear momentum of a No. 1 seed. He has put away both of his opponents this year. His knockout on Friday came in the second round of a fight he was already running away with. Mitchell went down, and the fight was stopped without a follow-up shot.

Sy will face No. 2-seed Carlos Leal, who knocked out Dilano Taylor on Friday, in the semifinals. Sy defeated Leal (19-4) via unanimous decision in last year’s playoffs. Former champion Magomed Magomedkerimov (32-6) is the welterweight’s No. 1 seed, thanks to a quick finish of 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 with a third-round finish of Anthony Romero in Friday’s main event. The bout was waved off in the second round after Aubin-Mercier landed a devastating knee to Romero’s chin along the fence.

Aubin-Mercier secured the No. 2 seed and will face yet another former PFL champion in Natan Schulte (25-5-1), who picked up a decision win over Raush Manfio in a bizarre fight that saw two best friends square off. Fan favorite Clay Collard (23-10) will seek his first PFL championship as the No. 1 seed. He’ll face Bruno Miranda (16-3) in the semifinals.

Shane Burgos (16-4), a major acquisition by the PFL in 2022, picked up a win over Yamato Nishikawa on Friday but failed to make the playoffs. It’s unclear whether Burgos will fight again in 2023 now that he has missed the PFL’s postseason. He lost via decision to Aubin-Mercier in the opening round of the regular season in April.


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