CHICAGO – Dan Spohn was determined to put his fellow competitors in the PFL light heavyweight tournament on notice on Thursday at PFL 2. That’s why, even when he likely already had a victory in the bag, Spohn continued to pursue the finish.
Spohn (17-5) earned four points toward a potential “playoff” tournament berth when he stopped Bazigit Ataev (17-2) via third-round TKO at PFL 2, which took place at Chicago Theater in Chicago and streamed on Facebook prior to the main card on NBCSN.
The finish came at the 4:31 mark of Round 3. Spohn picked up an extra point by not letting it go to the scorecards, and by the end of the regular season, that could be the difference between advancing to the playoffs or not. Spohn said he had that fact in mind as the fight was going down the stretch.
“Going into that third round, I knew what I needed to do,” Spohn told MMAjunkie post-fight. “I needed to try to get the finish, and I didn’t mean to wait so long until the end of the round or right before the end of the round, but I was looking for the finish at any opportunity and changed up my angle of attack a little bit.”
On top of wanting the extra point, Spohn said he was determined to make a statement to all future opponents with a decisive win. Winning on the scorecards wasn’t good enough, and that’s another reason he went so hard for the late TKO (via Twitter):
“I want to get those extra points, but I also want to put everybody that’s going to fight me on notice,” Spohn said. “I want them to know that when you come to fight me, it doesn’t matter if the fights about to be over, you can still get knocked out by me. That’s what I wanted to do.”
Although Spohn’s goal is to win to the entire PFL tournament and the $1 million prize that comes along with it, there’s one other person in the bracket whom he doesn’t wish to fight in the near future.
Jason Butcher (11-3), who lost his opening fight by first-round TKO due to injury, is a good friend and longtime training partner of Spohn. And if Spohn had his wish, he wouldn’t fight him until the tourney final.
“There’s quite a few guys that I’ve look at,” Spohn said. “Really, this is a stacked tournament, so everybody in there is going to have veteran level. … Realistically the one guy I don’t want to fight until the end is probably my friend. Jason Butcher’s in the tournament, and we go way back. He’s the one dude that maybe I want us to fight for the million (dollars) together.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Dan Spohn ready for next stage of PFL tourney, but he's hoping to avoid one name