Aug 05, 2022
Meet the four PFL lightweight semi-finalists in MMA’s $1m winner-take-all season from ex-UFC champion to Scotsman
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THE Professional Fighters League has reached its semi-final stage with stars just TWO wins away from the $1million prize.
The PFL consists of a two-bout regular season and then playoff format.5Anthony Pettis and Stevie Ray are set to rematch
Fighters in each division earn points per method of victory in the opening two fights, with the top four qualifying.
And the lightweight stage is set in New York with the final four bidding to progress into the showpiece finale.
Here, SunSport runs down the remaining contenders all in it to win it.Anthony Pettis
Pettis has become the poster boy of PFL since leaving the UFC in 2021 but his first season ended without qualification.
But this year, the American's first-round finish of Myles Price earned him six points, which was enough to go through.
That is despite losing his second regular season bout to Scotsman Stevie Ray, who won via second-round submission.
Coincidentally, the pair are now set to rematch, only six weeks after their first fight.5Anthony Pettis was beaten by Stevie RayCredit: Professional Fighters League Stevie Ray
Ray lost his first bout of the season to Alex Martinez, so he had to win big against Pettis.
And that is exactly what he did with his shock submission victory earning five points and qualification.
Ray spent 11 fights and four years in the UFC before crossing over to PFL this year.
He also has a notable win against UFC new boy Paddy Pimblett in a 2019 grappling match.5Scotland's Stevie Ray upset Anthony PettisCredit: Professional Fighters League Most read in MMAMALL SCARE NASCAR champion and family escape safely after being caught up in mall shootingSUDDEN PASSING What to know about Mike Hazen's wife, Nicole, and her cause of deathSHOCK LOSS Wife of Arizona Diamondbacks general manager dies at 45 after rare cancer battleBASKETBALL WIFE What to know about Brittney Griner's marriage to her wife Cherelle Griner Olivier Aubin-Mercier
The Canadian is also a former UFC contender and training partner of MMA legend Georges St-Pierre.
Aubin-Mercier beat Natan Schulte in the opening round of his PFL season, proving to be a barnburner.
He then beat defending champion Raush Manfio to earn his place in the semi-final.
Aubin-Mercier takes on outsider Alexander Martinez in his last four bout.5Olivier Aubin-Mercier progressing into the semi-final Alexander Martinez
The Paraguayan comes into the semis as an underdog but in good form.
Martinez beat Scotland's Ray and and fan-favourite Clay Collard to get to this point.
He has experience across the Middle East, America and Mexico having had to go on the road before.
Aubin-Mercier is considered the favourite but Martinez has twice upset the odds already this season.5Alexander Martinez faces Olivier Aubin-Mercier in his PFL semi-final
News Source: the-sun.com
Inside DWTS’ fired host Tom Bergeron’s reaction when Alfonso Ribeiro approached him about taking over show’s new season
The former The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star was apparently approached several times to sign on as co-host, but repeatedly said no out of respect to his friend Tom, who was fired from the dancing competition in 2020.5Alfonso Ribeiro apparently would not have accepted the job hosting Dancing with the Stars without predecessor Tom Bergeron's approvalCredit: Getty 5Tom has reportedly 'come to terms' with his sudden dismissalCredit: Getty
Alfonso, 50, and Tom, 67, have been friends for years, ever since Alfonso initially replaced Tom as host of America’s Funniest Home Videos.
So the actor said he could never take Tom’s old job without his approval.
“Alfonso cites him as the man who gave his career a second act...and he would never do anything to upset Tom," A source exclusively told the U.S. Sun.
The two apparently met in the spring to talk about it, after the offer to host was made yet again.READ MORE DWTSBOLD MOVE DWTS fans think actor dropped major clue he's secretly signed on to season 31DON'T JUDGE DWTS fans shocked after Discovery Plus leaks names of judges for season 31
According to the source, Disney execs were high on pairing Alfonso with controversial co-host Tyra, 48, before the show makes the move to Disney+.
"Tom has made peace with his departure, even if the fans are still angry,” the source confirmed. “So when Alfonso spoke about this opportunity, Tom gave him his blessing and effectively said: 'Go get the money'.”BERGE-GONE
In July, 2020, Tom tweeted that he would be leaving the ABC show, and told fans that he's "grateful" to have been involved with the competition series.
His tweet read: "Just informed that @DancingABC will be continuing without me.
"It's been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I'm grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made."Most read in The US SunROBYN THEM BLIND? Sister Wives' Kody makes sneaky financial move with 'favorite' wife RobynACE SNAPS Paige VanZant serves up a stunning tennis-inspired look to leave fans in aweMYSTERY DEEPENS New lead after man vanished without a trace from a shed near his homeDEVILS MOVE Elon Musk claims he's buying Man Utd - but fans are set for disappointment
Tom proved that he didn't let the bad news get him down and concluded the tweet with a joke.
He wrote: "That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?"OPENING UP
Weeks later, the fired host opened up about his departure on Bob Saget's Here for You podcast.
"In all candor, the show that I left was not the show that I loved," Tom admitted at the time. "So, the end of the season that turned out to be my last season [in 2019], I kind of knew.
"So I took everything out of my dressing room that I really wanted … It was kind of obvious that we were kind of butting heads.
"It's pretty far in the rearview mirror for me. I'm on to other stuff."TYRA'S TROUBLES
After the dismissals of Tom and Erin Andrews, seasons 29 and 30 were the first in the show's history where there was only one host, which meant interviews had to be cut down and more duties, and pressure, were put on Tyra.
The supermodel made many mistakes while hosting, including not announcing the correct couple to go home and taking too long to announce winners.
The negative response to Tyra's tact was immediate, with fans vowing to boycott the show, and demanding that the model be fired.
"Look, it's no secret that there is huge fan discontent out there," the source told the U.S. Sun.
"Disney knew they had to act so they told Tyra of the decision to have someone stand alongside her in the spring.
"While they gave her no choice but to accept that cast move, they did say she could 'potentially veto' any prospective hosts, under her role as executive producer."ALFONSO TO THE RESCUE
But Tyra and Alfonso go back several years as well, and the model even made a guest appearance on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
"Alfonso and Tyra have a long show business relationship with a lot of mutual respect. That was easy enough," the source summarized.Read More on The US SunBIG CASH I was called 'loser' at school - now I'm a MILLIONAIRE at 20 thanks to side hustleROBYN THEM BLIND? Sister Wives' Kody makes sneaky financial move with 'favorite' wife Robyn
"Thankfully there was no drama when Alfonso finally agreed.
"Lord knows what would have happened if it had been someone she did not like."5Tom and Erin Andrews were both fired after season 28Credit: Getty 5That put all the pressure on remaining host Tyra Banks, and fans were not satisfiedCredit: Getty 5Tom gave Alfonso his blessing to host the showCredit: Getty