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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Don Madge knew Brennan Ward had no second spherical intentions at PFL 3

CHICAGO – It’s been a very long time coming, however Don Madge lastly obtained again within the cage Friday – and obtained a vital end result, too.

Madge (11-4-1) submitted gunslinger Brennan Ward (17-8) simply 62 seconds right into a firefight to open the PFL’s 2024 welterweight season. The stoppage obtained Madge 6 factors within the standings and a spot atop the leaderboard.

Madge had been on the shelf for 2 years, ever since a loss to Raush Manfio to open the 2022 season. Nonetheless, regardless of his fast win, Madge didn’t appear able to relaxation on his laurels.

“(I really feel) incomplete,” Madge instructed MMA Junkie and different reporters backstage after his struggle at Wintrust Area in Chicago. “I’ve nonetheless obtained the remainder of the season to go. It was an excellent win, however now I’m simply desirous about the following leg of competitors.”

Madge, from South Africa, signed with the UFC after he received the welterweight title for EFC in his dwelling nation. It took some time to get to his promotional debut, however he went 2-0 within the UFC earlier than he ultimately signed with the PFL after a string of missed fights as a result of visa points and accidents.

He stated he anticipated Ward to return out swinging for the fences, which he did.

“I feel realistically, he was making an attempt to intimidate me or attempt to get into my head,” Madge stated. “I anticipated him to attempt to take me down. I knew he was going to attempt to put ahead strain with me and take a look at to get a fast knockout. However I knew as quickly as he figured that he couldn’t do this, he was going to attempt to take me down. I used to be ready to grapple with him quarter-hour if we needed to.”

However Madge may very well have been hoping he may put Ward away along with his arms as a substitute of the rear-naked choke he tapped to. That got here after some leather-based obtained thrown round, for positive. However Madge stated his transfer to welterweight has made him really feel extra highly effective.

“That was one of many main choices for me shifting as much as welterweight is that for the final 4 fights, preventing at light-weight, the burden cuts obtained more durable and more durable and more durable and the punches felt more durable and more durable and more durable,” he stated. “I felt like I misplaced loads of energy in my struggle. I’d hit guys they usually wouldn’t transfer. However tonight I hit him, he began wobbling, his eyes would skew – so it was the very best determination in hindsight.”

Madge’s 6 factors at the moment carry extra heft than the 6 Murad Ramazanov has as a result of Madge’s end was quicker. Which may wind up paying dividends later, however it’ll rely upon how the four-man playoffs shake out.

And for that, Madge appears to assume it won’t matter.

“I feel there’s loads of robust competitors. I feel that is like one of the stacked welterweight divisions that there have been (within the PFL),” Madge stated. “However I really feel like the celebs are aligning for me. It’s been a tough two years, and I really feel like the celebs are aligning. I feel this could possibly be my yr.”

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for PFL 2024, Week 3.

Make sure to go to the MMA Junkie Instagram web page and YouTube channel to debate this and extra content material with followers of combined martial arts.

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