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PFL Challenger Series 7 results: Alexei Pergande earns contract in professional debut showdown

Andrija Stankovic, Christian Turner, Rakim Talley, Daeri Alderman also earn victories at PFL Challenger Series 7, but Alexei Pergande secures the contract.
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ORLANDO, Fla. - The Professional Fighters League Challenger Series continued with its latest installment from Universal Studios in a showcase that featured top athletes who made their professional MMA debuts across the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and heavyweight divisions, with Alexei Pergande earning a PFL contract. 

Judges Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort, Todd Gurley and Bo Nickal were in agreement, and ultimately gave the nod to Pergande, who became the eighth Challenger Series fighter to receive a PFL contract. He joins week 6 heavyweight Adam Keresh, week 5 lightweight Bruno Miranda, week 4 welterweight Boston Salmon, week 3 women's lightweight fighter Martina Jindrova, week 2 welterweight fighters Jarrah Al-Silawi and Chris Mixan, as well as week 1 light heavyweight winner Bruce Souto.

Pergande came out victorious against Joe Hamm via second-round submission (arm-triangle choke), in the first of two lightweight showdowns. Pergande, who is only 20 years old, is coached by his father who was an amateur boxer in Ukraine before immigrating to the U.S. He entered the night with a 4-0 amateur record with all four wins coming by way of finish.

In the evening's main event, Andrija Stankovic and Louis Brewington took to the SmartCage in a welterweight affair. Stankovic, who has an extensive background in kickboxing, was declared victorious by unanimous decision in his MMA debut.

In the co-main event, Christian Turner defeated Chayanne Serrano by unanimous decision in the second lightweight matchup of the night. Turner, like Pergande, is 20 years of age, and entered the fight as a Georgia amateur lightweight champion with a record of 4-0. The Atlanta native began competing at the amateur level in May of 2021.

The lone heavyweight matchup saw Rakim Talley square off with Santino Zurita. Talley, a former V3 amateur light heavyweight champion, put on an impressive display and came out on top via unanimous decision. 

To begin the action on fuboTV, Daeri Alderman matched up against Jaylon McDaniel in a featherweight bout. Alderman, who came into the contest with an undefeated 3-0 amateur record, continued his winning ways in his professional debut, ultimately defeating McDaniel by unanimous decision.

"The Professional Fighters League Challenger Series has provided the opportunity for some of the top athletes to make their professional MMA debuts," PFL CEO Peter Murray said. "Tonight's action saw fighters who were determined to make a name for themselves, and it's my honor to welcome Alexei Pergande to the PFL."

"The seventh event of the PFL Challenger Series brought an exciting night of action from all ten fighters," PFL president of fighter operations Ray Sefo said. "Each week, fighters have welcomed the challenge and put it all on the line for a chance to earn a life-changing PFL contract. Congratulations to Alexei for earning your contract."

The PFL Challenger Series returns to Universal Studios next Friday night, April 8, with the concluding event of the two-month competition. The final Challenger Series night will feature fighters who have been given a second chance to display their talent and earn a contract to the 2022 PFL regular season. Official matchups will be released at a later date. 

PFL Challenger Series 7 results include:

  • Andrija Stankovic def. Louis Brewington via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 
  • Christian Turner def. Chayanne Serrano via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Alexei Pergande def. Joe Hamm via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 4:42
  • Rakim Talley def. Santino Zurita via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Daeri Alderman def. Jaylon McDaniel via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)