Former Oklahoma State wrestler Jared Rosholt needed a win Thursday to advance to the Pro Fight League playoffs.
It wasn’t pretty, but he got the job done by securing four takedowns and outworking Satoshi Ishii (22-9-1) to earn an unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) in the heavyweight main event of PFL 6 at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Rosholt, a 2010 NCAA runner-up and three-time All-American for OSU, was active with his punches and did well in the clinch against the Olympic judo champion. At each turn when Ishii started to show some confidence, Rosholt was quick to turn to his wrestling and utilize his size to wear down Ishii against the cage.
It is Rosholt’s first win since his unanimous decision victory over Kelvin Tiller in PFL’s inaugural season playoff quarterfinal round last October. Rosholt then lost in the semifinals by TKO just 45 seconds into the second round to eventual champion Philipe Lins.
Rosholt, who turned 32 years old last week, will be the No. 7 seed in this year’s playoffs and face No. 2-seeded Muhammed DeReese (8-1) in the quarterfinals Oct. 31 in Las Vegas. DeReese was also in action Thursday. He caught Valdrin Istrefi (13-4) with a right hand then hammered him with some punches for a first-round stoppage and six points.
The 31-year-old DeReese’s lone loss is to Tiller via a first-round submission by kimura lock last June.
Playoff seeding is determined based on points earned during the regular season. The top eight fighters move on to a single-elimination playoff, with the finalists advancing to the year-end show Dec. 31 and competing for a PFL title and $1 million prize.