Mads Burnell began his journey into combat sports with wrestling at 6 years old before transitioning to boxing as a teenager. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Burnell has competed on the world’s biggest MMA stages, including Bellator, and now gets to showcase his skillset in the PFL. A former regional featherweight champion, who holds four victories via Peruvian necktie submission, most recently fought at Bellator 299, scoring a decision win over Daniel Weichel.


A Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist, who has participated in the discipline since youth, Michael Dufort has made statements with nine of his 12 victories coming via submission. A fighter who gives a lot of pressure to his opponents in the cage, Dufort competed in the 2022 PFL Challenger Series, scoring a second-round submission of Arut Pogosjan but failing to earn a contract. Since then, he’s won another three straight, most recently gaining a first-round submission of Joe Giannetti in September.


Which of these jiu-jitsu experts will be able to lock in a win in their first fight this season?



Round 1


Dufort lands a jab early, and Burnell quickly responds with a calf kick. Combination from Dufort. Dufort closes the distance and gets a hold of Burnell, but Burnell shoves him off. Dufort brings the pressure early. Dufort lands another calf kick. Low kick from Burnell. One-two from Dufort. Burnell using the Philly Shell defense. Dufort with another few shots as he tries to get inside. Combination from Dufort. Dufort with a push kick, and Burnell responds with a low kick. These two are trading, and Dufort is bringing the combinations. Dufort tries to get inside again, but Burnell shoves him off again.


Right hand from Burnell. Short left hook from Burnell as the two exchange. Dufort bouncing around the outside. Right hand from Burnell and he lands another low kick. Burnell is bringing these low kicks and making Dufort eat them. Burnell goes to the body, but Dufort makes him eat another small flurry. Combination from Burnell. Low kick from Dufort, followed by a combination. Another low kick from Burnell. Dufort lands a switch knee. Both men fire strongly in the final minute of the round. The two swing right until the bell.




Round 2


Burnell with a dancing taunt at the start, and Dufort swings away. The two start off with a non-stop pace already, picking up where they left off. One-two by Dufort drops Burnell briefly, and Dufort is on the attack. Dufort firing away. The fight goes to the ground, and Dufort gets a choke out of nowhere and scores the tap!



What a performance from Michael Dufort!





Michael Dufort defeats Mads Burnell by 2nd round submission (guillotine choke, 1:03), earning 5 points in the PFL Lightweight Division