PFL Newcastle: Savannah Marshall stops Mirela Vargas on MMA debut

    With the crowd now also standing and in full voice, Marshall began her barrage of punches, rocking Vargas with straight left after straight right, but the Brazilian would secure another takedown with a desperate dive at the debutant’s feet.

    Marshall looked in trouble briefly as Vargas attempted an arm triangle submission, but as the crowd drew in breath, she showed excellent defensive skills once more to get back to her feet.

    For the second time, Marshall then unloaded with piston-like strikes, forcing Vargas to cover up with little offence, and with the stats showing a 31-4 punch advantage, the referee stopped the contest.

    “These MMA fighters, you’ve got to be a little bit crazy to do this,” said Marshall.

    “I’ve loved it, fight week, the training, the MMA community has welcomed me with open arms. It’s a tough sport and I take my hat off to any one who does it

    “Mirela is a good opponent, kickboxing world champion, fair play to her for coming over. There’s only three rounds, boxing you can take your time, but here they’re on you from the first bell.”

    Marshall then shared a moment of respect with Shields, as the smiling pair fist-bumped and agreed to fight under MMA rules in the PFL at a later date.

    But when asked if Marshall would be a regular in the PFL cage, she hinted that a return to boxing might be imminent if promotor Ben Shalom makes the right offer.

    “I don’t know. Ben Shalom’s here, I told him you’re going to have to get your purse out now, get the cheque-book out,” added Marshall.

    Elsewhere on the card there were impressive wins for Britain’s Jack Grant, who back-suplexed Charlie Leary before ending the contest with ground strikes, and compatriot Shanelle Dyer, who knocked out Mariam Torchinava with a spectacular head kick.

    The PFL also announced British former UFC fighter Marc Diakiese has signed a contract with the organisation.

    The 31-year-old won eight of his 15 fights across seven years in the promotion and is set to make his PFL debut later this year.


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