The Professional Fighters League has a backup plan for each of its upcoming championship bouts.
The promotion on Wednesday announced alternates for all six of its bouts scheduled for the PFL championship at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 31. Each of the alternates is the highest-seeded semifinalist from his or her weight class. They will make weight ahead of the event and will be in New York in case any issues arise with the original finalists.
The alternates for each final are as follows:
Featherweight: Alex Gilpin
Women’s Lightweight: Sarah Kaufman
Lightweight: Chris Wade
Welterweight: Glaico Franca
Light Heavyweight: Bozigit Ataev
Heavyweight: Denis Goltsov
According to a release from the promotion, original featherweight finalist Daniel Pineda still has a chance to compete in his championship bout against Lance Palmer after failing a drug test in relation to the PFL playoffs this past October. Pineda is scheduled to appear before the Nevada Athletic Commission on Dec. 18 to appeal his result, and if he is cleared, he could still face Palmer on Dec. 31. If not, Gilpin will have an opportunity to compete for the $1 million prize.
“The PFL believes all athletes deserve due process and will, within reason, provide the fighters who earned their way into the finals every opportunity to compete on New Year’s Eve,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “The league, as always, will abide by the final ruling of the commission.
Franca is also scheduled to appear before the commission on Dec. 18 and if he is not available, Chris Curtis will serve as the alternate at 170 pounds.