The promotion announced that Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio have been suspended for not agreeing to uphold competition in their fight at PFL 6. That ruling means Shane Burgos is now in the 2023 semifinals at lightweight.
Former PFL Champions Suspended
The PFL announced shortly after an event that two former champions have been suspended for not meeting the standards of the league.
Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio battled to a draw at in a prelim bout live on ESPN Networks. Schulte was declared the winner and eventually earned a spot in the upcoming semifinals at lightweight.
However, officials announced that they have been suspended and Shane Burgos will instead replace Schulte in the single-elimination bracket.
Below is the complete statement from the promotion:
Last Night Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio did not meet the standards which all PFL fighters agree to uphold in competition.
All fighters in their PFL Fight Agreements agree to use their “best efforts … skills and abilities as a professional athlete to compete … and defeat any opponent.”
It was very clear that Natan and Raush did not meet that contractual standard in yesterday’s bout.
PFL immediately suspended both fighters from the season and deemed the fight to have 0 points for purposes of League standings.
PFL takes this action in recognition of its responsibility to all PFL fighters and all PFL fans.
Big Time Opportunity For Shane Burgos
With the ruling, Burgos goes from missing out on the chance to win the title and $1 million to an upcoming August date with Clay Collard. Burgos is the No. 4 seed and Collard the top-seed.
Both Burgos and Collard are former UFC fighters, just like reigning champion Olivier Aubin-Mercier, who also advanced. He will take on Bruno Miranda in the other semifinal bout.
In a previous interview with MMA Fighting, Manfio declared Schulte as “my best friend.” Schulte is the godfather of Manfio’s daughter, but the former two-time champion will not get a crack at a third belt now.
“He’s my best friend,” Manfio said in the 2021 interview. “He has helped me with everything I asked. He had the money of the (previous PFL seasons) and helped me pay for my rent several times when I had no money, he bought something for me to eat.
“I’m (in the United States) because of him. He’s a friend sent by God. On the other side, I felt terrible for having to ask him that.”