Andre Harrison woke up Wednesday morning at his hotel, intent on weighing in to fight Nazareno Malegarie the following day. The undefeated featherweight from Freeport did his part, but for a few hours, his opponent was unclear.
Malegarie made weight (145.6 pounds) but was not cleared by doctors during their standard exam after weigh-ins. That, plus two fighters missing weight an hour apart from each other during PFL 4 weigh-ins at the Long Island Marriott, forced the PFL to scramble with last-minute scenarios. First, Timur Valiev became a potential opponent for Harrison, then it was Bekbulat Magomedov. But shortly before Wednesday afternoon’s ceremonial weigh-ins, Harrison — finally — had an opponent.
Harrison (18-0) will face Malegarie as originally scheduled on Thursday night at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum. Malegarie (29-4) had a second medical exam Wednesday afternoon for an undisclosed issue and was cleared by that doctor and the New York State Athletic Commission. Malegarie did not attend the 4 p.m. ceremonial weigh-ins.
“Andre was told what the scenarios what would be, but we sort of told him scenario A was likely, and it came to fruition,” PFL president Carlos Silva said.
Valiev and Magomedov also will face each other after their scheduled opponents missed weight. Darrick Minner (148.4) and Carl Deaton (150 pounds), both replacement fighters added to the card and PFL featherweight division within the last two weeks, were removed from the card.
Harrison remained calm and cool the entire time. Moments after speaking with PFL president Ray Sefo during the morning’s official weigh-ins, Harrison was in the hallway, phone in hand, headphones in ears, watching fight video of Valiev.
The unflappable Harrison smiled and said one word when asked if he would accept that fight. “Yeah,” he said. He would have accepted the bout against Magmedov as well.
“If an opponent is available, you have to take the fight,” Silva said. “If an opponent wasn’t available, you could get a walkthrough. But because guys made weight, and they were here and available and ready to fight, then if you want to fight and get points and stay in the league, you have to take the fight, which makes sense.”
This is the second and last fight of the PFL’s regular season for the featherweights and most of the heavyweights. Fighters earn points for wins and finishes, and the top eight in each weight class advance to the postseason in October, with a shot at the $1 million championship on Dec. 31 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.
Below are the results from Wednesday’s official weigh-ins for PFL 4 on Thursday at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
Andre Harrison (145.6) vs. Nazareno Malegarie (145.6)
Lance Palmer (145.8) vs. Juma Tuerxun (145.2)
Alexandre Almeida (145.4) vs. Steven Siler (145.8)
*Carl Deaton (150) vs. Bekbulat Magomedov (145.6)
Marcos Galvao (145.8) vs. Max Coga (145.6)
Timur Valiev (145.6) vs. Darrick Minner (148.4)*
Francimar Barroso (239.2) vs. Jack May (261.6)
Alex Nicholson (216.2) vs. Philipe Lins (231.8)
Jared Rosholt (245.6) vs. Kelvin Tiller (265)
Josh Copeland (261.6) vs. Shawn Jordan (264.8)
Valdrin Istrefi (245) vs. Daniel Gallemore (256.2)