Sadibu Si, Dylano Taylor took very different paths to the PFL final

Perhaps the most intriguing fight on the November 25 PFL World Championship 2022 card is the welterweight final.

While Kayla Harrison’s final appearance in the tournament will draw attention and names like Ladd, Budd and Aubin-Mersier carry more weight, the 170lb fight between Sadibou Sy and Dilano Taylor is full of storylines. Specifically, there are contrasting stories of how each fighter got to this point, and both are, in a word, fascinating.

Sai’s story is one of perseverance after starting the league in its first season in 2018. Year after year, he fell short, getting closer to the finals without realizing his goal of winning it all. Speaking to Cageside Press during a face-to-face interview with Taylor on Wednesday, Cy (12-6-2, 1NC) explained that despite coming up short in three PFL seasons, he never doubted that he would reach his goal — in the million dollar final.

“No,” Sai told us, summing it up in one word. “Honestly, I’ve seen myself at this point for a long time. I have always fought and trained with many of the best in the world – in different categories and different weight divisions. I believe that because of the PFL, the format that it is, sometimes it’s hard to give your best because the fights are so close together. So sometimes, even though if you go in there, if you’re in the cage, you’re good enough to fight, given that, sometimes it’s hard to put on your best performance. It could be because of injuries, it could be whatever the case may be.”

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“For now, being able to know how to train between fights and stay healthy, I believe a lot of those things have made me better and made me who I am today and are the reason I’m in the final today.”

Sy certainly has PFL experience behind him. He faces the likes of Ray Cooper III and Rory Macdonald, among others. Meanwhile, Dylano’s road to this year’s championship card has been nothing short of a Cinderella story. He joined the league through the Challenger Series earlier this year and was a bit of a household name before the regular season.

CARDIFF, WALES – AUGUST 13: /Dilano Taylor during PFL 8 at Motorpoint Arena on August 13, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Cooper Neal/Getty Images)

Despite the scripted feel of his journey, Taylor (10-2) has never felt much pressure to live up to ever-higher expectations. He certainly didn’t put it on himself.

“For me, there was never any pressure to begin with. I feel like the biggest pressure I’ve probably felt this year is probably in the Challenger Series, and that was because that was the biggest form of getting an opportunity at the highest level,” he explained. “But other than that, there was no pressure. You tell me to go out there and fight, I’ll go out there and fight. There was never any pressure from me. I don’t feel any pressure right now. I was just doing what I had to do. I’m just doing the same thing that I’ve done very consistently, and that’s what I feel is going to allow me to win. this will make me win. that will make the difference.”

“I never put too much pressure on myself. I’ve always laid it out the way it needed to be laid out for me and I’ve always understood the position I’m in – in every situation, in every scenario, so it’s never too much pressure, no.”

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One thing the welterweight finalists have in common is that neither is still thinking about the money. Both men are more focused on winning and the chance to become champion, million dollars or not.

Sadibou Sy meets Dilano Taylor in the season finale of the PFL 2022 World Championship welterweight card on November 25, 2022 in New York, New York at the Hulu Theatre.

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