“That is the beauty of this league, no one is guaranteed to win a championship, because of playoff seeding.” -Sean O’Connell
The Professional Fighters League (PFL) returns for 2019 playoff action at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Thursday night, Vegas Sports Daily caught up with former UFC and PFL fighter, Sean O’Connell today at the weigh-in.
VSD: How was your transition from the octagon to the broadcast team?
Sean O’Connell: “Yeah, I mean, a lot of guys go from being an active athlete to be an analyst right?! And I wanted to do play-by-play because there are too many analysts who are bigger fighters. So for me to find a niche for myself on a broadcast team and mixed martial arts. I needed to be the play-by-play guy. And thankfully I have a background in broadcasting. My day job was on sports radio.”
“So I thought it was a better fit for me to be a play-by-play guy and thankfully, the Professional Fighters League allowed me to prove that. I think I’m doing an okay job. So hopefully they’ll bring you back for season three.”
Similarities are there, to a professional fight, you know?! It is actually harder to prepare to call fights than it is to prepare to fight from a mental standpoint, because when you’re preparing for a fight from a mental standpoint, you’re studying one individual, or if you’re in the PFL playoffs. So maybe two, or three individuals that are calling fights. We have (16) people on the card tomorrow night.”
VSD: Who has the best chance to win it all?
Sean O’Connell: “So you gotta think about all these different guys, you get to know their whole story. You got to be able to talk about their story respectfully and make sure that you’re representing them the way they want to be represented. So it’s actually a little bit more challenging because there’s more information to absorb for the broadcasting side of things, but it’s totally worth it because that keeps me close to the fight and on my game.”
“Last week we saw a group with the third-seed spot in the finals for the second year in a row. I know how hard it is to get through this playoff tournament. This playoff bracket, one time to do it, and to do it two years in a row back-to-back. That’s tough.”
The PFL Featherweights and Lightweights Fight Live at MGM’s Mandalay Bay Thursday Night, October 17, on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes at 8:00 p.m. ET and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET