Reading Time: 3 minutes

Former UFC competitor and current PFL (Premier Fight League) lightweight mixed martial artist Olivier Aubin-Mercier is one successful fight away from becoming a PFL champion. The Canadian-born fighter defeated Alex Martinez at PFL 7, a lightweight battle that decided who would advance to the PFL Playoff finals.

“The Canadian Gangster” Olivier Aubin-Mercier stepped into the PFL cage on Friday, August 5, with the opportunity to put himself within one win from obtaining the PFL title and a $1 million payday. He was tasked with facing Paraguay’s Alex Martinez, a formidable opponent, and close friend.

The former trainer partners praised one another during the leadup, but Mercier and Martinez made it apparent that this was a fight, and they were competing to win.

Dissimilar to most MMA promotions, the Professional Fighters League positions its fighters in a regular season, playoffs, and championship. Whichever four competitors earn the most regular season points will advance to the playoffs. The semi-finalist victors compete for the title and a substantial one-million-dollar payday in the PFL Playoff final.

For the 155lb weight class, Aubin-Mercier is the No.2 ranked fighter and weighed in at 155lbs last Thursday, as Martinez, ranked No.3, stepped on the scale at 156lbs.

There was zero bad blood as both men previously trained together in Montreal and referred to each other as friends. Martinez, who now trains with Grande Prairie, Alberta, entered the cage at PFL 7 sporting a Canadian/Paraguayan flag.

Olivier Aubin Mercier vs. Alex Martinez Recap

The opening betting odds placed “The Canadian Gangster” as the favorite, and most Ontario sports betting apps followed suit with a moneyline price tag of around -260. However, money began to come in on Martinez closer to fight night, as Aubin-Mercier closed at -220 with the comeback on Martinez at +220.

Aubin-Mercier (16-5-0), however, proved his opening -260 odds were the side to be on. OAM took the center of the cage from the opening bell and dictated the pace with kicks from range. However, Martinez (10-3) began to time his counter strikes behind some severe aggression, and he ended the round looking alive.

OAM struck Martinez with a solid left early in the second. The Paraguayan dropped to the canvas following the strike, and Aubin-Mercier followed him straight into his opponent’s guard.

Following an armbar attempt from Martinez, OAM round his back and a body triangle became a highly advantageous position for the Canadian. Despite having minutes on the clock to improve his position and finish the fight via submission, Martinez somehow survived the round.

Replicating the previous rounds, OAM started strong, cracking Martinez flush on the chin to drop his opponent for a second time. Back on the ground in a dominant position, Aubin-Mercier retook the back of Martinez and applied a body lock while attempting to choke his way to victory.

Martinez survived the finishing attempts from OAM, but after two knockdowns and a significant amount of ground control, the judges’ job was made easy. Scoring the contest 30-27, 30-26, and 30-26, Aubin-Mercier won a unanimous decision and has now advanced to the PFL Playoff lightweight finals.

The sky is the limit for OAM

The 33-year-old from Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec., will compete against Stevie “Braveheart” Ray in the 155lb playoff final at PFL 10 on November 11, 2022.

Notably, Martinez defeated Ray at PFL 1 on April 20. This should give OAM a considerable confidence boost in his chance of beating the Scotsman in this year’s final.

Training at H20 MMA and Tristar in Montreal, Aubin-Mercier has won all five of his PFL contests since leaving the UFC, where he obtained a 7-5-0 record. In his journey to the PFL 2022 lightweight final, OAM defeated Nathan Schulte and the 2021 PFL champion Raush Manfio.

The sky is the limit for Aubin-Mercier, who should be favored to defeat Ray at PFL 10, considering his unblemished PFL record and domineering ground game.

With a shiny gold championship and a $1 million prize in front of him, Aubin-Mercier can put Canadian MMA on the map once again, and his probability of achieving this is considerably high.

This content is a joint venture between our publication and our partner. We do not endorse any product or service in the article.