Renan Ferreira Knocks Out Ryan Bader in First Round in PFL vs. Bellator Event

Make that four in a row for Renan Ferreira. 

The 34-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist (13-3) knocked out Bellator MMA heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (31-8) in just 21 seconds on Saturday in the PFL vs. Bellator pay-per-view in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Renan FerreiraFerreira knocked Bader down with a right hand, before ending the fight with hammerfists on the ground in his fourth consecutive win by knockout, three of which came in the first round.

“I am the real problem,” Ferreira said. “I am the record setter. Francis, where you at? I’m the champion out here. I’ve always been ready to fight with the very best in the world. Francis it can be in [MMA] or boxing, whatever you want to do.”

Following his win, talk has begun about Ferreira’s next potential opponent… Francis Ngannou (17-3), who is scheduled to make his second appearance in professional boxing on March 8 in Saudi Arabia, when he takes on former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua.

Earlier this week, however, Ngannou told ESPN he still intends to return to MMA with the PFL, and said he would likely face the winner of Saturday’s contest between Ferreira and Bader. Ngannou was present cageside during the main event.

Ferreira didn’t waste the opportunity to impress. The fight was essentially over before it began. He caught Bader with the right hand just moments in, after Bader moved forward with his own punches. Ferreira, who trains out of American Top Team in south Florida, has now recorded five first-round knockouts in the PFL, including finishes of 21 seconds, 50 seconds, 25 seconds and 31 seconds.

Ferreira claimed a “Super Belt” in the process, although he does not take ownership of Bader’s Bellator title. The real reward, however, is a future fight against Ngannou, which will also take place on PFL PPV.

Bader, a former two-weight champion in Bellator, saw a three-fight win streak snapped. He’d lost recently at light heavyweight against Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson, but had been dominant at heavyweight, including two wins over the legendary Fedor Emelianenko. It is the shortest loss of Bader’s professional career.

Saturday’s event marked the first PPV since PFL acquired Bellator late last year. Bellator champions fared well overall against their PFL counterparts. Welterweight champion Jason Jackson, middleweight champion Johnny Eblen and former champs Vadim Nemkov and AJ McKee all scored impressive wins over PFL opposition. Yoel Romero also picked up a win against PFL contender Thiago Santos.

Renan Ferreira Defeats Maurice Greene to Reach PFL Heavyweight Championship

It didn’t take long for Renan Ferreira to advance to the Professional Fighters League heavyweight championship.

The 33-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist dispatched Maurice Greene with first-round punches in the PFL heavyweight semifinal on Friday inside The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Renan Ferreira 

Ferreira (11-3, 5-1 PFL) slammed the door 4:46 into Round 1.

Greene (11-9, 1-3 PFL) tried to keep his counterpart at bay with leg kicks, but the disparity in talent became more and more evident with each passing moment. Ferreira connected with body-head jabs, crisp low kicks of his own and clean multi-punch combinations. Eventually, he walked Greene into a devastating counter right hand. “The Crochet Boss” folded where he stood and hit the deck, where he was met with a burst of punches that separated him from his senses.

Riding high on the strength of back-to-back victories, Ferreira advances to face Denis Goltsov in the $1,000,000 heavyweight final in November.

Renan Ferreira to Fight Maurice Greene as Part of Professional Fighters League’s Big Apple Semifinal Fights

Renan Ferreira is preparing for a battle in the Big Apple

The 33-year-old Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter will compete as part of the Professional Fighters League’s final two semifinal dates in its return to New York.

Renan FerreiraFerreira, a knockout artist, will take on Maurice Greene in the August 18 main event, a heavyweight semifinal.

A lightweight semifinal between Shane Burgos and Clay Collard will headline an August 23 card.

Both cards will take place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The men’s heavyweight and women’s featherweight division semifinals will be August 18, with the men’s lightweight and welterweight semis set for August 23. The August 23 main card will kick off with an amateur bout involving Muhammad Ali‘s grandson, Biaggio Ali Walsh.

The PFL previously announced the men’s featherweight and light heavyweight playoffs, scheduled for August 4 in San Antonio. The winners of the semifinal matchups will fight later this year for the PFL’s $1 million divisional championships.

Ferreira (10-3) is coming off a 50-second knockout of Matheus Scheffel on June 16 in regular-season competition. He has just one loss in eight PFL fights.

Greene (11-8), a training partner of Jon Jones, went 1-1 in the regular season. The 37-year-old New York native is a UFC veteran.

Burgos (16-4) got into the playoffs when the PFL suspended Natan Schulte and Raush Manfio for not fulfilling contractual obligations in a lackluster regular-season bout. Burgos, who is 32 and from New York, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Yamato Nishikawa on June 23.

Collard (23-10, 1 NC), who also has boxing experience, went 2-0 in the regular season, including a second-round TKO of Stevie Ray on June 23. Collard, 30, is 5-2 in the PFL.

Here’s a look at the upcoming PFL cards:

Aug. 18
ESPN card
Heavyweight semifinal: Renan Ferreira vs. Maurice Greene
Women’s featherweight semifinal: Larissa Pacheco vs. Olena Kolesnyk
Heavyweight semifinal: Denis Goltsov vs. Jordan Heiderman
Women’s featherweight semifinal: Marina Mokhnatkina vs. Amber Leibrock
Nathan Kelly vs. Damion Nelson

ESPN+ Card
Chris Mixan vs. Eddie George
Abraham Bably vs. Anthony Wint
Danilo Marques vs. Satoshi Ishii
Laureano Staropoli vs. Ben Egli
Kaytlin Neil vs. Maira Mazar
Louis Sutherland vs. Daiqwon Buckley

Aug. 23
ESPN card
Lightweight semifinal: Clay Collard vs. Shane Burgos
Lightweight semifinal: Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Bruno Miranda
Welterweight semifinal: Sadibou Sy vs. Carlos Leal
Welterweight semifinal: Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Magomed Umalatov
Amateur bout: Biaggio Ali-Walsh vs. TBA

ESPN+ card
Alexei Pergande vs. Shawn Stefanelli
Mostafa Rashed Neda vs. Korey Kuppe
Abigail Montes vs. Michelle Montague
Abdullah Al-Qahtani vs. David Zelner
John Caldone vs. Nathaniel Grimard

Larissa Pacheco Knocks Out Amber Leibrock to Earn No. 1 Seed in PFL Featherweight Playoffs

Larissa Pacheco looks poised to claim a second Professional Fighters League championship…

The 28-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist – who shocked the world in 2022 with her upset win over Kayla Harrison in the lightweight finals to win her first PFL title – seized the No. 1 seed in the PFL playoffs on Friday with a resounding first-round knockout of Amber Leibrock.

Larissa PachecoThe featherweight bout headlined PFL 5 inside Overtime Elite Arena.

Leibrock (7-5) went into the bout with a lot of momentum, after scoring a highlight-reel head kick knockout in the opening round of the season. She looked out of her league Friday, however, as Pacheco (21-4) bombarded her with punches early.

Pacheco’s win sets up a rematch against Ukraine’s Olena Kolesnyk in the first round of the playoffs in August. Pacheco beat Kolesnyk last August via first-round TKO.

Marina Mokhnatkina earned the No. 2 seed and will face Leibrock as the 145-pound’s No. 3 seed.

Former UFC bantamweight Aspen Ladd defeated Karolina Sobek via submission but still missed the playoffs in a tiebreaker to Kolesnyk.

In the heavyweight division, Denis Goltsov (31-7) secured the No. 1 seed with a devastating 18-second knockout of Yorgan De Castro. It was the fastest knockout in PFL heavyweight history.

Brazil’s Renan Ferreira (10-4) also scored a big knockout on the main card, taking out Matheus Scheffel in 50 seconds. The win was good enough to earn him the No. 2 seed at heavyweight, and he’ll face Marcelo Nunes in the opening round of the playoffs. Goltsov will square off with Jordan Heiderman, who also picked up a first-round victory.

In the main event, Maurice Greene (11-8) came up short in a bid to topple 2022 champion Ante Delija. Delija, who missed the first round of the regular season because of injury, defeated Greene via unanimous decision. It was an impressive showing but earned him only three points, leaving him out of the playoffs.