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The Most Memorable Moments from PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions

Team Bellator wins over Team PFL

Last weekend, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) launched its first event of 2024, the PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions Pay-Per-View (PPV) event, held at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions featured current and former titleholders from the PFL and Bellator going head to head in what was an amazing night of fights that delivered on the action. 

From stunning stoppages to impressive debuts, here are some of the most memorable moments from the PFL’s inaugural PPV Super Fight card: 

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Renan Ferreira blasts Ryan Bader in 21 Seconds

Renan Ferreira wins

Apart from the sport of MMA and the fans in Riyadh, perhaps the biggest winner that night was none other than 2023 PFL Heavyweight Champion Renan “Problema” Ferreira, who definitely “seized the throne”. 

In a clash of heavyweight titleholders, Ferreira faced long-time Bellator Heavyweight Champion Ryan “Darth” Bader, and needed just 21 seconds to score the knockout win. 

Not only did the heavy handed Brazilian bring home a prestigious Super Belt, but he also set up a future clash with another knockout artist in heavyweight MMA star Francis “The Predator” Ngannou. 

Team Bellator Dominates

The PFL’s Renan Ferreira may have had the last laugh when it was all said and done, but it was Bellator who flexed their muscle in the historic event. After acquiring the storied MMA promotion last year, the PFL also absorbed Bellator’s roster of fighters, meaning that the promotion’s stars would be competing inside the SmartCage. 

Of the six PFL vs. Bellator matchups, five went in favor of Team Bellator, with Johnny Eblen defeating Impa Kasanganay in the co-main event, while Jason Jackson defeated Ray Cooper III, Vadim Nemkov choked out Bruno Cappelozza, Yoel Romero conquered Thiago Santos, and AJ McKee topped Clay Collard. 

It was a strong outing for Bellator, but more importantly, it showed that this new crop of fighters would be interesting additions to the PFL’s million-dollar regular season. 

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Biaggio Ali Walsh triumphs in Professional Debut

Biaggio Ali Walsh wins

Easily one of the most talked-about names on the PFL roster, Biaggio Ali Walsh, the grandson of boxing icon Muhammad Ali, made a name for himself competing as an amateur inside the SmartCage. The former collegiate football standout reeled off six straight amateur wins by stoppage, with the last five coming inside the PFL SmartCage, prompting him to finally make the jump to the pro ranks. 

In front of a sell-out crowd in Riyadh, Ali Walsh got his professional career off on the right path by scoring a unanimous decision win over Emmanuel Palacio. 

Claressa Shields’ MMA Return

Claressa Shields

One of the biggest names in combat sports also made her return to the SmartCage, as boxing world champion Claressa Shields jumped back into MMA action with a Split Decision win over Kelsey DeSantis. 

Shields, who last competed in MMA back in 2021, spent the last three years defending her boxing world championships. “The G.W.O.A.T.” is still determined to be the first person to simultaneously hold world titles in boxing and MMA, and she’s headed towards the right direction. 

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