PFL vs. Bellator: CHAMPS Results

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One of the biggest cards of the year outside the UFC is here! The Professional Fighters’ League (PFL) is set to go head-to-head with its former competition, Bellator, as the two promotions put top competition up against one another in the super card event of the year.

Fight fans can catch PFL vs. Bellator streaming on ESPN+, beginning at 3 p.m. ET/Noon PT for the main card, with the prelims set to get underway at Noon ET/9 a.m. PT. The main card pay-per-view will be purchasable a la carte for those with an ESPN+ subscription.

The show will air live from Riyadh, Saudia Arabia.

Main Event — Ferreira vs. Bader

Saturday’s main event could have seismic ramifications in heavyweight mixed martial arts. Recent PFL signing, former UFC heavyweight champion and budding professional boxer Francis Ngannou has expressed an interest in fighting the winner of the PFL vs. Bellator main event. Both present interesting stylistic matchups for Ngannou, objectively one of the baddest men on the planet. Ferreira is a fighter known for forcing tough stylistic matchups on his opponents thanks to his size and finishing ability. At 6-foot-8, the big Brazilian knows few equals physically, but would be sure to find one in Ngannou.

Bader, on the other hand, is a former light heavyweight whose roots can be traced back to him fighting Jon Jones for the right to call themselves the best UFC prospect at 205 pounds. That was more than a decade ago. Since then, Bader has become a double champion for Bellator at light heavyweight and heavyweight, seamlessly transitioning between boxing and wrestling to win big fights. Saturday’s main event will be fun for as long as it lasts. Ferreira is sure to be live for as long as the fight stays standing, but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to contend with the pace and experience of Bader. Nevertheless, the added stakes are sure to give further excitement to an already exciting main event.

Co-Main Event — Kasangany vs. Eblen

Impa Kasanganay and Johnny Eblen are the respective PFL and Bellator champions of the middleweight division, and are both fighters with ample momentum behind them at the moment. Kasanganay took an unlikely path to this point. He burst onto the scene with a great performance on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020, but his inexperience began to display cracks in his foundation and the UFC elected not to renew his contract. He signed with PFL, earned his way into the middleweight field by way of the PFL Challenger Series, and rode the wave straight to the PFL Championship and $1,000,000 prize. He outlasted Josh Silveira in a five-round decision to win the title, and has reinvented himself as a complete mixed martial artist with reserves who can retain his power throughout all turns of the fight.

Johnny Eblen has taken a unique path of his own. At 14-0, Eblen is not only unbeaten, but one of the brightest young stars currently training out of American Top Team. He won the Bellator belt by outpointing Gegard Mousasi in the summer of 2022. He has since defended the title twice, most recently finishing Fabian Edwards with a third-round knockout in Dublin, Ireland. Eblen brings a similar style to the cage as Kasanganay as a fighter with offensive grappling ability and power that can manifest at all points of the fight, though his wrestling could be a key to victory. Except perhaps Marthin Hamlet, Kasanganay has never faced a fighter of Eblen caliber of wrestling.

Rest of the Card

PFL vs. Bellator: CHAMPS is just the card for you if you like super fights. Welterweight champions will collide in the featured fight, as Ray Cooper III takes on Jason Jackson. Jackson is one of MMA’s preeminent grinders and pressure fighters, but also a man who will have to contend with Cooper, one of PFL’s pound-for-pound hardest hitters. Despite Jackson’s status as Bellator welterweight champion and Cooper being the 2021 PFL Welterweight Tournament champion, the fight will be contested at a 183-pound catchweight.

Ferreira vs. Bader is not the only heavyweight fight on tap. Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov will move up to heavyweight to meet Bruno Cappeloozza, the 2021 PFL Heavyweight Tournament champion, in another exciting tilt. There will also be a hard-hitting light heavyweight bout to the delight of 2018 UFC fans, with Thiago Santos taking on Yoel Romero. Meanwhile, featherweight standouts will open the main card when Clay Collard takes on AJ McKee after a five-fight preliminary card.

For up-to-the-minute results and updates, be sure to stay right here with MMA Sucka!

PFL vs. Bellator: CHAMPS Results

Main Card

Renan Ferreira def. Ryan Bader via TKO (punches) at :21 of Round 1

Johnny Eblen def. Impa Kasanganay via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jason Jackson def. Ray Cooper III via TKO (strikes) at :23 of Round 2

Vadim Nemkov def. Bruno Cappelozza via Submission (Arm Triangle) at 2:13 of Round 2

Yoel Romero def. Thiago Santos via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

A.J. McKee def. Clay Collard via Submission (Triangle Armbar) in 1:10 of Round 1

Preliminary Card

Aaron Pico def. Henry Corrales via TKO (punches) at 4:53 of Round 1

Biaggio Ali Walsh def. Emmanuel Palacio via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Claressa Shields def. Kelsey DeSantis via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Abdullah Al-Qahtani def. Edukondala Rao via TKO (Strikes) at :23 of Round 3

Malek Basahel def. Vinicius Pereira via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

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