An electric night of upsets has come to a close in the bright city of Atlanta, Georgia. We as fans were treated to everything from stunning knockouts to rare submissions and masterclass performances. Let's take a closer look at the main card results.
Matheus Scheffel earned the biggest victory of his career by defeating the 2021 PFL Heavyweight Champion Bruno Capelozza. Scheffel, a 6 to 1 underdog, made a statement against Capelozza. Round one began with Capelozza showing off his speed whilst Scheffel remained patient, prodding with leg kicks. In the midst of a close range flurry, Scheffel caught the former champion with two powerful blows, sending him to the fence on shaky legs. He continued to unload for the remainder of the round, finding the mark more often than not
Capeloza entered the 2nd round rejuvenated and intent to win, as he pressed forward unleashing his hands. Scheffel remained patient, investing in the lead leg of his opponent and picking his shots well. By the time the 3rd round came, it was clear that Scheffel's investment in the lead leg was paying off well, with Bruno's movement considerably compromised. With only one leg to stand on, he couldn't place power into his shots nor could he evade Scheffel's effectively, and thus through a calculated effort, Scheffel earned the decision victory and upset a 10 to 1 favorite. He later revealed to Verdict MMA in an interview with Abdullah Ouazri that he made a pinky promise to his mother on her death bed and vowed to her that he would become Champion, and never stop fighting. In return, she was to never stop fighting against the cancer that eventually took her.
One of the most stunning submissions in PFL history took place last night as Stevie Ray submitted former UFC and WEC champion Anthony Pettis with a modified twister. The fight began with Pettis unleashing his arsenal of 'Showtime' techniques, including flying kicks and knees. He dug to the body often and was constantly out of Stevie's range. It was in the latter half of the round was when the Scott began to find his rhythm, finally starting to land on Pettis. They flurried late and Showtime threw a spinning kick. Round two opens up with more offense from Pettis as he lands kicks and punches regularly, with Ray still pressing forward. Pettis initiates a level change but is reversed and Ray takes the back, body triangle locked in. Pettis tries to turn out of it but Ray squeezes his hips and contorts his neck and spine, forcing a tap.
"I showed the world who Klidson Abreu is!" Abreu said to Verdict MMA in an interview after the fight. He told all who would listen what he was going to do, and he went out and did it. The first round started off with Renan looking swift and precise on the feet as many expected he would. The two trade shots before Abreu finds a takedown and rides out the rest of the round. He lands early in round two before setting up another takedown. Time goes by as he rests in side control and half guard, smothering Renan and raining down short hammerfists. Renan tried to escape couldn't, and the round ended with more shots from Abreu. In the third round Abreu once again uses his hands to set up the takedown. He spends the remainder of the fight attempting to advance positions on the ground, slowly chipping away with short blows. The final bell rings and he stands triumphantly with his hands raised, knowing he proved the doubters wrong.
Chris Wade found the 'Quick Six' he was looking for in the form of a first round knockout over Kyle Bochniak. The two wasted no time getting after it as soon as the bell rang, exchanging right away. Wade, looking sharp, blasted the body and leg of Bochniak. He offered a strong single leg that momentarily brings the fight to the mat but was swiftly denied. It mattered not though as he launched a high kick to the head of Bochniak, resulting in a knockdown. The strikes that followed forced the referee to stop the fight. Wade had previously expressed his desire to finish more fights, and that he would never let himself lose again for the sake of his daughter.
In a fight neither man was proud of, Ante Delija defeated Shelton Graves by unanimous decision. The first round through the third was a combination of awkward and erratic movement by Graves that caused multiple headbutts, and a clinch heavy game from Ante. It was one of those clashes of heads that saw a point deducted from Shelton Graves. Ante won all three rounds firmly on the Verdict Scorecard but was forced to settle with a unanimous decision with all judges scoring the bout 29-27.
It was a flawless performance from Jenkins that truly put his improvements on full display. The first round opened up with clean lands and strong wrestling offense. The second and third rounds were completely in his control as he took his opponent airborn with massive slams. Feeling like a new fighter, Jenkins secured a shutout on all three scorecards.
Although much was made of Maurice Greene having the legend Jon Jones in his corner, Denis seemed to block out all of that noise. He performed as he always does without showing any fear or respect for the all time great standing behind his opponent. After the cage closed he immediately took Greene down and began working his offense. He threatened an arm triangle choke in the first, but Greene was able to use his raw strength to push out of it. The round ended with Denis on top, foreshadowing how the fight would go. The second and third rounds were much of the same, only lacking the near fight ending submission attempts. Goltzov showed the difference between himself and his opponent clearly and walked away with a dominant victory.