2023 PFL World Championship Preview: Denis Goltsov – Renan Ferreira

2023 PFL 8: New York City at the The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Tomorrow night at the 2023 PFL World Championships, two heavyweight monsters will go toe-to-toe for the 2023 heavyweight title. Russia’s Denis Goltsov (32-7) will look to finally take home gold as he takes on Brazil’s Renan Ferreira (11-3, 3 NC).

Things actually didn’t start out well for Ferreira in the 2023 season. In his debut, he lost a decision to Rizvan Kuniev. However, that fight was changed to a No Contest after Kuniev tested positive for a banned substance. Following the No Contest, Ferreira scored first round knockouts over Matheus Scheffel and Maurice Greene to earn this spot in the 2023 PFL Championships.

Denis Goltsov has desperately been wanting that season championship. In 2019, he made it to the finals and lost to Ali Isaev in the finals. Then, he lost to 2022 champion Ante Delija in 2021. He wasn’t able to finish the season in 2022 and he’s been growing hungrier and hungrier to capture PFL gold.

This season, he’s been nothing short of dominant. Not a single fight has seen the second round. He stopped Cezar Ferreira with ground and pound. He knocked out Yorgan De Castro with one punch and then he submitted Jordan Heiderman. He’s looked like a monster who is on a mission.

PFL Championship Prediction

With these two heavyweight finishers, you might not want to blink. Ferreira is incredibly dangerous on his feet and he’s very good at striking from range with his 6’8 frame. That said, can he stop the freight train that is Goltsov? I have some doubts that he’ll be able to do it.

On the feet, Goltsov has looked very sharp during this season and I think he’s going to be able to get this fight to the ground as well. I could see a scenario where Goltsov gets Ferreira down early and just goes to work. To me, this is Goltsov’s heavyweight championship to lose. Ferreira can always shut the lights off with one shot, but Goltsov is going to win the 2023 PFL heavyweight title and he’s going to do it early.

Prediction: Denis Goltsov by TKO – Round 1