PFL vs. Bellator Champs Preview: Renan Ferreira – Ryan Bader

Renan Ferreira PFL
2023 PFL Championships at The Anthem in Washington D.C., Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. (Scott Taetsch / PFL)

Tomorrow we are going to see the highly anticipated PFL vs. Bellator champions card from Saudi Arabia and the heavyweights are closing out the show. 2023 champion Renan Ferreira (12-3) will be taking on Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (31-7).

Of course this fight is to determine who is the best heavyweight between the two promotions in terms of the champions, but we learned yesterday that this fight has a little extra juice. PFL announced that the winner of this matchup will get the first crack at former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

Starting with Ferreira, he is a massive human being. Standing 6’8 with an 85 inch reach, he’s a monster. Last year, he had an unbelievable run to capture the 2023 title. He lost in his first fight which was overturned, but after that, he won three straight by knockout to capture the title and win the one million dollars.

Now, he’ll take on Ryan Bader. Bader came over to Bellator from the UFC and immediately climbed the latter to become light heavyweight champ. However, he moved up and also captured the heavyweight title. While we’ve seen him since struggle at 205, he’s remained unbeaten at heavyweight and he wants to prove tomorrow that he’s the best heavyweight in Bellator and the PFL.

PFL vs. Bellator Prediction

In terms of this fight, it’s all going to come down to whether or not Ryan Bader can land takedowns. It’s as simple as that to me. Given his age and the way his chin has been tested in recent fights, Bader does not want to stand with someone like Renan Ferreira. If he stands too long with him, he’s going to go to sleep.

However, if Ferreira cannot stop the takedowns, I think you’re going to see oneway traffic from Ryan Bader. I don’t see this fight being that competitive, but that’s because I see either one man or the other dominating. Either Bader completely dominates with the wrestling or Ferreira puts him to sleep.

I’m going to rock with the PFL champion on this one. Conventional wisdom would tell me to pick Bader, but I think he’s just getting older and I don’t think he’s going to stand up to the shots he’ll take from Ferreira. I see a first round finish which will setup a huge fight between Ferreira and Francis Ngannou.

Prediction: Renan Ferreira by KO – Round 1

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