What did we learn from PFL vs. Bellator?

Jason Jackson PFL

This past Saturday in Saudi Arabia, we saw the super card between PFL and Bellator. Ever since the acquisition last year, this is the card that everyone had circled and the card delivered a very solid day of fights from Saudi Arabia.

Heading into the card, Bellator was seen as the perceived favorite when you looked at the very top of the rosters. While PFL has done a sensational job of building up it’s format and production / distribution, Bellator has largely been seen as the promotion with the second best talent especially at the top.

There was one fight that did fall out which is a real shame. Patricio Pitbull had two fights that fell through ahead of the champions card. He was supposed to take on Jesus Pinedo but Pinedo had to pull out. Then, he was supposed to face Gabriel Braga and once again that fight fell through. So, instead of seven fights, the main card pushed forward with six head-to-head matchups.

PFL vs. Bellator Recap

MMA is so unpredictable and you truly never know what to expect at times. However, as mentioned above, Bellator was the big favorite to win this thing on Saturday night and boy did they deliver. In fact, they won the first five fights of the head-to-head matchup.

AJ McKee (22-1) delivered an incredible performance against Clay Collard (24-12). I honestly thought Collard could win this matchup. McKee hadn’t looked good at lightweight at all and Collard has such clean boxing that I thought he had a shot. Instead, McKee took him down and submitted him in just about a minute.

Yoel Romero (16-7) then won a horrible decision against Thiago Santos (22-12). The decision was correct, the fight just was not good at all. Former Bellator light heavyweight champ Vadim Nemkov (18-2) made his heavyweight debut against former PFL champ Bruno Cappelozza (15-7). Mostly one-way traffic here and Nemkov choked him out in the second.

Jackson Jackson (18-4) then completely dominated Ray Cooper III (25-10-1) in their fight. Following that, Bellator was up 4-0 heading into the true champion vs champion matchups. Impa Kasanganay (15-4) gave Johnny Eblen (15-0) all he could handle. He dropped him in the second round and really tested him.

However, after dominating the third round and on two judges scorecards winning the first, Eblen remained unbeaten and moved Bellator to 5-0 by split decision. Lastly was the heavyweight fight and PFL’s hopes were with Renan Ferreira (13-3) as he took on Ryan Bader (31-8).

Bader had previously never lost at heavyweight and boy that changed quickly. Ferreira knocked him out in 21 seconds giving PFL their lone win on the evening. So, what did we learn from this card? Well, we learned what we kinda already knew. At the top, Bellator is more talented and that’s one of the reasons why the PFL wanted to acquire them.

Despite this being a head-to-head competition, the reality is the PFL is the sole owner of both promotions so at the end of the day, they still win no matter what.

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