Jason Jackson and Vadim Nemkov Win Big, But PFL Gets The Last Laugh – PFL vs. Bellator Full Results (Highlights)

Bellator ran away with the night, but Renan Ferreira put PFL on the board with a shocking win over Ryan Bader

PFL vs. Bellator
Courtesy of @PFLMMA on X

On Saturday, the best of the best from both PFL and Bellator MMA descended upon Kingdom Arena in Riyadh for a historic night of fights, pitting champions against one another in the ultimate battle of bragging rights. 

In the main event of the evening, 2023 PFL heavyweight tournament winner Renan Ferreira meets reigning Bellator heavyweight king Ryan Bader. The winner will earn themselves an opportunity to share the smart cage with Francis Ngannou later this year. But before we can get to the highly anticipated headliner, we have 10 other fights to get through as worlds collide in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Preliminary Card

Malik Basahel vs. Vinicius Pereira (Amateur 129lb Catchweight)

Kicking off the card, was an amateur catchweight bout between Malik Basahel and Vinicius Pereira. With an extensive amateur record, including 17 wins in 20 fights, Basahel used his game on the ground to grind out a unanimous decision victory, moving to 18-2-1 overall. 

Official Result: Malik Basahel def. Vinicius Pereira via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Abdullah Al-Qahtani vs. Edukondala Rao (Featherweight)

Abdulla Al-Qahtani delivered a dominant performance against India’s Edukondala Rao. Al-Qahtani outstruck Rao by more than two-to-one and mixed up his attack by landing four out of five takedown attempts. With Rao noticeably fatigued, Al-Qahtani poured it on in the opening moments of round three, securing a TKO in the final five minutes. 

Official Result: Abdulla Al-Qahtani def. Edukondala Rao via TKO (strikes) at 0:23 of Round 3.

Claressa Shields vs. Kelsey De Santis (165lb Catchweight)

After unleashing a massive right hand in the opening moments, Sheilds found herself in trouble after being taken down and nearly finished with a nasty armbar attempt from De Santis. The ‘GWOAT’ survived and poured it on in the second as De Santis showed signs of fatigue.

Shields continued the onslaught in the third, but halfway through the round, De Santis scored a takedown and immediately moved into mount. De Santis held the position and reigned down strikes through the final horn. 

Official Result: Claressa Shields def. Kelsey De Santis via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)


Biaggio Ali Walsh vs. Emmanuel Palacio

After electrifying fight fans with a series of highlight-reel-worthy knockouts as an amateur, Biaggio Ali Walsh flexed his ground game in his professional MMA debut. Ali Walsh dominated Argentina’s Palacio for three rounds, earning a decisive decision victory. 

Official Result: Biaggio Ali Walsh def. Emmanuel Palacio via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Aaron Pico vs. Henry Corrales 

Aaron Pico scored a technical knockout in the closing seconds of the opening round against Henry Corrales. Pico unleashed a flurry of strikes with his opponent on the ground, hoping to beat the clock and finish his night early. Referee Brian Miner obliged, stopping the contest with just seven seconds left in the round. 

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

Main Card:

Clay Collard vs. AJ McKee (Lightweight)

AJ McKee earned the first victory of the night for Bellator, making quick work of Clay Collard. After narrowly finishing the fight with a tight guillotine choke, McKee transitioned to a triangle before securing the tap-out with an armbar in the opening round.

Official Result: AJ McKee def. Clay Collard via submission (armbar) at 1:10 of Round 1. 

Thiago Santos vs. Yoel Romero (Light Heavyweight)

The light heavyweight clash between Thiago Santos and Yoel Romero delivered an uneventful clash between two of MMA’s most feared knockout artists. Neither fighter was particularly interested in engaging throughout the three-round affair, but the highlight of the fight was Romero’s continued attack on Santo’s lead leg. 

In the end, that was enough as the ‘Soldier of God’ secured Bellator’s second straight win over the PFL. 

Official Result: Yoel Romero def. Thiago Santos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)


Bruno Cappelozza vs. Vadim Nemkov (Heavyweight)

Vadim Nemkov made it three-straight wins for Bellator MMA with a second-round submission victory over Bruno Cappelozza. Pressuring his opponent against the fence, Nemkov shot in, scoring a quick double leg and immediately working his way into full mount. Nemkov cinched in an arm triangle and put Cappelozza to sleep.

Official Result: Vadim Nemkov def. Bruno Cappelozza via submission (arm triangle) at 2:13 of Round 2.

Ray Cooper III vs. Jason Jackson (192lb Catchweight)

Jason Jackson scored another dominant win for Team Bellator, punishing Ray Cooper III’s leg throughout the first five minutes. With Cooper’s limb compromised, it only took one more stiff kick from Jackson to send RC3 crashing to the canvas. with Cooper unable to stand, Jackson swarmed in and unleashed a flurry of ground-and-pound strikes that forced the referee to step in and call for the stoppage. 

Official Result: Jason Jackson def. Ray Cooper III via TKO (ground and pound) at 0:23 of Round 2.

Impa Kasanganay vs. Johnny Eblen (Middleweight)

Johnny Eblen appeared to have the early advantage, putting his wrestling on display, but Kasanganay was able to fight his way back up and slowly began to take over the opening round with his striking. Kasanganay nearly finished things in the opening moments of round two when he ramped up the aggression and sent Eblen crashing to the canvas with a flurry. 

Eblen switched to his wrestling, allowing himself to recover, and made it through the second round in a dominant position. He finished the third similarly, landing a series of ground-and-pound strikes as they reached the end of a full 15 minutes.

Official Result: Johnny Eblen def. Impa Kasanganay via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Renan Ferreira vs. Ryan Bader (Heavyweight) 

In the final fight of the event, Renan Ferreira walked through the Bellator MMA heavyweight champion, blasting Ryan Bader with a vicious right hand that immediately sent the former UFC star crashing to the canvas. Ferreira moved in and delivered an onslaught of ground-and-pound strikes, forcing the referee to step in and call for the stoppage in the opening minute.

With the victory, Ferreira will move on to face Francis Ngannou when ‘The Predator’ makes his PFL debut later this year. 

Official Result: Renan Ferreira def. Ryan Bader via TKO (right hand to ground and pound) at 0:21 of Round 1. 

Published on February 24, 2024 at 5:57 pm
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