While the UFC tends to get most of the attention of MMA fans these days, there are still a number of other promotions out there that are worth watching.
The PFL is certainly a promotion worth keeping an eye on, and tonight they present their latest card in the form of PFL 3: Werdum vs. Ferreira.
So with this in mind, here are five reasons to watch PFL 3: Fabricio Werdum vs. Renan Ferreira.
#1 Fabricio Werdum is in action for the first time since leaving the UFC
Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum might be past his best now at the age of 43, but he’s still highly relevant to the division, particularly outside the UFC.
Vai Cavalo actually left the UFC coming off a win as he defeated Alexander Gustafsson via armbar last summer. But with a string of losses before that, it was hardly a surprise to see him depart the promotion following the win.
Werdum has now emerged in the PFL, and given that he’s the most credentialed heavyweight the promotion has by far, he’ll probably be expecting to do well in the 2021 season.
The former UFC champ has his first assignment this week in the form of the largely unheralded Renan Ferreira, whose 6-2 record pales in comparison to Werdum’s.
However, the Team Nogueira representative will be gunning for an upset. And with Werdum aging rapidly, there’s definitely an outside chance that Problema can pull this off.
That means that this fight is definitely worth watching.
#2 Kayla Harrison might be the best female fighter outside the UFC
The general consensus would suggest that Bellator’s Cris Cyborg is the best female fighter outside of the UFC. But there’s also an argument that PFL’s Kayla Harrison deserves that label instead.
A two-time Olympic gold medallist in judo, Harrison transitioned into MMA in 2018 and has put together an 8-0 record in the years that have followed.
Harrison has largely been fighting at 155lbs – a division the UFC doesn’t promote. 2019 saw her win the PFL’s women’s lightweight title bout after rolling over four opponents that year.
It seems highly likely that Harrison will dispatch off her opponent – the unheralded Mariana Morais – this week and seems highly likely to retain her title again this year.
But intriguingly, Harrison has also fought at 145lbs before – meaning that the UFC at some point may want to bring her in to face Nunes. And that makes any fight involving the former Olympian a must-see event.
#3 Kamaru Usman’s brother is making his PFL debut
MMA history is littered with pairs of brothers who fought and saw success, with the likes of the Diaz brothers, the Miller brothers and the Nogueira brothers starring in the UFC.
Of course, there have been instances of one sibling never coming close to matching the success of the other. For instance, Jason Guida comes to mind, as does Lance Evans, the lesser-known brother of Rashad.
What does this have to do with this week’s PFL event? Well, Mohammed Usman – the younger brother of current UFC welterweight kingpin Kamaru – is in action.
Mohammed doesn’t have the gaudy record of his brother – he’s 7-1 with his loss coming to UFC fighter Don’Tale Mayes. But this hulking heavyweight definitely has potential.
Like his brother, Mohammed is an explosive athlete with plenty of power in both his striking and takedowns.
And while he may struggle for traction against more experienced PFL heavyweights like Fabricio Werdum and Justin Willis, he should be able to overcome his opponent this week, the unknown Brandon Sayles.
Will Mohammed’s career be as successful as his brother’s? It’s impossible to say, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on him just in case.
#4 There’s an intriguing Russian prospect on the card
Every UFC card these days seems to feature a seemingly high-level Russian prospect, and this week’s PFL card is no different.
Welterweight Magomed Umalatov is set to make his PFL debut on the show’s undercard, putting his 9-0 record on the line against Kyron Bowen.
Bowen has more experience, with 14 fights under his belt, but it’s unlikely that he’s faced someone as dangerous as Umalatov before.
From the footage available on the Russian, he looks to be an ultra-aggressive fighter who looks to take his opponents down and destroy them on the ground – essentially just like Khabib Nurmagomedov.
And thus far, it’s worked for him, as all of his nine professional wins have ended in KO or TKO.
The Prince isn’t part of the PFL’s welterweight tournament this year, meaning he’s unlikely to test his skills against the likes of Rory MacDonald or Curtis Millender.
But he could still make noise with an impressive win here and may well be a fighter to watch in the future.
#5 Delija and Cappelozza should produce some serious violence
While this week’s PFL card isn’t as loaded as a regular UFC card, there should be some exciting fights on offer outside of the ones involving big-name fighters.
One such fight features heavyweights Ante Delija and Bruno Cappelozza, who have plenty of experience and, more importantly, plenty of finishes under their belt.
Croatian native Delija is 17-3 in MMA, with 13 of his fights ending before the final buzzer, including wins over renowned veterans like Valentijn Overeem and Ricco Rodriguez.
Cappelozza has slightly less fights to his name – he’s 10-5 – but he’s also never been to a decision in his career, win or lose.
Essentially then, while this PFL fight likely won’t produce a high-level bout from a technical standpoint, it’s highly likely that someone is going to be knocked out or submitted. And that alone makes it well worth watching.