Former UFC heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum made his promotional debut at PFL 3 on Thursday night in Atlantic City. The well-traveled Brazilian heavyweight was a strong favorite to win the heavyweight division in 2021, especially with Mohammed Usman suffering an upset defeat earlier in the night.
Renan Ferreira no doubt had other ideas, of course. Ferreira felt like a bit of an afterthought given Werdum’s arrival to the PFL, but he made a statement Thursday night.
With action underway, Werdum took mere seconds to get fellow Brazilian Ferreira to the ground. From there, he got busy looking for an opening, either to improve position or find a submission. Ferreira held his own on bottom, but Werdum soon had him laid out on his back along the fence. From inside Ferreira’s half-guard, Werdum looked for mount. Ferreira would reverse, only to be caught in a triangle. He tried to punch his way out, while Werdum held on with the submission.
The ex-UFC champ, however, was under fire. Letting go of the submission, Werdum, clearly hurt, gave up his back, eating a heft serving of hammer fists. Dazed, Werdum stopped defending. The writing was on the wall, and the ref closed the book on Fabricio Werdum’s PFL debut.
Post-fight, however, replay showed what may have been a tap from Ferreira during the triangle attempt. At least one tap appeared to hit the shoulder of Werdum, then a second quicker tap before the ground n’ pound continued. Renan Ferreira, barely spoken of during Fight Week, gets the win regardless, barring any challenge — and six points towards the playoffs.
Official Result: Renan Ferreira def. Fabricio Werdum by TKO, Round 1, 2:32