The 2022 PFL World Championship would not be complete without the big fellas fighting for a title and a million bucks as Ante Delija and Matheus Scheffel fought at the Hulu Theater at MSG on Friday night.
Delija (22-5) fought in the heavyweight championship bout last year as well against Bruno Cappellozza in one of the best fights of the year. The Croatian protégé of Mirko Cro Cop actually holds a win over Scheffel this season when he finished the Brazilian in April and if he could repeat that performance, then he would win one million dollars. The Brazilian native Scheffel (17-8) came into the fight looking for revenge and a chance at a life-changing prize in the biggest fight of his life.
The two big men met in the center of the cage at the opening bell and began to figure out each other’s timing. Delija was throwing punches in combinations and Scheffel returned in kind, landing several good counter left hooks early.
Two minutes in the Croatian judoka shot a double leg but was denied and forced Scheffel into a clinch against the fence. Scheffel broke away quickly and the two traded big punches with fast hands for big men. Soon after, a hook from Delija seemed to rock Scheffel as he backed up to the fence. Delija may not have realized at first, but soon after that he threw another blistering fast hook combo in the pocket — nine punches in all — and Scheffel collapsed to a knee against the fence. The Croatian jumped on top to finish the fight and Dan Mirgliotta quickly stepped in.
— Cageside Press (@Cagesidepress) November 26, 2022
After sealing the million dollar addition to his pay in under five minutes, Ante Delija jumped on top of the cage and celebrated with his coach. The pair then left the cage entirely to celebrate with a jubilant Croatian fan contingent in the stands nearby before Delija FaceTimed with his family back home.
Official Result: Ante Delija def. Matheus Scheffel by TKO (punches), Round 1, 2:50