PFL vs. Bellator Weigh-In: Ferreira 32 Pounds Heavier Than Bader, Braga vs Pitbull Off

Renan Ferreira, PFL Championship 2023
Renan Ferreira, 2023 PFL Championships Ceremonial Weigh-Ins at The Anthem in Washington D.C., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

The fighters participating in the PFL Champs vs Bellator Champs Event hit the scales on Friday, ahead of the card in Riyadh.

The Professional Fighters League kicks off its 2024 in Saudi Arabia this Saturday with its biggest card to date: a showdown between promotions, PFL Champs vs. Bellator Champs.

Having purchased rival Bellator MMA last fall, the promotion opted to go with a head-to-head format on Pay-Per-View, though the Champs vs. Champs format fell apart somewhat due to injury, with only two all-champs match-ups remaining.

Those include the headliner, which sees PFL heavyweight champ Renan Ferreira take on Bellator counterpart Ryan Bader. And to up the stakes, league officials announced on Thursday that the winner would earn the coveted shot against free agent signing Francis Ngannou.

The other remaining champ vs. champ fight had PFL light heavyweight champion Impa Kasanganay moving back down to his old home at 185lbs to take on Bellator middleweight champ Johnny Eblen.

The fighters from Saturday’s PFL vs Bellator event hit the scales Friday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  All bouts save one are official without issue despite several last minute changes to the event in the past week.

Notably, the heavyweight headliners will see the biggest disparity as 2023 PFL champion Renan Ferreira will enjoy a 32 pound advantage over Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader.  The bout received higher stakes on Thursday as it was announced that lineal UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou would be facing the winner.

In other action, Bellator featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire made weight for his bout with his new opponent: last year’s PFL featherweight finalist Gabriel Braga.  The moved was made after an injury to Jesus Pinedo removed last year’s champion from Peru from the card. However, it was announced Friday morning that Braga was also unable to compete and the bout was called off.

Braga’s original opponent, Aaron Pico, had his bout changed to a lightweight for which he and short notice replacement Henry Corrales both made weight. The bout is a rematch of a 2019 contest.

Finally, boxing star Claressa Shields and Kelsey Desantis made weight without issue after their bout was bumped up in weight earlier this week.

The ceremonial weigh ins will take place at 12pm ET and be streamed live on the PFL YouTube Channel (and below):

PFL Champs vs. Bellator Champs Weigh-In Results

Main Card

Heavyweight: Vinicius PereiraRenan Ferreira (263.2 lbs) vs Ryan Bader (231.1 lbs)
Middleweight: Impa Kasanganay (185.8) vs Johnny Eblen (185.5 lbs)
Featherweight: Gabriel Braga* vs Patricio Pitbull (145.9 lbs)
Catchweight (182lb): Ray Cooper III (182.4 lbs) vs Jason Jackson (182.1 lbs)
Heavyweight: Bruno Cappelozza (236 lbs) vs Vadim Nemkov (238.1 lbs)
Middleweight: Thiago Santos (205 lbs) vs Yoel Romero (205 lbs)
Lightweight: Clay Collard (155.5 lbs) vs AJ McKee (154.8 lbs)

Preliminary Card

Lightweight: Henry Corrales (155.7 lbs) vs Aaron Pico (155.7 lbs)
Lightweight: Biaggio Ali Walsh (155.5 lbs) vs Emmanuel Palacios (152.6 lbs)
Catchweight (165lb): Claressa Shields (164.4 lbs) vs Kelsey DeSantis (164.6 lbs)
Featherweight: Abdullah Al Qahtani (146 lbs) vs Edukondala Rao (145.7 lbs)
Flyweight: Malik Basahel (124.9 lbs) vs Vinicius Pereira – Amateur