Renan Ferreira upset former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in the headliner of PFL 3 with a flurry of ground-and-pound. Ferreira also tapped twice to a triangle choke that Werdum slapped on seconds before.
Ultimately, Ferreira’s knockout win at 2:32 of the opening round was the official result, bringing him six regular season points in the Thursday night headliner at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.
Referee Keith Peterson was not in position to see Ferreira’s hand make a very clear tap on Werdum’s back and then a smaller one before a series of hammerfists removed Werdum from consciousness.
Afterward, the former UFC champ said he loosened his choke because he felt his opponent submit.
“I don’t want to say nothing to him,” Werdum said. “But he knows in his mind that he tapped. And it’s not fair.”
The fight started with a bang when both heavyweights launched flying side kicks. But it was Werdum that got on top, and he was about to advance before Ferreira, who at 6-8 had a four-inch height advantage, reversed him. Werdum immediately locked in the triangle.
But as it turned out, that wasn’t enough. Check out the controversial sequence and finish below:
Harrison dominates Morais
Season 2 champion Kayla Harrison barely broke a sweat in her first Season 3 appearance, taking down and pounding out Mariana Morais in less than 90 seconds.
The official time of stoppage was 1:23 as referee Gary Copeland stepped in to stop a flurry of ground and pound that followed a takedown and mount from Harrison, who picked up six points in regular season competition.
Morais, a longtime bantamweight, had the chutzpah to try a hip toss on Olympic gold medalist judoka Harrison, who countered by reversing direction and putting her on the canvas. While Harrison didn’t get the finish fast enough to usurp her two-time victim Larissa Pachecho, who got a finish in just 51 seconds, she did established herself as the one to beat for the second 155-pound women’s tournament in the PFL.
Sayles upsets Usman
In his first fight in more than three years, Brandon Sayles pulled off a huge upset by choking unconscious Mohammed Usman, the younger brother of UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Sayles, an Army combatives instructor, dropped Usman twice in the second round before securing a rear-naked choke that forced referee intervention at the 3:42 mark of the second round.
The end was written in part by the beginning, when Sayles repeatedly landed a powerful left hook. Thankfully, Sayles also brought to the fight a good chin that showed when Usman ducked his head and fired heavy overhand rights. Unable to take the fight to the mat, Usman settled for throwing bombs. In response, Sayles attacked the legs to make him less explosive.
The fight could have been stopped when a clearly dazed Usman, who hit the canvas off a right hook, groped for Sayles’ legs. When that didn’t happen, Sayles locked up a guillotine and tried to get the tap. Usman escaped, but was sent to the canvas again by another short right hand. Sayles climbed to the back and got the finish for a second-round finish and a five-point take.
Pachecho pounds Pajic
Larissa Pacheco made a statement in her first Season 3 appearance, dropping Julija Pajic with a left hook before finishing her off just 51 seconds into the first round.
Pacheco advanced to mount and poured on the strikes before the referee intervened. With the win, she picked up six regular season points and the fastest finish in the women’s lightweight division, according to the promotion.
Full PFL 3 Results:
Renan Ferreira def. Fabricio Werdum via KO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:32
Kayla Harrison def. Mariana Morais via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:23
Brandon Sayles def. Mohammed Usman via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:42
Larissa Pacheco def. Julija Pajic via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:51
Bruno Cappelozza def. Ante Delija via KO (punches) – Round 1, 0:46
Kaitlin Young def. Cindy Dandois via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Genah Fabian def. Laura Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Denis Goltsov def. Muhammed Dereese via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:21
Taylor Guardado def. Helena Kolesnyk via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Magomed Umalatov def. Kyron Bowen via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 0:07