Renan Ferreira rallies, pounds out Denis Goltsov to win heavyweight crown | 2023 PFL Championship Fight Night HQ


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The PFL crowned its newest $1 million heavyweight winner Friday.

No. 1 seed Denis Goltsov (32-7) met No. 2 Renan Ferreira (11-4) in the heavyweight season championship at The Anthem in Washington, D.C.

Go inside the matchup below, from the backstory and the buildup through the end of the fight itself, with stats, photos, preview videos, highlight videos, quotes, recaps and more.

The story will update throughout the fight and event.

How we got here

2023 PFL 8: New York City at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. (Matt Ferris / PFL)

Goltsov stopped Cezar Ferreira with a first-round knockout to open the season, then took out Yorgan De Castro with a one-punch KO in just 18 seconds. In the semifinals, he submitted Jordan Heiderman for his third straight first-round finish.

Ferreira’s first fight was a loss to Rizvan Kuniev, but it was overturned to a no contest. Still, that didn’t help him with points for the postseason. For those, he took out Matheus Scheffel in 50 seconds. Then in the semifinals, he stopped Maurice Greene with a first-round TKO.

Denis Goltsov vs. Renan Ferreira: Weigh-ins

Final betting odds

2023 PFL 8: New York Ceremonial Weigh Ins at the The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Goltsov closed as a -270 favorite; the comeback on Ferreira was +220.

Denis Goltsov vs. Renan Ferreira: The fight

Records: Goltsov (32-7), Ferreira (11-4)
Round 1: Goltsov made things look easy on top working ground and pound and chasing submissions. He outstruck Ferreira in the round.
Round 2: Early in the second, Ferreira caught Goltsov with a left hand and put him on the canvas. He pounced and landed hammerfists until he got the finish 26 seconds into the frame for a $1 million check.

The aftermath

Ryan Bader def. Fedor Emelianenko | Bellator 290

There are PFL vs. Bellator champion bouts on the horizon after the promotions merged. That means Ferreira is in line for a fight with Bellator heavyweight and former light heavyweight champ Ryan Bader.

Ferreira post-fight interview

Renen Ferreira with MMA Junkie's Mike Bohn

Fight photos

2023 PFL Championship scorecards


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