Renan Ferreira had a knockout win over Fabricio Werdum taken away from him by the New Jersey commission, and he is not happy that PFL did not book a rematch.
Ferreira instead will face 2019 PFL champion Ali Isaev in his regular season finale. Werdum was matched up with Brandon Sayles before officials announced he pulled out of the fight. Isaev was initially supposed to face Hatef Moeil last month before both fighters withdrew, and the plan was to reschedule that contest, but they were booked for separate fights.
In a press release from Renan and his camp (obviously done prior to the Werdum withdrawal news), there was no holding back on their displeasure as to how this has all unfolded.
“All this is very shady,” Ferreira said. “Ray Sefo told my management team that the Werdum rematch was the fight that made sense to do next. PFL had social media posts asking people if they wanted to see it and they said yes. Now we find out on social media I’m facing the last champion while Werdum faces Sayles.”
“I find it interesting how all this is happening. First we have them interviewing Werdum after our fight but they didn’t interview me. They only showed the replay in slow motion that made it seem I tapped. After that, the Commission changed the result of our fight over the weekend in a decision so fast a lot of people have questioned their procedure.”
Ferreira initially won by TKO after getting out of a triangle choke. However, he appeared to tap on the replay and it was missed in real-time by the referee. The fight continued, and Ferreira pounded out Werdum with ground strikes to force the stoppage. Werdum’s team filed an appeal and the result was overturned to a no-contest, meaning both fighters received one point instead of Ferreira getting six for the first-round victory.
Considering the points system and just two regular season matchups, Ferreira is getting arguably the toughest possible draw for his next fight and a loss would eliminate him from the postseason.
“What’s their criteria?” Ferreira said. “We have no idea how the matchmaking works here but some things look kind of fishy.”
As for his showdown with Isaev, he intends to get the finish there (ideally sans controversy) and punch his ticket for the tournament round.
“Isaev is a very good fighter and I knew we would cross paths eventually. I’ll be ready for him and I’m gonna go in there to finish him so I move on in the tournament. They won’t be able to protect Werdum forever. I would be embarrassed to be in his place after all the shit he said after our fight. I’d be calling PFL to make the rematch happen. But he knows he’d get finished again, he doesn’t want anything to do with me.”
Ferreira vs. Isaev will be on PFL’s June 25th show, which also features regular season bouts for the women’s lightweight division and is headlined by Kayla Harrison against Cindy Dandois.