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Bruno Cappelozza experiences ‘happiest and saddest day of my life’ after winning PFL title without knowing father had died

Bruno Cappelozza is the 2021 PFL heavyweight champion.
Cooper Neill

Bruno Cappelozza captured the Professional Fighters League heavyweight belt — and the million-dollar prize — with a decision victory in a 25-minute war with Ante Delija on Wednesday night at PFL 10, but then had his heart broken moments later.

Cappelozza, who went 4-0 this year under the PFL banner, was informed backstage at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that his father Joao Roberto Cappelozza had passed away on Sunday, however his team and friends kept it a secret until after his $1 million fight to make sure Cappelozza remained focused on the championship bout.

“The happiest and saddest day of my life,” Cappelozza wrote on social media hours after the victory. “I didn’t know I had lost my biggest love and the best friend of my life. Thank you for everything. Things only God can explain. I love you beyond my life. Thank you for teaching me to be the human being I am today. This belt is yours, old man. I love you so much. Hope you have a good journey with God, we’ll meet soon. Love you.”

Members of Cappelozza’s team told MMA Fighting that Joao Roberto passed away due to a heart attack.

Cappelozza was the lone PFL tournament winner who did not attend Wednesday’s post-fight press conference. His full post can be seen below.