Renan Ferreira isn’t happy with PFL’s matchmaking decisions.
The Brazilian heavyweight talent was hoping to get booked in a rematch with Fabricio Werdum at the upcoming PFL 6 event on June 25 in Atlantic City after their controversial bout this past month. Instead, he was matched up versus Ali Isaev, while Werdum was paired with Brandon Sayles.
Ferreira stopped Werdum via first-round TKO in in the opening round of their first meeting, but replays showed his countrymen tapping to a triangle choke earlier in the bout. The New Jersey Athletic Control Board subsequently reviewed the fight and overturned the result to a no-decision.
Hours after the Professional Fighters League announced the full card for June 25, Ferreira and his team released a statement with heavy criticism toward the company.
“All this is very shady,” Ferreira stated in the release. “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,” he stated. “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.”
PFL did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
In the press release, Ferreira says he believes PFL is attempting to favor the popular heavyweight, a former UFC champion, by booking him against a tougher opponent in the second half of the season. Both fighters earned one point for their no-decision in May and could use extra points with finishes to advance to the million-dollar playoffs.
“What’s their criteria? We have no idea how the matchmaking works here but some things look kind of fishy,” Ferreira stated.
“Isaev is a very good fighter, and I knew we would cross paths eventually,” he added. “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.”