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Matheus Scheffel has ‘nothing to lose and everything to gain’ in PFL heavyweight semifinal bout with Juan Adams

PFL 5
Matheus Scheffel (right) defeated Bruno Cappelozza in his most recent PFL bout.
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Matheus Scheffel calls the PFL “a promotion that makes dreams worth dreaming,” and that’s his mindset going into his heavyweight semifinal clash with Juan Adams on Saturday at PFL 8 in Cardiff, Wales.

Scheffel won a decision over last season’s PFL heavyweight champion Bruno Cappelozza, but he didn’t score enough points to advance to the playoffs. Then, he got a call to replace Cappelozza against Denis Goltsov, who in turn was replaced by UFC veteran Adams for a spot in the final.

Had he knocked out Cappelozza back in June, Scheffel would have made his way to the semifinal automatically. Still, he was happy to win a decision to prove his worth instead of dealing with “lucky punch” talks.

“I’m a winner already,” Scheffel said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca. “I fought my whole life at light heavyweight, went up to heavyweight, and now I’m in the semifinal of the biggest grand prix on the planet. What else do I want, man? Anything that comes next is a win, brother. When I fought Bruno, I was fighting like I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’m living the dream.”

Ante Delija, who beat Scheffel earlier this year, faces Renan Ferreira in the opposing semifinal bracket. Scheffel is on the fence when asked whom he thinks advances in the tournament. But part of him hopes he has the chance to avenge his defeat to Delija for a belt and a $1 million check.

“I’ll tell you this, I wasn’t well when I fought Delija,” he said. “I was trying to move like a lightweight, but heavyweights hit different – [they] only need one [punch]. I wasn’t prepared and therefore had no chin. I found myself in this division now. I think the referee stopped it too early too, but a fight is a fight. I can’t cry over spilled milk.

“If it’s him [in the final], we’ll explode each other with punches, brother. We talked after the fight and he seems like a great guy, us fighters go through difficulties anywhere in the world, so it would be great if we fought — but also if it’s Renan.”

As for the prize money, Scheffel chooses to keep it outside his head for now.

“I can’t imagine what it’s like to look at your bank account and see $1 million there,” he said. “I don’t know how that is and don’t even want to imagine that so it doesn’t get inside my head. That’s how I went to fight Bruno. I never thought about winning the fight when I fought Bruno, I just thought about going there and punching each other because people said all the time it would be an easy fight [for him], that I wouldn’t get past him, and that motivated me big time. I only thought about proving everyone I could be there.”

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