mixed martial arts

Fabricio Werdum, Renan Ferreira’s PFL fight ends in controversial knockout after tap


Two Brazilian mixed martial arts stars headlined the recently concluded Professional Fighters League event “PFL 3: 2021 Regular Season.” In the red corner was a veteran and in the blue corner was a relatively new fighter.

Featuring 10 matches, “PFL 3: 2021 Regular Season” took place at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States on May 6, 2021. The main event of the evening was a heavyweight match between PFL debutantes Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum, 43, of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and Renan “Problema” Ferreira, 31, of Santa Tereza de Goias, Goias, Brazil.

Fabricio Werdum (©Professional Fighters League)
Fabricio Werdum (©Professional Fighters League)

Keith Peterson served as the referee. He put a stop to the heavyweight contest after 2 minutes and 32 seconds.

Peterson raised the hand Ferreira, who was declared the winner via knockout via punches. But before the proclamation of the winner, a slow-motion replay showed that Ferreira seemed to have tapped twice before knocking out Werdum.


It appeared that the taps were not visible from Peterson’s position. In the post-fight interview, Werdum explained that he did feel the taps so he stopped choking Ferreira.

Still, Werdum was cool about it and did not seem to be upset. The PFL has yet to announce its decision about the controversial result.

Both fighters were coming out of a submission victory. Ferreira submitted Jared “The Mountain” Vanderaa, 28, of Hemet, California, USA via triangle choke at “LFA 74” on August 30, 2019 and Werdum submitted Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson, 34, of Sweden at “UFC on ESPN 14” on July 25, 2020.

Born in Porto Alegre, Werdum represented Brazil in competitive Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling and won numerous medals in Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championships, World Jiu-Jitsu Championships and Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) World Championships from 2000 to 2011. He made his professional MMA debut on June 16, 2002.

Werdum competed in the UFC from February 4, 2012 to July 25, 2020. The knockout loss to Ferreira at “PFL 3: 2021 Regular Season” downgraded Werdum’s professional MMA record to 24 wins, 10 losses and 1 draw.


Peter Murray is the chief executive officer of PFL, which was founded in 2018. Among its rivals as the top MMA promotions in the world are the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Bellator MMA and ONE Championship.

The reigning strawweight champion of ONE Championship is Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 25, of Baguio City, Philippines. He trains out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines.

Pacio has been competing in ONE Championship since 2016. He currently holds a professional MMA record of 19 wins and 3 losses.

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