Bruno Cappelozza continues PFL roll with memory of father at forefront

·2 min read
Bruno Cappelozza continues PFL roll with memory of father at forefront

ARLINGTON, Texas – Bruno Cappelozza won the PFL’s heavyweight crown in 2021, and his quest to repeat this year got off to a rousing start Thursday.

Cappelozza (15-5) made fairly easy work of Stuart Austin (15-8) with a first-round TKO to open the season with six points. In 2021, six points was enough to make the postseason, so the fast start for Cappelozza may prove to be crucial.

After the win, Cappelozza said it was a continuation of fighting to honor the memory of his father. Cappelozza’s father died in October 2021 three days before his PFL title win. But Cappelozza wasn’t told about it until the day after his $1 million win.

“I’m extremely happy,” Cappelozza said after his win over Austin at Esports Arena in Arlington, Texas. “It’s a great feeling. This is me following my dreams and the dreams of my dad. This is just to honor my dad. My dad worked his entire life for this, for me to follow my dreams. All I’ve got to do is keep making him proud and keep working on my side.”

Cappelozza’s 2021 regular season featured two first-round wins for a maximum possible 12 points to reach the four-man postseason playoffs. He finished Jamelle Jones with a second-round TKO in the playoff semifinals, then outworked Ante Delija for a unanimous decision to win the title.

Delija got his own finish Thursday night with a second-round TKO of Matheus Scheffel. A regular season rematch could happen, but there’s also the possibility of matchup with fellow Brazilian Renan Ferreira, who had the fastest heavyweight finish in PFL history with a 25-second knockout of Jones on the main card.

Cappelozza said he’d prefer to delay fighting another Brazilian as long as he can, but ultimately business is business.

“We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” he said. “I’d rather not fight another Brazilian. I’d rather fight someone from a different nationality. But it’s what we’re here to do. If it happens, it happens, and we’ll be ready to take care of it.

“Ante fought a great fight. I’m a fan of his. He did great work and he’s a great athlete. It’s heavyweights, man. It’s a tough division. These guys looked good out there today. It’s going to be a tough year for myself.”

Four of the five heavyweight bouts on Thursday’s card ended with knockouts. By contrast, all five of the featherweight bouts on the card went the distance.

Matchups for the second of two regular season fights will be announced later this year.