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PFL vs Bellator: The Best Betting Option When the Promotions Collide

February 24, 2024

On Saturday, February 24, 2024, in a rare showdown of promotions competing against each other, the PFL and Bellator will join forces, conjuring up several mouth-watering matchups for fans to watch and wager on.

The event will take place from the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with the first fight taking place around 12:30 PM ET.  

Whether you're a seasoned bettor or a newbie looking to join the action, there's something for everyone in the clashes between these two fighting giants. Let's dive into the bout details and uncover the best bets for the much-anticipated showdown between PFL and Bellator.

How to Watch the Event and Event Details

The PFL vs. Bellator showdown has fighters competing in various weight classes, promising a diverse and thrilling evening of fights. You can watch the prelims on ESPN+ but if you want to watch the main card, you’re going to need to open up your wallets and purchase the pay-per-view. 

The price in the US for the PPV is $49.99 and can be purchased on DAZN PPV.  

Here are the main card bouts that you absolutely cannot miss, along with some insights into potential upsets and clear favorites.

Renan Ferreira (12-3)  vs. Ryan Bader (31-7)

Arguably one of the most anticipated fights and the Main Event of the evening will be the Ferreira vs. Bader heavyweight encounter.  

Renan Ferreira, the triumphant winner of PFL’s 2023 $1 million heavyweight season, is gearing up to face the indomitable Bellator heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader. Ferreira, renowned for his knockout prowess, will likely utilize his striking skills in pursuit of victory. 

This encounter promises to be an edge-of-your-seat spectacle, as Ferreira will be facing Bader who has dominated the heavyweight circuit with Bellator. This bout has all the ingredients of a classic: power, skill, and unrivaled determination. 

Renan Ferreira, 34-years of age, is coming off a win over Denis Goltsov at PFL 10, and now finds himself as the underdog against Bader. In Ferreira’s last 3 fights, he has gotten a finish before the end of the 2nd round. The downside to Ferreira is his level of competition, which is less than stellar. None of the names on his resume are even remotely close to the level of talent of Ryan Bader.

Ryan Bader is a former UFC Fighter that made the move to Bellator. Bader left the UFC following a win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 100 on November 19, 2016. Bader made his Bellator debut in 2017 in a rematch with Phil Davis.  

Since making his debut in Bellator, Bader went 9-2 with 1 no contest. In his last fight, he knocked out MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in the very first round!  The issue with that statement is Fedor is 47 years old, and father time has caught up to him. 

Bader is a former wrestler at Arizona State University, and will most likely look to use his wrestling to his advantage. Bader will have the wrestling advantage here over Ferreira.  

Despite Bader's renowned wrestling and ground game, Ferreira's striking prowess and underdog status make for an attractive betting opportunity for some but we sort of like Bader at this price. Just think Bader will control the cage a bit more and if he is smart, he will take this fight to the ground and force Ferreira to wrestle. 

Impa Kasanganay (15-3) vs. Johnny Eblen (14-0) 

A middleweight battle between Impa Kasanganay and the undefeated Johnny Eblen promises fireworks. 

Kasanganay rose to fame through Dana White's Contender Series and has shown incredible versatility in his fights. Kasanganay went 2-2 in the UFC before moving over to PFL.  Since joining the PFL banner, he has gone undefeated at 5-0.  

Those five fights come against the likes of Josh Silveira, Marthin Hamlet, Tim Caron, Cory Handricks and Osama Elsaidy, not really the greatest of competition.  

Eblen, on the other hand, boasts a strong wrestling background and has yet to taste defeat. Elben has faced a murderous row of opponents to include Fabian Edwards, brother of UFC Welterweight Champ Leon Edwards, Anatoly Tokov, who was 31-3, Gegard Mousasi, who is one of the best middleweights and future hall of famer, and the list goes on and on.  

This fight could be decided by who imposes their game plan first. The odds at BetOnline favor Eblen due to his perfect record, where he sits at -400, a hefty wager to lay!

Ray Cooper III (25-9-1) vs. Jason Jackson (17-4)

The welterweight division sees Ray Cooper III take on the slick and skilled Jason Jackson. Cooper, known for his knockout power and aggressive style, will be tested by Jackson's technical prowess and tactical approach at Bellator MMA. 

Cooper enters this fight fresh off a loss to Derek Brunson in the PFL #10 2023 Championship.  Cooper went the distance with Jackson but took his 2nd loss in 3 fights, ending up on the wrong side of the judges scorecards. If Cooper has it his way, he will want to keep this fight on the feet and turn it into a boxing match.  Among his 25 wins, 16 have come by way of knockout. 

On the other side of the cage, we have Jason Jackson, who comes into this fight riding a 7-fight win steak.  Jackson has always been looked at as having immense potential, and has fought the best of the best in Bellator.  

Those opponents on his resume consist of the likes of former UFC fighter Jordan Mein, future hall of famer Ben Henderson, BJJ great Neiman Gracie, Paul Daley, Douglas Lima and former Bellator Champ, Yaroslav Amosov, all of whom Jackson defeated. 

Cooper is a +350 dog in this fight, compared to Jackson being -450.  We really like Jackson in this spot but at -450, we will take a pass. Just not worth it for us to play something so risky and such a high number.

Bruno Cappelozza (15-6) vs. Vadim Nemkov (17-2)

Another heavy-hitting matchup in the light-heavyweight division is Bruno Cappelozza vs. Vadim Nemkov. In this fight, we have the PFL heavyweight champion against Bellator's light heavyweight champion in a cross-promotional title fight. 

Cappelozza's thunderous strikes and championship conditioning will challenge Nemkov's impressive striking game and well-rounded skill set. Cappelozza is a striker with top notch power. 14 of his 15 wins come by way of knockout.  

That being said, he is a MAJOR underdog here as Vadim Nemkov comes in at -520 at BetOnline.  Not really a lot to discuss here, this is a dog or pass spot for sure! We will take the pass. 

Thiago Santos (22-11) vs. Yoel Romero (15-7)

Santos vs. Romero is a marquee middleweight bout that brings together two of the most dangerous and experienced fighters in the division. Ironically, both of these guys made the marks in the MMA industry when they were in the UFC.  

Both of these fighters have had their chance in the past to fight for UFC gold and both came up short.  They left the UFC and now find themselves on opposite sides of brands, as Romero will represent Bellator and Santos stands for the PFL flag. 

The odds are somewhat split right down the middle, with both fighters being -110 here.  Let’s face it, this is a fight between a 46 year old man and a 40 year old man. Remember earlier, we said father time loses no wars, well, flip a coin here. We will pass. 

Clay Collard (24-11) vs. AJ McKee Jr. (21-1)

An electrifying clash in the featherweight division, the PFL's Collard and Bellator's McKee Jr. are both crowd-pleasers who have the potential to steal the show. 

Collard, a former professional boxer, has made a significant splash in MMA, while McKee Jr., with his 21-1 record, remains one of Bellator's hottest prospects. 

The odds here are in McKee Jr.'s favor at -260 with Collard returning +200.  We definitely like McKee here but I think you have to look for a prop to make more sense. 

The Best Bets for PFL vs. Bellator

With an understanding of the matchups and historical performance of the fighters, it's time to unveil the best betting options for the PFL vs. Bellator showdown. The following bets offer a mix of solid favorites and intriguing underdogs, providing a balanced approach for a potentially profitable evening.

By analyzing the bouts, being aware of each fighter's strengths and weaknesses, and staying informed about the evolving odds and narrative surrounding the event, bettors can make informed decisions and enjoy the show with a stake in the action. Remember that gambling always carries a risk, and responsible betting is key to a sustainable and enjoyable experience.

Ryan Bader-134 for 1 Unit - This is the only play we are releasing in the article. This event, while it is a great one to watch, scares us with these early numbers.  We are seeing lines at -1800, -1100 and -1500, just to name 3.  The round totals are not out yet, but we will capitalize on a few of them closer to the weekend.

We are publishing this article on Monday, and that means there are several days in front of us where odds can change. Please be sure to check out official plays on Saturday morning on our Daily Picks Page, so you get the most updated lines and plays. 

Good Luck with your Bets!

The showdown between PFL and Bellator is not just about who walks away with the belt but also about which fans can earn bragging rights through their successful bets. It's a rare convergence of epic proportions that promises to be an unforgettable night for MMA enthusiasts and the betting community. So gear up, study the matchups, and get ready to make picks that not only add to the excitement of the fights but also to the potential profits from a sport that has truly come into its own.  Good Luck with your Bets!