The 2022 PFL regular season is winding down as just two shows, both over the next two Friday nights, remain until the brackets for MMA‘s only playoffs will be set, and by the end of the PFL 5 main event this Friday, four of the six brackets will be set.
PFL 5 (Friday, 5:30 pm ET/ 2:30 pm PT ESPN+, continuing at 9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT on ESPN) will be the last chance for heavyweights and featherweights to accumulate points in the standings to accumulate points toward the playoffs this August.
In addition to the heavyweight and featherweight action on Friday night, the final fight of the regular season at lightweight will take place during this event when Anthony Pettis (25-12 MMA, 1-0 PFL 2022, six points in the standings) battles Stevie Ray (23-10 MMA, 0-1 PFL 2022, zero points in the standings.)
As was the case last week and as will be the case again next week, PFL 5 will originate from Atlanta’s Overtime Elite Arena.
Heavyweight Showcase in PFL 5 Main Event on Friday
Barring anything unforeseen between now and Friday night, PFL 5 will feature 11 fights, including the PFL 5 main event of the evening.
Bruno Cappelozza (20-5 MMA, 1-0 PFL 2022, six points in the standings) looks to sew up a playoff berth when he squares off against Matheus Scheffel (15-8 MMA, 0-1 PFL 2022, zero points in the standings) this weekend in the PFL 5 main event, an all-Brazil showdown.
As is customary with PFL regular season and semifinal contests, the PFL 5 main event will be an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to close the show in Atlanta on Friday night.
PFL 5 Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the PFL 5 main event on Friday night, both men stand level in height at 6-foot-2, so it’s in the reach categories where these men gain some separation against one another.
Cappelozza owns a three-inch advantage in reach (79 inches to 76 inches) and a one-inch advantage in leg reach (43 inches to 42 inches) ahead of Friday’s headliner.
Defending Heavyweight Champion Cappelozza Looks to Honor Late Father in PFL 5 Main Event
Bruno Cappelozza enters this main event on a five-fight winning streak dating back to the 2021 PFL season, most recently scoring a first-round knockout against Stuart Austin on April 28 in the PFL 2 main event, netting him the maximum six points in the standings.
Already, one can see that he’s in decent position to qualify for the upcoming PFL playoffs based on points alone, but for Cappelozza, this PFL season has taken on a deeper meaning.
Back in October, just three days prior to the PFL Championships card, Bruno Cappelozza’s father had passed away due to a heart attack, with his son only learning the news after the fight was over.
In the post-fight press conference after PFL 2 in April, the champion vowed to honor his dad’s legacy for the rest of the season.
“I’m extremely happy,” Cappelozza said through his translator after the knockout this spring. “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, so all I’ve got to do is keep making him proud and keep on working on my side.”
Given that the PFL 5 main event takes place less than a week after Father’s Day inside the United States, Bruno Cappelozza’s story is an especially poignant one for anyone who’s recently lost their dad.
There’s no denying that the elder Cappelozza will be rooting on his son from heaven this Friday night.
Matheus Scheffel Not Originally Slated to Fight at Heavyweight in PFL
In the other corner, Matheus Scheffel has posted a record of 3-2 in his last five fights, most recently dropping a second-round knockout against Ante Delija back in April during PFL 2.
Scheffel was not supposed to have been part of the PFL’s heavyweight tournament this season, something that he told MMAFighting ahead of his first fight earlier in the year.
“My manager’s idea was to put me in the 205-pound division, but there was some confusion in the conversation with them, and the heavyweight spot was offered to us,” said Scheffel. “I took it without thinking twice.”
Still, he prefers being at heavyweight rather than at light heavyweight.
“I felt so fast [at heavyweight,]” he said. “I think that’s my advantage at heavyweight. I’m feeling way better now than I was for the Contender [Series] fight because we’re already in. We’re in the million-dollar [grand prix], the world’s biggest GP. New weight class, everything’s new. I’m extremely happy.”
Matheus Scheffel faces a tall order in the form of the defending champion, so can he spring an upset on Friday in the PFL 5 main event?
Tune in and find out.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
The PFL 5 main event looks to be a toss-up this coming Friday night, as both of these men have been known to get the knockout.
If this fight gets to the mat, it’ll only be a matter of time before the contest ends.
Watch For Bruno Cappelozza’s Head Kicks
Bruno Cappelozza has been known throughout his career as an aggressive fighter who wastes little time to get the finish, sometimes resorting to head kicks to end the fight, as was the case versus Mo DeReese last season in PFL 6.
In the first round of a scheduled three, Cappelozza immediately pieced DeReese up with a variety of leg kicks and punches to establish control of the fight, including a fierce combination.
DeReese was on the ropes early thanks to Cappelozza’s repeated leg kicks, leading to Cappelozza putting the fight in cruise control as it neared its end with a left hook to wobble his opponent, punctuated by a flurry of punches to all but send him down, finally ending things with a right kick to DeReese’s head against the cage fence.
If Bruno Cappelozza is able to establish control of the PFL 5 main event early, Friday could be a short night at the office for him.
Matheus Scheffel Can Take it To The Mat
In the other corner, Matheus Scheffel has resorted to ending the fight with serious ground and pound shots, as he did against Fabao Vasconcelos in October of 2019.
Scheffel was able to get Vasconcelos in the clinch twice in the early going of that fight, with Vasconcelos being able to maneuver his way out of the second clinch.
From there, the two men exchanged strikes briefly before stalking one another as they waited to see which of them would be able to make the next move, with Scheffel capitalizing on a two-punch combination to send Vasconcelos down, peppering him with a flurry of ground and pound shots to score the knockout.
If Scheffel is precise with his combinations, Bruno Cappelozza might find himself on the receiving end of an onslaught of punches on the ground.
As with all heavyweight fights, one truth might hold firm this Friday night:
The PFL 5 main event could be over with as little as a single punch, so be sure to pay your delivery guy before this one starts.
Waiting too long to order that pizza could result in you missing the fight.
Prediction: Bruno Cappelozza by First-Round Knockout.
Featured image credit to Professional Fighters League