Matheus Scheffel Hopes to Honor Curitiba’s Rich MMA History with PFL Championship

Stream Nov. 25’s 2022 PFL World Championship exclusively on ESPN+. Purchase now at https://plus.espn.com/pfl/ppv. After being knocked out by Ante Delija in his first bout of the PFL 2022 regular season, Matheus Scheffel was considered the biggest underdog in the quarterfinals against former heavyweight champion and fellow Brazilian Bruno Cappelozza.

But Curitiba native shocked the world, defeating Cappelozza via unanimous decision in the quarterfinal before knocking out UFC veteran Juan Adams in the semifinals. On Friday, some seven months after being knocked out by Delija, Scheffel will get a chance to avenge that defeat and win a $1 million prize in the PFL Championship at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“This will be the first time in my career that I had the opportunity to dedicate myself 100% to my camp,” Scheffel told Sherdog.com. “As a personal trainer I always needed to share my time between MMA training and my classes. This time, however, I was able to train exclusively for Ante for the last six months.”

It’s well-documented that Delija is a protégé of heavyweight legend Mirko Filipovic. Scheffel admits that pedigree affected him somewhat in their first meeting.

“I respected him a lot and didn’t show my game and all my potential in the first fight,” Scheffel said. “Now he will face a totally new opponent.”

Currently training at CM System alongside Thor Silva, the son of Wanderlei Silva, Scheffel says he has received valuable advice from the Pride Fighting Championships veteran.

“When I was 10 years old, Wanderlei was already Pride champion. I grew up seeing my city, Curitiba, stop to watch his fights and later Shogun [Rua’s] and Anderson Silva’s. Getting advice from your biggest idol is priceless.”

The recent PFL history of other Brazilian underdogs like Raush Manfio and Capelozza inspires Scheffel to capture the $1 million dollar prize. More than the prize itself, he dreams to have his name remembered along with the greatest fighters to come from Curitiba. That has served as his greatest motivation in camp.

“I did everything I could to get to this point in my best shape,” he said. “No doubt Delija will face my best version and I’ll do everything possible to get this prize. More than anything I want to honor the history of the Curitiba greats.”

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