HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Wednesday was bittersweet for Brazilian heavyweight Bruno Cappelozza.

At the 2021 PFL Championship, Cappelozza (14-5) completed the goal of becoming the heavyweight champion by defeating Ante Delija (19-5) in an incredible back-and-forth battle that went the distance. However, just moments after hearing the judges scored the bout in his favor, crowning him the champion, and recipient of the $1 million prize, some heartbreaking news was revealed.

During the event’s broadcast, PFL commentator Sean O’Connell announced Cappelozza’s family withheld the news of his father’s death so that he would not be distracted before his fight. Shortly after exiting the cage, the news was revealed to the newly crowned champion.

Cappelozza’s father, Joao Cappelozza, died Sunday, three days prior to the championship bout at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

A few hours after the event, Cappelozza posted a photo with his father on Instagram, along with a statement describing his emotions.

“Happiest and Saddest day of my life,” Cappelozza wrote in Portuguese. “I didn’t know I had lost my greatest love and friend of my life. Thank you for everything, things that only God can explain, I love you beyond life, thank you for teaching me to be this human being that I am.”

Understandably, Cappelozza did not attend the post-fight press conference and his team told MMA Junkie he would be on the first flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil on Thursday to be with his family.


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