31 year-old Ante Delija is the definition of “resilience”. The Croatian heavyweight survived a beatdown of epic proportion Wednesday night in the 1st Round of the 2021 Professional Fighter’s League championship against Brazilian Bruno Cappelozza. The winner received a check for $1 million.
Delija has a career MMA record of 19-5 but has now been beaten by Cappelozza twice. It didn’t look good off the bat for Delija, who fights out of Zagreb with Cro Cop Top Team, as he was absolutely obliterated by the Brazilian’s punches in the 1st Round. Delija was bleeding. He was bruising. But he bunkered down and somehow made it to the 2nd Round. He must have taken 10 hard blows to the head and the fight could have easily been stopped.
Delija came out hot in the 2nd Round and stunned Cappelozza before taking him to the mat in a furious “ground and pound” attack. It looked as if Delija was close to finishing the fight but he got too cute and decided to grapple instead of keeping the storm of punches firing. Cappelozza would survive to win the 3rd Round. Delija won the 4th. But it was all Cappelozza in the 5th as Delija got tired to lose in a unanimous decision for the Brazilian.
Regarless of the result, Delija is a boss for getting out of that 1st Round alive.