The PFL has announced their 2021 season will start on April 23rd, with former UFC star Anthony Pettis headlining the first event, where he faces another former fighter UFC on the roster in Clay Collard.
Pettis, who holds a record of 24-10, will meet Collard, who is 18-8, in the main event of PFL 1, PFL President Ray Sefo told ESPN. The fight location is still to be announced.
“Showtime” has participated in some stunning fights in his career. From his extraordinary head kick off the cage against Benson Henderson in the WEC (World Extreme Cage-fighting) Lightweight Championship to defeating Henderson for a second time to win the UFC Lightweight Championship three years later.
He enjoyed a wonderful career in the UFC, competing in the organisation for nine and a half years. With a record of 11-9 in the UFC, Pettis decided it was time for a change. Just one day after entering free agency, on December 23rd, 2020, Pettis announced he would be joining the PFL on a multi-fight deal competing as a lightweight.
Collard has an extremely fascinating career. He turned professional in MMA back in 2011 and had his first fight in the UFC against Max Holloway back at UFC Fight Night 49. Holloway finished Collard in the third via TKO. After a 1-3 record since joining the promotion, he was released from the UFC in 2015.
Now here’s the fascinating part. Collard was initially training boxing only to improve his offensive striking skills for mixed martial arts. However, he needed money to fix his car so he opted to take a short-notice professional boxing match. He made his professional boxing debut in 2017, winning via split decision. He currently holds a record of 9–4–3 (4 KO) as a professional boxer.
In March 2020, Collard signed with the PFL to compete in the lightweight division in the 2020 season. Unfortunately, as we all know, the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the main event, two-time PFL lightweight champion Natan Schulte will face former Bellator MMA title challenger Marcin Held. Two-time PFL featherweight champion Lance Palmer will meet a former NCAA Division I wrestling champion in Bubba Jenkins.
PFL 1 Lineup
- Anthony Pettis vs Clay Collard
- Natan Schulte vs Marcin Held
- Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs Joilton Lutterbach
- Johnny Case vs Loik Radzhabov
- Akhmed Aliev vs Mikhail Odintsov
- Lance Palmer vs Bubba Jenkins
- Movlid Khaybulaev vs Jason Soares
- Brendan Loughnane vs Sheymon Moraes
- Sung Bin Jo vs Tyler Diamond
- TBD vs TBD (contracts being finalised)
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