Report – Anthony Pettis Draws Clay Collard In PFL Debut On April 23

PettisFormer WEC and UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis has his welcoming party nailed down for his promotional debut under the PFL (Professional Fighters League) banner on April 23. Headlining the event, Pettis draws fellow former UFC feature, professional boxer, Clay Collard in his first outing to boot — as the pair open up the 2021 […]

Pettis

Former WEC and UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis has his welcoming party nailed down for his promotional debut under the PFL (Professional Fighters League) banner on April 23.

Headlining the event, Pettis draws fellow former UFC feature, professional boxer, Clay Collard in his first outing to boot — as the pair open up the 2021 lightweight tournament. 

Also featured on the card is former two-time PFL 155-pound titleholder, Natan Schulte who clashes with former UFC, Bellator, and ACA grappling talent, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Marcin Held in a co-main event slot. 

Opening the event’s four-fight main card as the PFL return to a schedule for the first time since December 2019 amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, featherweight kingpin, Lance Palmer clashes with another promotional newcomer, former Brave CF titleholder, Bubba Jenkins. 

Recent Dana White’s Contender Series alum, Manchester standout, Brendan Loughnane also makes his return, hoping to make it six wins on the trot as he opens the event against former UFC featherweight contender, Sheymon Moraes. Another former Octagon talent also lands on the card as Canada’s, Olivier Aubin-Mercier clashes with Joliton Lutterbach on the ESPN+ portion of the event. (H/T MMA Fighting)

Inking terms with the promotion following a nine-year stay under the UFC’s bannerPettis, Milwaukee favourite, Pettis tested free-agency after his unanimous decision victory over the Alex Morono in December last at UFC Vegas 17.

Pettis joins a list of hugely-recognisable acquisitions for the promotion recently, linking up with the likes of former UFC heavyweight champion, Fabricio Werdum, as well as Olympic gold medalist and boxing world champion, Claressa Shields. 

A former UFC lightweight titleholder, Pettis submitted fellow grappling ace, Benson Henderson at UFC 164 in August of 2013 to claim the throne, before knocking back former Strikeforce gold holder, Gilbert Melendez with a second round guillotine at UFC 181 in December of 2014 in his sole successful title defence.

Making his return to mixed martial arts for the first time since April of 2019, three-fight UFC veteran, Collard returned his hand to professional boxing in May of that year — establishing a commendable 9-3-3 professional résumé since then. 

18-8(1) as a professional mixed martial artist, Collard is currently riding a two-fight winning run, dropping his UFC debut to former featherweight kingpin, common-foe, Max Holloway back in August of 2014. In his sole promotional win, Collard took a judging victory over Alex White before decision losses to both Gabriel Benitez and Tiago Trator. 

Fabricio Werdum Believes He’d Submit Jon Jones In Heavyweight Super Fight

WerdumFabricio Werdum is confident he would submit Jon Jones. Jones is set to make his highly-anticipated heavyweight debut later this year with the expectation that he will face the winner of the UFC 260 headliner between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou. Many have debated as to how Jones will fare in a heavier weight class […]

Werdum

Fabricio Werdum is confident he would submit Jon Jones.

Jones is set to make his highly-anticipated heavyweight debut later this year with the expectation that he will face the winner of the UFC 260 headliner between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.

Many have debated as to how Jones will fare in a heavier weight class with some expecting him to succumb to the power while others believe his skills will translate.

As far as Werdum is concerned, he believes Jones will eventually become the heavyweight champion. And while Werdum is now at PFL, he hopes to become champion there and end up facing Jones in a cross-promotional super fight.

As for how it’ll go? Werdum envisions a submission.

“I believe Jones will be the future UFC heavyweight champion,” Werdum told Sherdog. “If I win the PFL heavyweight grand prix, it would be great to finally fight him in a cross-promotion super fight.

“I have no doubt that if I face Jones in the same shape I fought Gustafsson, I would submit him on the ground.”

There’s no doubt that Werdum can submit just about anyone if he is able to get the fight to the ground. After all, he’s submitted the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Cain Velasquez and Alexander Gustafsson. Whether he can get Jones to the ground is the question, however.

Regardless, it’s hard to see the UFC doing any cross-promotional bout in the near future so all we can do is speculate for the time being.

How do you see a Werdum vs. Jones fight going at heavyweight?

PFL Announces Featherweight And Lightweight Rosters

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) kicks off its 2021 season on Wednesday, April 21. After canceling its 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company is looking to bounce back with a vengeance. In a press release sent out today, the PFL released the rosters for its featherweight and lightweight divisions. It will come […]

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) kicks off its 2021 season on Wednesday, April 21. After canceling its 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company is looking to bounce back with a vengeance.

In a press release sent out today, the PFL released the rosters for its featherweight and lightweight divisions. It will come as no surprise that both Lance Palmer and Natan Schulte will return. Palmer (featherweight) and Schulte (lightweight) have both captured back to back titles in their respective divisions and will be looking to achieve a third straight title each.

However, the competition for both men has picked up. In the featherweight division, the arrival of stand-out wrestler and former BRAVE CF featherweight champion Bubba Jenkins and the highly regarded UK fighter Brendan Loughnane sets the scene for an exciting lineup of matches.

The lightweight division will also have plenty of eyes on it as fans look to see how the likes of Anthony Pettis, Marcin Held, and Olivier Aubin-Mercier fare under the PFL banner.

“We’re excited to officially unveil the first two rosters for the 2021 season,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. 

“Our fighter roster is top-tier, and we are looking forward to having fighters from around the world be a part of our league and season. PFL is a fighter-first organization, and we are proud to showcase the depth and breadth of our rosters.”

The featherweight roster is currently made up of the following fighters.

  • Tyler Diamond
  • Bubba Jenkins
  • Movlid Khaybulaev
  • Brendan Loughnane
  • Sheymon Moraes
  • Lance Palmer
  • Jason Soares
  • Jo Sungbin

The fighters listed below make up the lightweight divsion.

  • Akhmed Aliev
  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier
  • Clay Collard
  • Johnny Case
  • Marcin Held
  • Joilton Lutterbach
  • Mikhail Odintsov
  • Anthony Pettis
  • Loik Radzhabov
  • Natan Schulte

The 2021 PFL Season starts April 23 on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+. The remaining Regular Season events occur on April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25.

What do you think of today’s news?

Rory MacDonald Open To UFC Return Following Successful PFL Run

Rory MacDonaldFormer UFC Welterweight title challenger Rory MacDonald has recently made comments that he would be open to a return to the Octagon. While MacDonald is currently preparing for the third season for the PFL season trying to win the $1 million grand prize, he was asked in a Q&A about a potential return to the […]

Rory MacDonald

Former UFC Welterweight title challenger Rory MacDonald has recently made comments that he would be open to a return to the Octagon. While MacDonald is currently preparing for the third season for the PFL season trying to win the $1 million grand prize, he was asked in a Q&A about a potential return to the octagon in the future, his response, he’d be open it.

“UFC comeback? Possibly. We’ll see,” MacDonald said. “I plan on doing some of my best fights in PFL in the next couple of years while I’m with them, but you never know what’s going to happen after that.” (Transcribed by BJPENN.com)

“My upcoming fight is April 29 in, wait, I don’t know where it is yet, but April 29 I believe. That will be will be my first round of the PFL regular season,” MacDonald said, mentioning Ray Cooper III and Magomed Magomedov as potential opponents.

MacDonald (21-6-1) fought for the UFC for 6 years, holding huge wins over BJ Penn, Tyron Woodley, Nate Diaz, Demian Maia and a couple of notable wars with the champion at the time, Robbie Lawler.

After a successful run in Bellator, MacDonald signed with PFL and was expected to compete in the promotion’s 2020 season. However, PFL held no events this past year due to the Pandemic and MacDonald was left waiting for his next opportunity. The PFL is now ready to go for its third season and MacDonald has confirmed his upcoming date. It will certainly be a thrill to see the Canadien back in the sport, competing for another $1 Million grand prize.

Do you want to see Rory MacDonald back in the UFC? How would he fare? How do you see him performing in the upcoming PFL season?  

Anthony Pettis Reveals He Got Offer From UFC, Didn’t Want To Be In ‘Same Rat Race’

PettisAnthony Pettis wasn’t in danger of getting cut from the UFC. Amid a number of recent releases from the promotion, Pettis was a big name to depart the UFC as he would sign with the PFL. It followed right after the last fight of his contract where he outpointed Alex Morono at UFC Vegas 17 […]

Pettis

Anthony Pettis wasn’t in danger of getting cut from the UFC.

Amid a number of recent releases from the promotion, Pettis was a big name to depart the UFC as he would sign with the PFL. It followed right after the last fight of his contract where he outpointed Alex Morono at UFC Vegas 17 last month.

However, the former lightweight champion was actually offered a new contract with the UFC. That said, he wanted a change of scenery and the PFL provided that.

“I wasn’t getting cut,” Pettis told MMA Fighting. “I wasn’t on the chopping block, I had an offer from the UFC. But that offer was like putting me back in the same rat race I’ve been in, if you will. I’ve been in that rat race. I know I was going down to 155, everybody’s trying to get that belt again. There’s some names in front of me. It would have been fun to go back and take care of some guys that I know I could have beaten and that I lost to, but when I made this decision I took all that emotion away from it.

“I took away trying to be a champion in the UFC, trying to come back from losses that I had, rematches that I wanted. What makes sense for my career? What makes sense for Anthony Pettis right now? It didn’t take long. I knew what my goals were and these guys are giving me a format for it.”

The PFL’s tournament format certainly helps as Pettis only needs a couple of wins to earn the promotion’s lightweight title in December this year. There’s also the added bonus of a $1 million prize as well as becoming the face of the promotion.

But even with all the benefits, signing with the PFL was still nerve-wracking for “Showtime” who spent so much of his career with the UFC.

“It was probably one of the most nervous days of my life,” Pettis said. “It was making a big decision. Like I’ve said, the UFC’s been nothing but great to me. I’ve had the best opportunities, I’ve gotten treated very, very well in the UFC, taken care of very, very well. Great opportunities. I grew up under them lights, them gloves are part of my life.

“Then deciding that I’m going to go see what’s next, the next part of my career, the next chapter of my career, turning the page onto the next part of my career, I was nervous. I still am nervous. Anything could happen.”

The 2021 PFL season commences April 23 where Pettis along with a number of other big names in MMA will make their official promotional debuts.

Do you think Pettis made the right move?

Anthony Pettis Hopes He Can Encourage Other Fighters To Test Free Agency

Anthony PettisAnthony Pettis has explained his decision to leave the sports premier promotion to sign with the Professional Fighters League. Pettis became a free agent after beating Alex Morono via decision at UFC Vegas 17 in December. ‘Showtime’ was expected to re-sign with the UFC but he instead opted to link up with PFL who have […]

Anthony Pettis

Anthony Pettis has explained his decision to leave the sports premier promotion to sign with the Professional Fighters League.

Pettis became a free agent after beating Alex Morono via decision at UFC Vegas 17 in December. ‘Showtime’ was expected to re-sign with the UFC but he instead opted to link up with PFL who have been making big moves lately signing Rory MacDonald, Fabricio Werdum and Claressa Shields.

In an interview with The Sun, Pettis explained that he bet himself by testing free agency and is hoping other fighters will be more willing to do the same moving forward.

“It’s a gamble when you take that last fight on your UFC contract without re-signing, you’re taking a risk and betting on yourself,” Pettis said. “I left a legacy over there and I needed something new, a fresh start and new goals in this part of my life.

Pettis likes the PFL tournament structure and is happy to have a clear path to another title shot.

“Where I’m at in my career the PFL’s format was something really intriguing to me. PFL are making big moves, signing other fighters and big names. My goal is to be a champion, and with the season I can be a champion in 12 months. Any other organisation, you’d have to climb up the rankings, work my way up and hopefully get a title shot – but politics plays into all of that, too.

“I’ve achieved the highest level at the UFC, won the belt and defended it one time. There has to be a growth factor in this job, if you’re in it just for the paycheck, well that’s how I felt I was plateauing, I was losing the motivation to find out what’s next.

“I was taking big risks and it was kind of like, ‘What’s next?’ I had to take a step back, slow the process down and that progression will help me improve as a martial artist.”

Pettis says every fight is important now as he attempts to cement his legacy.

“Right now when I’m fighting, it’s for legacy,” Pettis said. “By me making this move I think it will be talked about down the line for years to come. I felt like I needed to make the change and show other fighters there are other promotions out there, other opportunities to fight. It was a big change, a big risk for me but I’m very excited about it.”

Do you think Anthony Pettis will become champion in PFL?