Article by Brett Okamoto
The PFL’s 2021 season will kick off April 23 and feature one of its most prized offseason signings in former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.
Pettis (24-10) will meet Clay Collard (18-8) in the main event of PFL 1, President Ray Sefo told ESPN. The fight will take place at a location still to be announced and will air on ESPN2.
Pettis, 34, signed a contract with PFL late last year to compete for the promotion’s $1 million season prize. The move ended a nearly 10-year run in which Pettis fought exclusively in the UFC, where he held the 155-pound belt from 2013 to 2015.
Collard, 27, has one of the more interesting careers in all of combat sports, as he also fought in the UFC in 2014 and 2015 but spent the past two years boxing professionally. He had six bouts in 2020, including four appearances under the Top Rank banner in Las Vegas.
In addition to the main event, two-time PFL lightweight champion Natan Schulte (20-3-1) will face former Bellator MMA title challenger Marcin Held (26-7) and two-time PFL featherweight champion Lance Palmer (22-3) will meet a former NCAA Division I wrestling champion in Bubba Jenkins (14-4).
The full matchups for PFL 1 on April 23 include:
- 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 finalized)
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