This past weekend at PFL 5, there was one lightweight contest in the co-main event. That lightweight contest featured former UFC lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (25-13) and former UFC contender Stevie Ray (24-10).
Ray had lost his PFL debut to Alex Martinez to start the season and needed a big win against Pettis if he wanted a shot at the playoffs. Well, that’s exactly what he did on Saturday night. After a competitive fight, Ray locked up a unique modified body lock in the second round.
Pettis fought it for a minute, but the former UFC champion was forced to tap. Ray got the win and earned enough points to sneak in as the fourth seed in the PFL lightweight playoffs. After this last event, the lightweight playoffs are now set.
Despite getting submitted by Ray, Pettis still leads the charge with six points and he gets the top spot. He will actually get an immediate rematch with Ray who has snuck in as the fourth seed. Alex Martinez and Olivier Aubin-Mercier make up the two and three seeds and they will battle for a spot in the PFL finals.
Pettis’ PFL Struggles
Entering the season, Pettis had a desire to be the top lightweight seed entering the 2022 playoffs. That is what he ended up accomplishing, however, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Pettis’ run in PFL hasn’t met his expectations.
The UFC tried to resign Pettis back in 2020, but he was determined to test free agency. He won his last two fights in the promotion and walked into a big deal with the PFL. Many were expecting him to do great things in his first season in 2021.
Instead, Pettis went 0-2 and looked really underwhelming. Then, he looked sensational in his 2022 PFL debut. Maybe this would be the year Pettis would be the star that PFL paid for. Well, Stevie Ray halted the progress again defeating the former UFC champion.
Now, Pettis is just 1-3 in four bouts with the PFL. He walks in as the top lightweight seed in the playoffs, but he can’t be extremely confident. It’s been a struggle, but he can still erase the demons if he can win his next two fights to claim the 2022 title.