The PFL debut is set for Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (24-10). The former UFC and WEC lightweight champion will make his debut with the promotion against Clay Collard (18-8, 1 NC). The matchup will take place on April 23rd.
Anthony Pettis closed out his UFC contract at the end of 2020. The UFC had tried to negotiate an extension with the former champion earlier in the year, however, Pettis wanted to bet on himself. Pettis won two straight to close 2020 and entered free agency.
Once he hit the market, it was known that he wasn’t returning to the UFC. Bellator and PFL instantly were in contact with the Pettis camp. Pettis’ younger brother, Sergio, is one of the best fighters in Bellator. They were seen as the early favorite to land Showtime.
However, not long after he became a free agent, Pettis signed an exclusive deal with PFL to compete in the 2021 season. The Pro Fight League really wanted Pettis and they made him a great offer to bring him in.
Pettis was just one of many big signings for PFL in the last year. After cancelling the 2020 season due to COVID, the promotion bolstered their rosters in order to have their biggest season yet in 2021.
Fun matchup to kick off the PFL lightweight season
Standing across from Anthony Pettis on April 23rd will be Clay Collard. Collard has had a very interesting career in combat sports. He was a four-fight veteran of the UFC and he’s put together a solid MMA resume.
However, he’s been known more for his boxing over the last couple of years. Since May of 2019, Collard has really just focused on his boxing. While PFL was on the sidelines over the last year, Collard was in the boxing ring.
Since 2019, Collard has boxed in 15 professional bouts. Several of those came under the Top Rank banner. He just fought last weekend against Maidel Sando and lost a decision. Now, Collard will turn his attention back to PFL and MMA.
This should be a fun matchup and it’s great matchmaking to kickoff the PFL lightweight season. We know how entertaining Anthony Pettis can be and we know how good the hands of Clay Collard are. Should be a very fun matchup in April.