PFL 7 Preview: Lightweight and Light Heavyweight playoffs begin

Daniel Cunningham
May 9, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) before his fight against Donald Cerrone (blue gloves) during UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the PFL is back for their seventh event of the 2022 and this one will feature the first playoff event of the season. The lightweights and light heavyweights will take center stage with a lightweight matchup being the main event.

Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (25-13) will be taking on Stevie Ray (24-10). Pettis had a horrific start to his PFL career losing both of his fights in 2021. He bounced back strong with a first round finish to start 2022.

However, that’s when he met Stevie Ray at PFL 5. Pettis was submitted by ray in the second round and now they will immediately run things back. Ray will look to show that the first win wasn’t by luck and Pettis will try to advance to the PFL finals.

The other lightweight semifinal matchup features Olivier Aubin-Mercier (15-5) and Alex Martinez (10-2). Mercier is unbeaten in the PFL which includes the 2021 season. However, all of his wins have come via decision which has held him back in terms of earning points.

That being said, this year, wins mattered more than finishes. Alex Martinez can attest to that as two decision wins earned him this spot in the PFL semifinals. Both men will look to book their spot in the finals.

PFL Light Heavyweights

In addition to the lightweights, the light heavyweight PFL semifinals will also take place tonight. The featured bout featuring former UFC middleweight Omari Akhmedov (23-7-1) and Josh Silveira (9-0).

Originally, Akhmedov was supposed to face 2021 PFL champion Antonio Carlos Junior. However, Carlos Junior suffered an injury and was not able to defend his PFL title. With that, Silveira stepped in after a win in the challenger series and a knockout win at PFL 4.

Akhmedov is a big favorite tonight in the eyes of many tonight and the veteran has two finishes to start his PFL career. In the other semifinal matchup, Rob Wilkinson (15-2) takes on Delan Monte (9-2).

Wilkinson had a cup of coffee with the UFC and lost both fights including one to Israel Adesanya. However, he’s won four fights in a row since moving to light heavyweight including two finishes in the 2022 PFL season.

Monte was submitted by Carlos Junior in his season debut, but a first round knockout over Emliano Sordi earned him this spot in the semifinals. He’s going to bring a tough challenge to Wilkinson tonight.

Overall, it should be a tremendous night for the PFL. August is a huge month for the promotion and they will kick if off in the right way tonight.