Last December, PFL made huge waves when they signed former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (24-12). The Professional Fighters League really wanted to invest in big names and they signed one of the biggest on the market.
The UFC tried to resign Pettis earlier in 2020, however, Showtime wanted to bet on himself. Pettis won his final two UFC fights and rode that momentum wave into free agency. Once on the open market, PFL made their big offer.
Pettis signed an exclusive deal with PFL just days after wrapping up his contract with the UFC. Heading into the 2021 season, there were a ton of eyes on Anthony Pettis. Pettis had a target on his back and he said that he relished that.
Back in April, Pettis made his debut with the promotion against Clay Collard. Collard dominated the first two rounds before Pettis came on strong and nearly got a finish in the third round. Ultimately, Pettis lost at PFL 4.
Last week at PFL 6, Pettis made his second appearance against Raush Manfio. Pettis needed a win of any kind to get a spot in the playoffs. However, after starting strong, Pettis was dominated in the third round which ultimately swung the decision in the favor of Manfio.
What’s next after being eliminated from the PFL playoffs?
With Anthony Pettis being eliminated, I think he’s going to take a little time off. PFL is shifting to their playoffs and it doesn’t look like Pettis will have an opportunity to compete until next year under the Professional Fighters League banner.
Now, PFL could always let him take a one-off fight in his down time. The promotion has hinted that they would allow fighters to do that. However, we don’t know if that’s the route that Pettis will take.
The former UFC lightweight champion is starting his own MMA Promotion called Showtime Fighting Championship. The SFC will make it’s promotional debut in October of this year. My guess is that Pettis will be focused on that and business ventures for the time being.
By all accounts, Pettis will be in the PFL in 2022. While PFL’s 2021 season was contained mostly in a bubble, hopefully when Showtime makes his return next year it can be in front of a packed crowd.