Late in 2020, PFL made waves when they signed former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (24-12). The UFC had tried to resign Pettis earlier in 2020, but Pettis decided to bet on himself and fight out the remainder of his contract.
Pettis won back-to-back fights against Donald Cerrone and Alex Morono to close out his UFC run. Almost immediately, PFL was in contact with Pettis and his reps about a potential deal. The deal came together very quickly and within days, Pettis was joining the PFL.
There was a lot of hype surrounding the 2021 lightweight season due to the addition of Pettis. Many betting platforms actually pegged Pettis as the betting favorite to be the 2021 lightweight champion. However, the first season didn’t go as planned for “Showtime”.
In his first bout of the season, Pettis took on Clay Collard. Pettis had his moments in the fight including hurting Collard bad with a head kick in the third round, however it wasn’t enough. Collard got out too far ahead of Pettis in the first couple of rounds and won a decision.
After that fight, Pettis took on Raush Manfio with a chance to go to the playoffs. However, Pettis again couldn’t get the win and was eliminated from the PFL playoffs. After all the hype, Pettis closed out his first season at 0-2.
2022 PFL Season
After the season was over, many wondered what Pettis would do moving forward. Would he re-up with the PFL or would he try his hand with another promotion. Well, yesterday we got our answer. Pettis has been teasing it on Twitter, but it was confirmed yesterday.
MMA Fighting was the first to confirm that Pettis will be in the 2022 PFL lightweight season. The former UFC champion will give it another go after a tough first year with the promotion. I still believe that Pettis can accomplish great things in the PFL.
Pettis has a lot to prove this year and I think that’s another reason why he returned for the 2022 season. We will all have to watch and see if he’s able to turn things around and perhaps become a world champion in the PFL.