Anthony Pettis out of PFL 4

PFL 4 has seen a big shakeup. Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (24-11) was set to take on Alex Martinez (8-0, 1 NC) in the co-main event tomorrow night. However, that fight has now been called off.

AG.Fight was the first to report this morning that Pettis was forced to withdrawal from the fight. Pettis has come down with an illness that will keep him from competing tomorrow night. This was set to be Pettis’ second appearance with PFL.

The former lightweight champion lost to Clay Collard in his promotion debut back in April. Pettis had some highlight moments, but also almost got finished during that contest. This fight with Alex Martinez was set to be an opportunity to bounce back.

Pettis has now been moved to PFL‘s card on June 25th and he’s received a new opponent. Showtime will now be taking on Raush Manfio (12-3) on June 25th. Manfio won by split decision at PFL‘s first event of the 2021 season in April.

PFL 4 Updated Card

With Anthony Pettis off the card and out of the co-main event slot, there’s been some shifting around with tomorrow night’s card. Obviously, the main event between Claressa Shields and Brittney Elkin is still on. 

However, we have a new co-main event of the evening. Alex Martinez keeps his spot in the co-main event, but he will now be taking on former PFL lightweight champion Natan Schulte (20-4-1) tomorrow night.

Entering PFL 1 back in April, Natan Schulte had been almost perfect inside the Professional Fight League cage. In ten career fights with the promotion, Schulte was an impressive 9-0-1 and he won the title in both 2018 and 2019.

However, Schulte lost by unanimous decision to Marcin Held back in April in a big upset. Now, the former two-time PFL champion will look to bounce back against the undefeated Alex Martinez tomorrow night.

Sizing up PFL’s 2021 lightweight season

Yesterday, PFL took the headlines as they announced their matchups for their card on April 23rd. One of the divisions that has the most hype around it entering the 2021 season for PFL is the lightweight division.

The promotion took the year off in 2020, but they spent time trying to build up their roster. Arguably the biggest signing they had in all of 2020 was signing former UFC and WEC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis (24-10).

Pettis won two fights in a row to close out his UFC contract before he hit the open market. It didn’t take long for PFL to sign Pettis for the 2021 season once he was on the market. It was announced yesterday who Pettis will meet in his debut. 

Showtime will be taking on Clay Collard (18-8, 1 NC) in his PFL debut. Collard spent the last couple of years in the professional boxing ring. Before losing his last couple of bouts, he went an astonishing 5-0 in 2020. Some of the matches took place under the Top Rank banner.

Collard is now ready to resume his MMA career, and he will do that in style. PFL‘s lightweight season should be fantastic this year and there are several fighters that everyone should be paying attention to.

PFL lightweights to watch

Of course, the first PFL lightweight that you have to think about his Natan Schulte (20-3-1). I mean how can you not considering he won both the 2018 and 2019 seasons at lightweight in PFL.

Schulte is 9-0-1 in his career with the Pro Fight League. He will have a target on his back as he tries to make it three seasons in a row in 2021. Schulte will take on UFC and Bellator veteran, Marcin Held (26-7), in his first matchup of the 2021 season.

The next guy I have my eyes on is Loik Radzhabov (13-2-1). Radzhabov was the runner up in 2019 and he looks like he could make another run at PFL’s lightweight crown in 2021. Radzhabov will take on UFC vet, Johnny Case (27-7-1) in his first matchup of 2021.

Another big signing for PFL in 2020 was signing Olivier Aubin-Mercier (11-5). “The Canadian Gangster” was the runner-up in his season of The Ultimate Fighter and he spent the majority of his career with the UFC.

Aubin-Mercier has been in there with the likes of Gilbert Burns, Diego Ferreira, Drew Dober, and more. He’s got a wealth of experience and he’s a very exciting addition to the PFL lightweight roster.

In his debut, he will be taking on Joilton Lutterbach (34-8). There is a lot to be excited for when looking at the 2021 season for The Pro Fight League. Their lightweight division looks great this year and I’m excited to see just how this season plays out.