PFL 7 Preview: Lightweight and Light Heavyweight playoffs begin

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.

PFL Announces 2022 Season Opener

The PFL is gearing up for their 2022 season and we now know that the season has an official kickoff date. The promotion sent out a memo yesterday afternoon announcing that they were returning on April 20th to kick off the 2022 season.

PFL will be kicking off the new season with lightweights and light heavyweights. There are several key bouts to focus in on, but obviously anyone is going to look straight at the main event.

2021 lightweight champion Raush Manfio (15-3) will begin his quest for a second straight title as he takes on Don Madge (10-3-1). Madge will enter the April contest riding a seven-fight winning streak including two wins in the UFC.

Last year, Madge joined the PFL and fought once scoring a submission victory. Manfio went a perfect 4-0 to capture the 2021 title which featured wins over Anthony Pettis, Clay Collard, and Loik Radzhabov in the finals.

Rest of the PFL Opener

Speaking of Anthony Pettis (24-12) and Clay Collard (20-9), they have some big fights in their 2022 season debut. Pettis is in the co-main event as he takes on Ireland’s Myles Price (11-7).

Price hasn’t fought in three years and his last fight came in Bellator where he got a win over fellow Irishman Peter Queally. Pettis is coming off of an extremely disappointing debut season with the PFL.

It was huge news for the PFL to sign a former UFC lightweight champion. However, Pettis went 0-2 in his first season. He’s hoping to bounce back and prove his worth to his new promotion in 2022.

Speaking of making their PFL debuts, former UFC lightweight and featherweight contender Jeremy Stephens (28-19) is making his debut on the card. Like Pettis last year, Stephens will be making his debut against Clay Collard. A lot of eyes will be on that matchup.

2021 light heavyweight champion Antonio Carlos Junior (13-5) kicks off his defense campaign against fellow Brazilian Delan Marte (8-1). You can view the rest of the 2022 season kickoff card here.