After failing to make the PFL playoffs, where does Anthony Pettis go from here?

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.

Boxing: Jake Paul signs multi-fight deal with Showtime

One of the hottest names in boxing and in combat sports has a new home. Internet celebrity turned boxer Jake Paul (3-0) has signed a new exclusive deal with Showtime Sports. Moving forward, Showtime will host Jake Paul’s future boxing matches.

ESPN’s Marc Raimondi broke the story last night that Paul had signed a deal with Showtime. Paul’s representatives confirmed the news to Raimondi and stated that they were making progress on Paul’s next opponent in the boxing ring.

Jake Paul’s adviser Nakisa Bidarian told ESPN, “Jake is proud of the events he participated in with Triller and appreciates the opportunities they afforded him. Jake is excited to continue his boxing career with Showtime Boxing. Fight announcement coming soon.”

At this time, there is no word on who the potential opponent will be for Jake Paul’s next boxing match. For the last few months, Paul has been targeting the MMA community. Back in April, he fought former world champion Ben Askren.

Paul scored a first round knockout and proceeded to call out some of the bigger names in the MMA community like Daniel Cormier. Plenty of additional MMA fighters have voiced their interest in jumping into the boxing ring with The Problem Child.

Showtime Boxing’s New Star

One thing to keep in mind about Jake Paul’s new boxing deal is the fact that Showtime also has an exclusive deal with Bellator MMA. That alone can create opportunities for Jake Paul to compete against some MMA fighters.

Bellator and Jake Paul are now exclusively on Showtime and you can imagine that Showtime execs are already brainstorming. As mentioned by Paul’s adviser, a fight announcement is coming and they are closing in an opponent.

One name to watch here would be Dillon Danis (2-0). Danis and Paul have been calling each other out for some time and Danis fights for Bellator. Perhaps Showtime executives could convince Scott Coker to let Danis participate in a boxing matchup with Jake Paul.

There have been some whispers about Diego Sanchez (30-13). However, I pray that is just talk and there’s nothing serious there. Former UFC champion Tyron Woodley (19-7-1) has been calling Jake Paul out since he became a free agent, but I can’t see Paul accepting that fight.

Jake Paul’s next boxing matchup will be against someone with MMA experience with limited striking skills. Paul can be a star for Showtime and I guarantee they don’t want to risk him losing after just inking him to a multi-fight deal. This will definitely be something to watch in the coming weeks.

PFL 4 matchups announced: Anthony Pettis looks to bounce back against Alex Martinez

PFL has announced the card for their fourth event of 2021. The Pro Fight League posted on their official Twitter page today the matchups for the next round of the lightweight and featherweight seasons.

The fourth PFL event is going to take place on June 10th. In the main event, Claressa Shields will be making her MMA debut when she takes on Brittney Elkin (3-6). Shields is the best P4P boxer in the world and she’s a former Olympic Gold Medalist.

There will obviously be a lot of hype surrounding her PFL debut. In terms of the 2021 season, a lot of eyes are going to be on Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (24-11). Pettis will be taking on Alex Martinez (8-0, 1 NC) in the co-main event of the evening.

Showtime made his PFL debut just a few weeks ago. Pettis was a big signing for the Pro Fight League and they put him up against the popular Clay Collard (19-8, 1 NC) in his first matchup.

The former UFC lightweight champion was hurt multiple times throughout the first two rounds. However, Pettis was able to rally late and almost pulled off the victory. But, in the end, Collard got the win and spoiled the PFL debut for Pettis.

PFL 4

That night, Alex Martinez defeated Loik Radzhabov by split decision. This fight against Pettis at PFL 4 is the biggest fight in Martinez’s young career. This is also a huge fight for the former world champion.

If Pettis falls to Alex Martinez, it will raise a lot of questions about what’s left in the tank. The man who defeated Pettis back at PFL 1 is ready to get back to his winning ways. Clay Collard will be taking on Joilton Lutterbach (34-9).

Lutterbach lost his first fight by split decision and he’s looking to bounce back against Collard at PFL 4. To view the full list of matchups that were announced, see the PFL tweet below.

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.

Anthony Pettis will make PFL debut against Clay Collard

The PFL debut is set for Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (24-10). The former UFC and WEC lightweight champion will make his debut with the promotion against Clay Collard (18-8, 1 NC). The matchup will take place on April 23rd.

Anthony Pettis closed out his UFC contract at the end of 2020. The UFC had tried to negotiate an extension with the former champion earlier in the year, however, Pettis wanted to bet on himself. Pettis won two straight to close 2020 and entered free agency.

Once he hit the market, it was known that he wasn’t returning to the UFC. Bellator and PFL instantly were in contact with the Pettis camp. Pettis’ younger brother, Sergio, is one of the best fighters in Bellator. They were seen as the early favorite to land Showtime.

However, not long after he became a free agent, Pettis signed an exclusive deal with PFL to compete in the 2021 season. The Pro Fight League really wanted Pettis and they made him a great offer to bring him in.

Pettis was just one of many big signings for PFL in the last year. After cancelling the 2020 season due to COVID, the promotion bolstered their rosters in order to have their biggest season yet in 2021.

Fun matchup to kick off the PFL lightweight season

Standing across from Anthony Pettis on April 23rd will be Clay Collard. Collard has had a very interesting career in combat sports. He was a four-fight veteran of the UFC and he’s put together a solid MMA resume.

However, he’s been known more for his boxing over the last couple of years. Since May of 2019, Collard has really just focused on his boxing. While PFL was on the sidelines over the last year, Collard was in the boxing ring.

Since 2019, Collard has boxed in 15 professional bouts. Several of those came under the Top Rank banner. He just fought last weekend against Maidel Sando and lost a decision. Now, Collard will turn his attention back to PFL and MMA.

This should be a fun matchup and it’s great matchmaking to kickoff the PFL lightweight season. We know how entertaining Anthony Pettis can be and we know how good the hands of Clay Collard are. Should be a very fun matchup in April.

BREAKING: Anthony Pettis has signed with PFL

The free agency of Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (24-10) did not last very long. ESPN was first to report that Pettis has agreed to a new deal with PFL. Pettis will compete in their 2021 season in the lightweight division.

Showtime just announced last night that he was leaving the UFC to pursue free agency. Bellator’s Scott Coker expressed serious interest in bringing in Pettis given the fact that they already have Sergio Pettis on the roster.

However, Pettis found his dream deal with PFL. Pettis is the second former UFC champion that has signed with PFL to compete for the promotion during their 2021 season. The other being former heavyweight champion, Fabricio Werdum. 

This is a big signing for PFL who has started to make waves this year with signings. Of course, they did sign Werdum, but they also made headlines signing the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, Claressa Shields. 

Now, they add Showtime Pettis to their expanding roster. PFL has been looked at as an organization that was a step down from Bellator and ONE Championship which were of course step downs from the UFC. However, PFL is flexing it’s muscles at the end of this year.

Pettis in PFL

As mentioned above, Anthony Pettis will be competing at lightweight under the PFL banner. Pettis just competed at welterweight last weekend at UFC Vegas 17. Pettis was able to secure a unanimous decision victory over Alex Morono.

It’s been an up and down few years for Anthony Pettis. The former champion hadn’t put two straight wins together in the UFC since he was the lightweight champion. He couldn’t have picked a better time to start his first winning streak.

The UFC had gone to Pettis earlier this year and tried to sign him to an extension. Pettis decided to bet on himself and look at all the options. Just a few days after he fought out the last fight on his deal, he’s found his new home with PFL.

Anthony Pettis announces that he’s leaving the UFC

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 17, Anthony Pettis (24-10) took on Alex Morono (18-7, 1 NC). Pettis made the walk in what was the final fight on his current deal with the UFC. Pettis was betting on himself Saturday night.

The UFC had gone to Pettis with an offer to extend his contract prior to the Donald Cerrone fight early this year. However, Pettis decided to turn down the offer and wait things out. Entering the cage Saturday night, there was still no deal in place.

Pettis was able to pull out the unanimous decision victory at UFC Vegas 17. After the fight was over, Pettis said that he wanted to go back to lightweight and capture a world title. Pettis competed at welterweight on Saturday night.

In the days after UFC Vegas 17, there has been a lot of speculation on what Anthony Pettis would do moving forward. Would he resign with the UFC or would he perhaps move on to Bellator where his brother currently fights.

After days of contemplating, it seems that Showtime has made his decision. After 12 years of competing for the UFC and the WEC, Pettis is moving on. He announced the news on Twitter this evening.

Life after the UFC

Pettis will walk away from the Zuffa banner having held a world title in the WEC and the UFC. While his career has been very up and down since he lost his lightweight championship years ago, he’s still one of the most recognizable athletes in the sport.

For the first time since 2008, Pettis will be competing outside of the Zuffa promotions. So where does Pettis go now that he’s leaving the UFC? There are going to be several suitors for the former world champion.

Clearly the favorite should be Bellator. Bellator is where his brother is signed and they could use more star power in their lightweight division. If I was a betting man, that is where I’d place my money.

However, I wouldn’t put it past PFL or even ONE to make a run at the former UFC champion. I would expect that we will know where Pettis will be going in the next couple of weeks.

Anthony Pettis gets a win on the final fight of his current deal at UFC Vegas 17

In the featured prelim at UFC Vegas 17, former lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis (24-10), took on Alex Morono (18-7, 1 NC). Pettis was entering the fight on the final fight of his current contract with the UFC.

Showtime entered the fight just 1-2 in his last three fights. There was a lot of pressure on the former champion and Alex Morono was looking to be the spoiler. When the fight got underway, it looked like Morono would do just that.

In the opening seconds at UFC Vegas 17, Pettis fell down while throwing a kick. Morono was able to pounce and get on top of Pettis. For the entire first round, Morono was able to control Pettis.

In the second round, Pettis started to open up with his striking. The former UFC champion looked really comfortable on the feet and he outstruck Morono to secure the second round.

In the third round, Pettis was again getting the better of the standup. In the final seconds of the third round, Pettis almost secured a showtime finish when he rocked Morono with a spinning back kick.

Last UFC fight?

All three judges scored the fight for Pettis 29-28. It was a massive win for Pettis and a great way for him to close out his current UFC deal. At this moment, it appears that Pettis will be testing the free agent market.

I don’t think the UFC is going to be the most aggressive in the pursuit due to the announcement of upcoming cuts. If I had to pick a favorite, I think Bellator is the clubhouse favorite to land Anthony Pettis.

Pettis’ younger brother Sergio already fights for Bellator. Sergio Pettis fought in the UFC prior to making the jump over to Bellator. I think that Anthony might just do the exact same thing.

Time will tell, but there’s a very real chance that we’ve seen Pettis for the final time inside the octagon. He can hold his head high knowing he’s had plenty of showtime moments including capturing the lightweight title.

UFC Vegas 17 Preview: Anthony Pettis – Alex Morono

Tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 17 there’s a solid welterweight contest featuring a former champion. Former lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis (23-10), is back in action at welterweight taking on Alex Morono (18-6, 1 NC).

For Morono he’s going to be attempting to pickup his second UFC win in the last two months. Back at UFC Vegas 14, Morono took on Rhys McKee. Morono was able to get the unanimous decision victory that night.

Since November of 2018, Morono has gone 4-1 inside the octagon. This is the biggest fight of his career in terms of name recognition. If he can get a win tomorrow night over a former UFC champion, it would be big for him.

“Showtime” will be looking to pickup his second straight win tomorrow night as well. We last saw the former UFC lightweight champion at UFC 249 when he took on Donald Cerrone.

That night, Pettis was able to squeak out a decision victory. That win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Pettis. Pettis’ career has been up and down over the past few years, but he’s only lost to top competition inside the UFC.

UFC Vegas 17 Prediction

This matchup is an interesting one on paper when you look at the credentials of both fighters. Both of these fighters are blackbelts in taekwondo. Both of these men are also really slick on the ground.

That makes for a very compelling matchup at UFC Vegas 17. However, there is one thing about Morono that really concerns me and that is his striking defense. We’ve seen in his past couple of fights that it hasn’t been great.

Khaos Williams was able to knock him out in 27 seconds and Rhys McKee was able to land 50% of his strikes in their fight. McKee through over 200 strikes so that tells you that Morono was hit a lot.

I think Pettis is going to be able to take advantage of that at UFC Vegas 17. Morono’s chance at winning comes down to wrestling Pettis. However, I just don’t know if his wrestling will outweigh the shots he’s going to take from the former champion.

Prediction: Anthony Pettis by Unanimous Decision

UFC Books Anthony Pettis – Alex Morono

Today, the UFC got some tough news regarding their December 19th card. The main event between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards was called off due to Edwards testing positive for COVID-19. 

As a result, the UFC promoted Stephen Thompson – Geoff Neal to the main event of UFC Vegas 17. However, the loss of the main event also left one slot open on the stacked Fight Night card.

That’s when former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis (23-10), decided to step in and ask for a fight. The promotion worked on it this afternoon and they have found Pettis an opponent at welterweight per ESPN. 

Pettis will be taking on Alex Morono (18-6, 1 NC) at UFC Vegas 17. There is no word yet on if this fight will take place on the main card or the prelims. Normally, this would be a sure main card fight on a fight night card, but this card is incredibly stacked.

UFC Vegas 17’s New Fight

Pettis had been training and he’s been itching to get back into the UFC‘s octagon. Pettis last fought back in May when he defeated Donald Cerrone by decision. The fight was razor close, but Pettis was able to snap his two-fight losing streak.

The former lightweight champion has struggled to find his groove over the last few years. Late in the summer, Pettis seemed interested in fighting Anderson Silva, but that fight never materialized. Now, Pettis will get his next UFC opportunity against a hungry contender.

Alex Morono returned a few weeks ago to fight Rhys McKee. It was Morono’s first fight since he was knocked out by Khaos Williams. Morono was able to dominate the fight and win a unanimous decision.

He is now 4-1 in his last five fights in the UFC. He’ll be taking on a ranked contender and a former champion in Anthony Pettis. This is the biggest fight of Morono’s career and a golden opportunity for progression. Should be a great matchup on December 19th.