The debut of Anthony Pettis will take top billing on the PFL’s 2021 season opener.
On Tuesday, Professional Fighters League officials announced via press release the full line-up for the promotion’s first event of 2021. Taking place April 23, PFL 1 (2021 edition, as the promotion resets its numbers each season) will be headlined by lightweight action as Anthony Pettis (24-10) takes on Clay Collard (18-8, 1NC). The bout will be Pettis’ first since exiting the UFC as a free agent, and landing with the league — which provides an opportunity for fighters to earn one million USD should they claim the championship at the end of the season.
The 34-year old Pettis has won his last two fights. “Showtime” is, of course, a former UFC and WEC lightweight champion. Collard is himself a UFC vet, and will also be making his UFC debut.
Joining Pettis on the card, in the co-main event, will be two-time PFL champ Natan Schulte (20-3-1). He’ll face incoming UFC and Bellator MMA veteran Marcin Held. Held (26-7) enters the bout on a four-fight win streak dating back to his final appearance in the UFC, a unanimous decision win over Nasrat Haqparast in 2017. Since then, Held has picked up a trio of wins in ACA/ACB.
Also featuring on the PFL 2021 season opener will be featherweight champ Lance Palmer, taking on former Bellator standout Bubba Jenkins. Canada’s Olivier-Aubin Mercier will debut against Joilton Lutterbach, and Brendan Loughnane, perhaps the most famous Contender Series alum to not earn a UFC deal, will take on former UFC talent Sheymon Moraes.
PFL 1, 2021 Full Card:
ESPN 2 Card
Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Collard
Natan Schulte vs. Marcin Held
Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Jason Soares
Lance Palmer vs. Bubba Jenkins
Loik Radzhabov vs. Johnny Case
Joilton Lutterbach vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Akhmed Aliev vs. Mikhail Odintsov
Jo Sungbin vs. Tyler Diamond
Brendan Loughnane vs. Sheymon Moraes