Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Collard, Natan Schulte vs. Marcin Held Top PFL Season Opener

Anthony Pettis UFC 241
Anthony Pettis and Dana White (not present - Nate Diaz) Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

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

ESPN+ Card

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