A defending champion should headline a card, right? Raush Manfio thought so.
2021 PFL Lightweight champion Manfio makes his 2022 debut against Don Madge in the co-main event at PFL 1 this Wednesday. Meanwhile, one of the fighters that he beat in order to challenge for the 1 million dollars and the championship last year is in the season opener’s main event.
It didn’t make much sense to the Brazilian.
“At the first moment, I was upset. This pissed me off,” Manfio told Cageside Press during Monday’s PFL 1 media day. “I told the sponsorship that we were the main event but then we were the co-main event. But it doesn’t matter; at the end of the day it’s the same. We need to go there and win. It doesn’t change my mind, but at the first moment, I was like, ‘man, that was my first main event; now I’m the co-main event [acting sad].’ But God knows everything, and I cannot complain. I’m just grateful. I need to be strong and go do my job. It doesn’t matter if it is the preliminary card or the main card. The goal is the same.”
Manfio holds a win over Clay Collard, who headlines the show against promotional newcomer Jeremy Stephens. Their fight in 2021 was very close, and Collard believes he was robbed of a million dollars because he thinks he beat the Brazilian.
Manfio disagrees and says he was fighting in enemy territory, so Collard had the advantage.
“I was fighting an American in the USA and won by unanimous decision. His life and history [were on the broadcast]. He lost his brother-a lot of respect; I would never try to intimidate someone with that. But he had everything in his favor,” Manfio said. “I rewatched it. He won the first, and I won the second and third; I don’t know why he’s a crybaby. He’s a tough fighter, but I don’t know what I can tell you. I won.”
Raush Manfio fights Don Madge at PFL 1, live on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at the ESports Stadium in Arlington, TX. Watch Monday’s full media scrum with Manfio above.