Arlington, TX — Clay Collard is kicking off the PFL’s 2022 season, and he’s exactly where he wants to be — headlining the show.
“I’m the main event spot, starting out the season right,” Collard (20-9, 1NC) exclaimed during Monday’s PFL 1 media day. “I feel like I was the most exciting fighter in my weight class. I feel like I didn’t lose a fight last year. I’m coming in here, I feel like I’ve got a chip on my shoulder, it’s like I got something to prove. So I’m looking to prove it.”
Collard is hoping that will take him to a rematch with Raush Manfio, who bounced him from the PFL’s lightweight tournament last season.
“Line ’em up, I’m going to knock ’em down until I get to him,” said Collard. Whether it comes during the regular season or in the playoffs matters not. “Honestly man I don’t give a sh*t when it happens, I just want it to happen.”
Asked by Cageside Press if he felt the outcome of that fight, scored a unanimous decision for Manfio, was a robbery, Collard replied “Yes sir. I feel like I handled that fight, I was up two rounds at least. I almost choked him out in the second, took him down, took his back. I busted his face up. I don’t know what fight the judges were watching, because it wasn’t the fight I was in.”
Before he can worry about Manfio, however, there’s Jeremy Stephens to contend with. “Lil Heathen” will be on the other side of the cage from Collard at PFL 1 on Wednesday, making his promotional debut.
Collard is thrilled to have been matched up with the hard-hitting UFC veteran right out of the gate.
“I’m extremely excited. I’ve been saying that, the promotion’s smart, they picked the best banger right out of the gate,” he stated. “They did the same thing last year. I’m excited, I’m extremely excited, and I’m looking forward to the test.”
Clay Collard faces Jeremy Stephens in the main event of PFL 1, live on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at the ESports Stadium in Arlington, TX. Watch Monday’s full media scrum with Manfio above.