Anthony Pettis was a huge free agent signing for the PFL ahead of their 2021 season, entering the promotion off back-to-back wins in the UFC.
He then immediately ran into a wall. Or more accurately, into Clay Collard and Raush Manfio, losing bout fights.
“The first season, I definitely underestimated what I was getting myself into,” Pettis (24-12) admitted during the PFL 3 media day this week, ahead of his 2022 debut. “Even the talent. I would say I underestimated the talent that they have over here. Clay Collard showed me that the talent over here is real. Raush Manfio, especially him as well. So I took away a lot from that season.”
Collard was back in action a few weeks ago, winning an absolute war with Jeremy Stephens that many have up there as a Fight of the Year contender. Pettis was so confident in Collard’s chances that he put money on his former foe.
“I made money on Clay Collard. I knew how that fight was going to go. I felt Clay’s rhythm, his pace, he wants to win, man,” Pettis told Cageside Press. “So I knew how that fight was going to go. And Raush too. We all saw some holes in Raush’s game, that high-output kickboxing style, he has a hard time dealing with. But Don Madge got lazy for one second and boom, light’s out. He showed why he’s the champ of last year.”
“Knowing their skill level and knowing how I did against them last year helps me and motivated me to go handle business Friday night,” Pettis added.
Of course, every fighter wants to avenge their losses, and for Pettis it’s no different. While he’s matched up with Myles Price on Friday at PFL 3, past that, he wants either Collard or Manfio.
“I want ’em both. That’s the only two fights I’m thinking about after this one. I think both of them guys is the guys I need to fight next. Either one they want to give me. Doesn’t matter.”
Anthony Pettis faces Ray Cooper III at PFL 3 this Friday, May 6, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. Watch the rest of Pettis’ media day appearance above. More coverage can be found below.