The outcome of PFL 4’s main event between Clay Collard and Alex Martinez had some pretty clearly defined stakes: the winner would go on to the post-season.
The loser would go home.
Both men started the night with three points, and Collard not surprisingly came out swinging. With legitimate boxing skill and a granite chin, he was happy to throw early and often, putting Martinez on his heels. Collard ripped the body on entry, before latching on with a clinch, not allowing Martinez to get the upper hand through the opening two minutes. Collard even chased a body lock takedown momentarily, before the pair broke.
A shot digging into the belt-line a moment later saw Martinez wince in pain; he motioned that the blow was low, earning a reprieve from the ref. The punch, on replay, looked legal, and Collard went right back to work on the restart, eventually landing a takedown.
The fight wouldn’t stay on the ground long, with Collard backing off and taking things back to the feet. Collard then caught a head kick, chopped at Marinez’s leg, and sent him to his back. A diving punch by Collard followed, as he opted to engage on the ground. Collard took the back, looking for a rear-naked choke, but he didn’t have hooks in.
In the final minute, Collard found a home for his jab, and continued to rip the body. But it was Martinez landing a late takedown, working from inside guard for the last 15 seconds.
The first five minutes had a breakneck pace. Collard got after it again in the second, continuing to rip the body. Martinez landed a left hook, Collard tagged the chin, and a slowing Martinez shot for a takedown, looking to change the pace. Collard fought off the attempt, spun out, and re-engaged, walking his opponent down. Martinez again changed levels, but was nowhere near landing the takedown attempt that followed. Moments later, Collard dropped Martinez, who was backpedalling when the blow landed! Collard pursued, getting on top. Eventually he stacked Martinez up, but Martinez made it to his knees.
No slouch on the ground, Collard chased an arm-bar, but Martinez scrambled out, then took the back. From there, Collard tried to roll out, but Martinez stayed on him. Martinez then got a body lock in, and got under the chin! It was tight, but Collard refused to tap, rolled, pushed up on the elbow, and found enough space to break free— sticking out his tongue as he came out. Martinez stayed on the back, and finished another riveting round there.
Collard landed a right early in round three, while Martinez connected with a leg kick, and things were underway. Martinez went after the takedown early, putting Collard on his back. Collard tried to defend by grabbing a leg, but wound up with his back to the fence. That allowed him to almost wall-walk up; he grabbed Martinez’s leg, looking for his own takedown, but lost the position.
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Collard then moved in for a single-leg takedown, right into a Martinez guillotine. Martinez, tiring, didn’t have the squeeze necessary to finish it. Collard backed up, letting Martinez back to his feet. Martinez fired a leg kick. Then another. He went high with a kick, and Collard took advantage of his opponent being off-balance and dumped him. Collard landed to the body, went upstairs, hit the body again, and stuffed a takedown. Martinez rolled to his back, and Collard motioned for him to get up. Martinez then landed a takedown, but couldn’t keep Collard down. In the final minute, Martinez got Collard down, finishing on top — but how would the judges see it?
In the end, two gave it to Martinez — who moves into the post-season care of the split decision win.
Official Result: Alex Martinez def. Clay Collard by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)