The PFL 2022 lightweight final is set, with Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Stevie Ray, a pair of UFC veterans, set to face off this November.
Ray’s advancement to the million dollar final at Friday’s PFL 7 in New York City came at the expense of ex-UFC and WEC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis. An immediate rematch of their regular season fight back in June, which saw Ray submit “Showtime,” the rematch instead went the distance — but the final result was another win for Scotland’s Ray.
Early on, Ray set the tone, relying on takedowns to control the action. Pettis appeared to have no answer off his back, and by the time the third round arrived, he was almost certainly in need of a finish. It wouldn’t come. Pettis did turn up the heat, managing to get off his back in the final minute of the fight to deliver a head kick that was blocked. But Ray was able to survive to the final bell, winning with scores of 29-28 on all three scorecards.
Since exiting the UFC in late 2020 and signing with the PFL as a free agent, Pettis is a disappointing 1-4 through five fights.
In the other lightweight semifinal at PFL 7 on Friday, “The Canadian Gangster” Aubin-Mercier certainly came close to finishing Alex Martinez, care of an early knockdown. Unable to put the youngster away, OAM instead had to settle with a unanimous decision win of his own, logging a 30-27 and two 30-26 scores with the judges.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier missed the playoffs in 2021, fighting just once during the regular season. He’ll now have a shot at one million dollars this fall — the sort of money neither the Canadian nor Stevie Ray were likely to ever see in the UFC.