Capping off the PFL’s 2022 season at lightweight was a pair of proven UFC veterans in Scotland’s Stevie Ray and “The Canadian Gangster” Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
Ray’s regular season had taken him through a former UFC and WEC champion in Anthony Pettis, with the Scottish fighter defeating Pettis not once but twice. OAM was undefeated since joining the PFL, meanwhile, but had missed the playoffs last year.
With a million dollars plus the lightweight championship hanging in the balance, Aubin-Mercier held center early in the third fight of Friday’s PPV card, while Ray circled outside. A low kick for OAM landed, a later one would nearly be caught, but instead trip up Ray.
On Aubin-Mercier’s first shot in, Ray reversed and put the Canadian against the fence. OAM quickly peeled Ray off him, moving back to center, and went back to his leg kicks. After eating just a handful, Ray’s lead leg was glowing red. A right hand landed for Aubin-Mercier, who was moving a little more. A moment later, another low kick took Ray off his feet.
Perhaps as a result, Ray briefly moved towards a takedown attempt, but it was half-hearted and easily defended. Another leg kick from OAM, meanwhile, sent Ray to his knees. Ray fanned on a wheel kick, but had Aubin-Mercier circling along the fence.
In round two, a badly telegraphed kick by Aubin-Mercier saw Ray catch the limb, and eventually take the back standing before slamming the Canadian down. Ray then trapped one of his opponent’s legs while back-packing him, before switching to a proper body triangle. OAM fought the hands, but was eating some decent short punches in the process. More importantly for Ray, there was lots of time on the clock.
When OAM scrambled up to a knee, Ray was still draped over him. But Aubin-Mercier managed to force himself free of Ray’s rather vice-like grip, creating some space and firing several low kicks in what little time was left in the round. Aubin-Mercier took some big swings in that final minute, with a right hand, and a high kick — before another right hand hit the mark, knocking Ray flat on his back! The right hook was all it took, and Olivier Aubin-Mercier was instantly a million dollars richer.
CANADA HAS A NEW WORLD CHAMPION! OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER IS A WORLD CHAMP! 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦
— PFL (@PFLMMA) November 26, 2022
Following the win, Aubin-Mercier admitted that going through the PFL season was taxing, but wants to bring the promotion to his native Quebec for a show in Montreal.
Official Result: Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Stevie Ray by knockout (right hook), Round 2, 4:40