Ex-UFC Champion Anthony Pettis to Make PFL Debut on April 23 vs. Clay Collard

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2021

FILE  - Anthony Pettis poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 229 mixed martial arts fight Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, in Las Vegas. The Professional Fighters League says it has raised $65 million in new financing to boost its expansion and growth. The mixed martial arts promotion announced in a statement Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 that the money will go toward talent acquisition and international expansion. (AP Photo/John Locher, file)
John Locher/Associated Press

Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will make his PFL debut on April 23 vs. Clay Collard in the PFL 1 main event, per ESPN's Brett Okamoto

Pettis (24-10) spent 10 years as a fighter for the UFC, where he defended the lightweight title once after winning it in 2013. 

Pettis fought three times in 2020, going 1-2 in those matchups (a loss to Carlos Diego Ferreira before wins over Donald Cerrone and Alex Morono). After starting his career 18-2 as a professional fighter, however, Pettis has gone just 6-8 since, including losses to Max Holloway, Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson and Nate Diaz. 

The 34-year-old Pettis will face the 27-year-old Collard (18-8), who spent parts of 2014 and 2015 in the UFC and the past two years as a professional boxer. 

Other lightweight matchups for the April 23 event will include Natan Schulte vs. Marcin Held; Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Joilton Lutterbach; Johnny Case vs. Loik Radzhabov; and Akhmed Aliev vs. Mikhail Odintsov.

Featherweight matchups will include Lance Palmer vs. Bubba Jenkins; Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Jason Soares; Brendan Loughnane vs. Sheymon Moraes; and Sung Bin Jo vs. Tyler Diamond.

The promotion will air on ESPN2.