Clay Collard made one of the biggest upsets in the MMA world since the year started, as he defeated Anthony Pettis, former UFC lightweight champion.
The 28-year old American, who had more boxing action in the recent past than MMA, posted his biggest ever victory after a unanimous decision, with two judges scoring 29-27 and one 29-28. This was his debut in the PFL, as well as Pettis.
Collard managed to hurt the rival pretty badly in the second round, firing several nasty body shots that would eventually crack Pettis’ defense and sent him on the floor. Collard tried to finish the fight yet couldn’t even though his opponent looked helpless in certain situations.
Pettis would bounce back in the third period, going all in, knowing that he needs a stoppage to win the bout. His head kick shook up Collard, who was in serious problems at the moment, but Cassius, as the fans call him, managed to stay on his feet and wait for the end.
Besides the head kick, Collard endured a flying knee, showing that he can eat strong punches and still be able to continue the fight. Interestingly, he didn’t have an MMA fight for two years, and that during that gap, Collard had 15 boxing matches. However, after the most recent two losses, one in December 2020 and in February 2021, he decided to focus on PFL, which appeared to be an excellent choice.
A victory over Pettis is by far the biggest success for Collard, who used to be the champion in lower-tier MMA organizations, such as Showdown Fight, and SteelFist Fight Night.
As for Pettis, after a pretty surprising departure from the UFC, this isn’t how he planned to start the stint in the new organization. He entered the match following two straight victories, one against Donald Cerrone and the other vs. Alex Monro, and was expecting to start the chase for a $1 million prize with a win over a massive underdog.
In other fights of the nights, the fans had a chance to see more sensations.
The two-time lightweight champ Natan Schulte lost against Marcin Herd via a unanimous decision. It was his first loss in PFL. Meanwhile, Lance Palmer, the two-time winner of the featherweight throne, was stopped by Bubba Jenkins. For Palmer, this was the first defeat in 11 matches.