Clay Collard takes on Anthony Pettis in conjunction with PFL’s 2021 season kickoff on Friday, April 23rd. The lightweight main event emanates from Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Below are excerpts from my conversation with Cassius Clay Collard who returns to the MMA ranks after notable successes in the boxing world.
Collard vs Pettis
Training ahead of this PFL fight and crossing back over to MMA after several boxing bouts
“My goal has been this tournament since 2019 when I signed. So I’ve been focused on this tournament and getting ready for this. They did cancel for the year so that’s why I went to Boxing. But I’ve done nothing but get ready for this tournament. So I’m excited to get back to mixed martial arts and get a big fight on the first card.”
The canceled season but competing under the Top Rank banner in boxing during PFL’s dormancy
“I was very lucky and blessed to be able to fight as much as I have the past year. And I think it’s just kept me ready. Kept me moving and grooving, you know, to get this fight on the twenty-third.”
Thoughts on the Anthony Pettis matchup
“That was something I was almost hoping for. I wanted Anthony or the champ right off the bat. I was speaking it into existence and it happened.”
Clay Collard not testing beyond a white belt in jiu-jitsu
“I’m gonna be a white belt till I die. Because I take a white belt approach… I like to say I’m a real dirty white belt. Get that thing so dirty that it turns black. Eventually, I might test who knows. But yeah I’m a dirty white belt baby, let’s go.”
Clay Collard vs Anthony Pettis
How he would allocate the million dollars if he gets the ideal outcome in the tournament
“I’m trying to get the backyard my dog deserves. That’s the plan… I’ve already started a gym around Idaho where I’ve been staying. Invest in that business and continuing to grow combat sports.”
Jobs he has had over the years concurrent with competing in MMA
“I was a lifeguard. Worked at a car wash. I worked at a country store called IFA. Worked selling internet, I worked at fairgrounds. I’ll shovel your driveway for 20 bucks, man. Yeah, just whatever man. Just got to keep the train rolling somehow.”
Parting thoughts for Clay Collard
“Whoever’s listening, don’t forget to smile. God bless.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.