Clay Collard Upsets Former WEC & UFC Champ Anthony Pettis At PFL 1
The Professional Fighters League, or better known as PFL, returns for the first time in over a year tonight, April 23, for PFL 1 – 2021. Tonight’s event showcases their featherweight and lightweight divisions, with returning champions Natan Schulte and Lance Palmer fighting on the main card.
Headlining tonight’s event will be former WEC & UFC lightweight champion Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis, who faces fellow UFC veteran and former professional boxer Clay Collard in the main event of the evening.
Pettis started out his career making it to 18-2 as a professional, having won the WEC lightweight championship in the last ever WEC fight, and becoming a two-time UFC lightweight champion with title winning and defending efforts over multiple-time world champions.
However, he’s gone 6-8 since then, but is on a two-fight win streak coming in, having gone 2-1 in 2020.
Collard on the other hand hasn’t had a mixed martial arts fight since April of 2019, the same amount of time Pettis has fought four times in. He did however spend that time boxing as a professional, even beating a couple touted prospects in those 16 bouts.
Continue reading to see how this lightweight main event went down:
Official Result: Clay Collard def. Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
Collard is doing a great job pressing forward with his heavy combinations, while Pettis is doing a good job of evading those strikes for the most part. Pettis is getting his kicks of all sorts going early, and his counter punches are also looking incredibly sharp.
Pettis may have lost this round for ending up on his back twice from slipping however.
After a good first two minutes of picking Collard’s lead calf apart, Pettis gets swarmed and dropped with a nasty shovel hook to the body. He eventually gets up, only to continue taking more punishment.
Collard drops Pettis again with a beautiful punch and swarms him on the ground once again. It was very close to being stopped at multiple points throughout round two, this was an easy 10-8 round.
Pettis is doing a better job keeping his distance early on in round three, but is still being pieced up by Collard.
The former champion isn’t looking bad tonight, he’s having some big moments, like landing a beautiful spinning-back-fist midway through the round, it just appears the moments Collard is having are bigger.
Pettis lands a vicious head kick with about a minute left in the round and drops Collard badly, before landing a thunderous flying knee. It wasn’t quite enough to get the finish though, unfortunate for Pettis.
We will say one thing, this fight could have either gone to Collard 29-27, or been a draw 28-28, but to score it 29-28, making round two a 10-9 for Collard is just uneducated.
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!