The Professional Fighters League, better known as PFL, is returning for the sixth time in 2021 tonight, June 25, showcasing mostly their heavyweight division, as well as their women’s lightweight division.
Headlining the event came a women’s lightweight clash between two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, former PFL champion Kayla Harrison, who faced fellow Judo black belt, 12-year veteran Cindy Dandois.
Co-headlining the event came a bout between former WEC & UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who faced Raush Manfio in a three-round lightweight bout.
Pettis is heading into this fight coming off a defeat to Clay Collard in April, but still has a chance at making it to the finals. Manfio won his first PFL bout via split decision, so really, they’re in the same boat going into this fight, points-wise.
Continue reading to see how this epic bout went down:
Official Result: Raush Manfio def. Anthony Pettis via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Manfio comes out taking the center of the octagon, while Pettis throws and lands a nice leg kick followed by a beautiful front snap kick. He then gets his hands going, and times a number of overhand rights nicely.
It’s interesting, Pettis came out in the same stance as Manfio, rather than the opposite as he
Pettis is doing a great job in round two of picking his shots and striking accurately. His hands are far superior to Manfio, and he’s been showing it, as his coach has been calling for.
Manfio is still controlling the center, but he appears to be baffled by the footwork of the former champion, as well as his diversity of attack.
Pettis picks up round three where he left off in round two, looking great with his striking, primarily his hands.
Only he gets too cocky, stays in the pocket when trading, and gets rocked badly by a vicious overhand-hook combo.
Pettis wisely falls to his back, before Manfio makes him stand up. Pettis is right back up, only to eat some more vicious punches, followed by some equally vicious knees to his body. This was followed up by a thunderous knee to his head, which dropped him again, and it was looking like he was about to lose his second fight in two months.
Pettis was able to hold it together for the remaining three or so minutes, but certainly lost this round. As Kenny Florian said, this was kind of like his Clay Collard fight in reverse.
Manfio really has some beautiful striking when he lets it go, but he isn’t active enough, or at least wasn’t in this fight.
As for the decision, most seemed to think it should’ve been a draw, with Pettis winning rounds one and two 10-9, and Manfio winning round three 10-8. He wasn’t absolutely dominating round three for more than a minute of it, it could’ve been 10-9 as well.
But for Manfio to walk away the victor, and after kicking Pettis low twice in round two, it does seem unjust.
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 saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.