A lightweight showdown between Anthony Pettis and Clay Collard will headline the first card of the 2021 Professional Fighters League season.
The promotion announced the full lineup for the April 23 event, which features lightweights and featherweights and will air on ESPN2 and ESPN+. The four-bout main card airs on ESPN2 and also includes: Natan Schulte vs. Marcin Held at lightweight; Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Jason Soares at featherweight and Lance Palmer vs. Bubba Jenkins at featherweight.
A five-bout undercard will air on ESPN+: Loik Radzhabov vs. Johnny Case at lightweight; Joilton Lutterbach vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier at lightweight; Akhmed Aliev vs. Mikhail Odintsov at lightweight; Sung Bin Jo vs. Tyler Diamond at featherweight and Brendan Loughnane vs. Sheymon Moraes at featherweight.
“The PFL’s season kickoff on April 23 is one that is sure to be a showstopper and full of nonstop action,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “The talent that exists within these matchups is unparalleled and we can’t wait to see the outcome of each fight. The PFL is proud to kick off its season on ESPN and ESPN+ and we are excited for our fans, old and new, around the world to experience premium MMA content.”
Pettis signed with the PFL last year following a 20-bout stint with the UFC. The former UFC and WEC lightweight champion is coming off back-to-back decision victories against Donald Cerrone and Alex Morono in his final two Octagon appearances.
A four-time UFC veteran, Collard has been quite active in the boxing ring of late, compiling a 9-4-3 record since 2017. The 27-year-old has won four of his last five MMA bouts, most recently outpointing Randall Wallace at a regional event in April 2019. His owns an 18-8 career mark in MMA.