Welcome to the PFL, @Showtimepettis! pic.twitter.com/FwPDt3ozhF — PFL MMA (@ProFightLeague) December 23, 2020
It didn’t take long for Anthony Pettis to find a new promotional home.
One day after announcing he was parting ways with the UFC to become a free agent, “Showtime” has signed a contract with Professional Fighters League. ESPN was first to report the news, and the PFL confirmed the signing shortly thereafter.
Pettis will compete in the promotion’s lightweight division as part of the 2021 season. The PFL canceled its 2020 campaign due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic but will return beginning in April of next year. PFL’s most recent 155-pound champion was Natan Schulte, who outpointed Loik Radzhabov in the organization’s final event of 2019. Schulte was also the PFL lightweight champion in 2018. The PFL awards its champions in each weight class with a $1 million payout at the end of the season.
In addition to Schulte, Pettis joins a PFL lightweight roster that includes the likes of Clay Collard, Johnny Case and Olivier Aubin-Mercier, among others.
Pettis ended his UFC tenure with back-to-back decision triumphs against Donald Cerrone and Alex Morono, although both of those wins came at 170 pounds. After besting Morono, the Roufusport star revealed plans to return to the lightweight division, where he was once champion.
“Guys at 170 are big dudes. It’s a different beast than 155. The reason I wasn’t at 155 is pure laziness,” Pettis said. “It was me outside the Octagon getting fat and just not caring like I should care about my career. I was doing some of the extracurricular things like clubs, the partying scene and all the food that comes with that. I’ve cleared that part of my life.
“I’m keeping life outside the Octagon very straight. I know I can get down to 155 and be comfortable.”