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Even though Anthony Pettis lost his first Professional Fighters League fight, the promotion is placing him higher on his next card than the man that beat him.
On Thursday, the PFL released its lineup for PFL 4: 2021 Regular Season, which takes place at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., on June 10. Ten fights throughout the featherweight and lightweight divisions have been matched for this event, plus the previously announced women’s lightweight non-tournament battle between Claressa Shields (0-0) and Brittney Elkin (3-6) which will be high on the main card and possibly even the headliner. The tournament main event comes at lightweight, as Anthony Pettis (24-11) takes on the unbeaten Alex Martinez (8-0, 1 NC).
Pettis came in to the tournament-based league as a -440 favorite against Clay Collard, only to get nearly stopped repeatedly en route to a decision loss. “Showtime” did have a moment in the third round when a head kick connected flush, but he could not capitalize to make up for the damage absorbed from the +350 underdog. This loss at lightweight snapped a two-fight win streak from the Roufusport standout at welterweight, with wins over Donald Cerrone and Alex Morono in 2020 before his contract expired and he joined the PFL.
Martinez squeaked out a win in his PFL debut by winning the second decision of his career over Loik Radzhabov. The split verdict was also an upset – as a +365 underdog, it was more substantial than Collard beating Pettis – and one that the Sherdog official scorer scored for Radzhabov. Through his career, all but one of his stoppage triumphs have come within the first two rounds.
The event, which the organization is billing as “win or go home,” places two more featherweight contests on the main card. Bubba Jenkins (15-4), who upset two-time former 145-pound tourney winner Lance Palmer in his last time out, takes on Frenchman Anthony Dizy (13-4). For the latter, he dropped a decision to Chris Wade, while Jenkins holds three points in the playoff standings.
The other bout slotted for the main card sees Brendan Loughnane (20-3) take on one-beaten Tyler Diamond (12-1). Both men won at PFL 1 in April, with Loughnane smashing Sheymon Moraes in the first round, and Diamond scoring a thrilling decision over Sung Bin Jo. Only four fighters in each division can move on to the playoffs, and stoppages count for more playoff points – Loughnane is the lone fighter in the division who holds more than three points, and is already a likely lock to move on.
The PFL 4: 2021 Regular Season main card will go down on June 10 on ESPN 2 and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The seven-fight prelim portion begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT only on ESPN+ in the U.S.
PFL 4: 2021 Regular Season Lineup:W155: Claressa Shields vs. Brittney Elkin
155: Anthony Pettis vs. Alex Martinez
145: Bubba Jenkins vs. Anthony Dizy
145: Brendan Loughnane vs. Tyler Diamond
155: Clay Collard vs. Joilton Lutterbach
155: Natan Schulte vs. Mikhail Odintsov
145: Lance Palmer vs. Lazar Stojadinovic
155: Marcin Held vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
155: Akhmed Aliev vs. Loik Radzhabov
145: Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Sheymon Moraes
145: Chris Wade vs. Arman Ospanov