Anthony Pettis is set to make his PFL debut this Friday, as he takes on Clay Collard in the PPV main event.
Anthony “Showtime” Pettis – 24-10
One of the most well-known names in modern MMA, Anthony Pettis, shockingly announced he would be moving on from the UFC in December. He will now start a new chapter of his MMA career at the Professional Fighters League, more commonly referred to as the PFL.
Pettis has often lived up to his iconic nickname by having a habit of throwing spectacular flair moves. Think the superman punch KO over ‘Wonderboy,’ the wheel kick against Morono, and of course the legendary Showtime kick against Benson Henderson.
However, whilst those flashy moves are always in Pettis’ locker, the majority of his game is relatively bread and butter. In his later career, he has shown a tendency to move around on the outside and look for the opportunity to counter strike. However, he has a good arsenal of kicks and will mix up his targets, switching from the calf to the body and the head.
Pettis does also have a competent ground game. He has submitted high-level grapplers such as Charles Olivera and Michael Chiesa, often looking as comfortable off his back as he does on his feet.
“Cassius” Clay Collard
Clay Collard is an intriguing figure in the combat sports world. He has not fought in the MMA octagon since 2019. However, during that time, Collard ventured over to the Boxing ring, where he put together an impressive 9-4-3 record.
As you might expect from a man who has spent his last three years boxing, Collard’s hands are lethal. Even in his last MMA fight against Randall Wallace, Collard was throwing brutal combinations that rocked Wallace.
The area that Collard seemed most vulnerable was in the wrestling exchanges. Wallace was able to get him down in the first round and was incredibly close to getting the submission. However, Collard did show some decent defensive wrestling to get him out of these tight spots.
Anthony Pettis will undoubtedly be a big favorite going into this fight. This is no surprise, as he is a former UFC champ and has been fighting regularly in MMA for the past decade. Alternatively, Collard has not fought an MMA fight since 2019, and even when he was fighting regularly, he was not fighting against a particularly high level of competition.
Collard may have success if Pettis decides to trade strikes with him. However, it would not be surprising if Pettis takes the fight to the mat early, just to put that takedown threat in Collard’s mind. If Collard starts second-guessing himself, we may well be in store for another highlight-reel “Showtime” stoppage.
PFL 1: 2021
The PFL’s first event of 2021 takes place on Friday 23rd. It is set to be headlined by new signing Anthony Pettis, who takes on Clay Collard, who has spent his past few years on the boxing circuit. Brendan Loughnane takes on Shaymon Moraes as the ESPN main event, whilst Lance Palmer, Bubba Jenkins, and Taylor Diamond will also feature.