Premier Fight League will return to our screens this Friday, with none other than former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis, making his highly anticipated debut for the promotion. Read on for our complete breakdown, fight analysis, and betting predictions for week one of PFL’s talent-stacked MMA event.
Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Collard
PFL Week 1 Lightweight Main Event Bout
Friday, April 23, 2021 – 5:30pm EDT at Ocean Casino Resort
Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis
Back in my day, Jorge Masvidal wasn’t the cover of viral sensation knockout’s – it was the cage dancing, aerobatic kicks of ‘Showtime’ Anthony Pettis that reigned supreme in that department.
A professional martial artist for nearly fifteen years, Pettis had flaunted his range striking, light footwork and incredible kickboxing techniques inside a UFC octagon since 2011 when the merger between WEC took place. But contractual differences and his curiosity to explore the MMA free agency market saw him sign a multi-fight deal in the lightweight division of PFL (Premier Fight League).
The Wisconsin native of Puerto Rican & Mexican descent has been compiling an MMA skillset since he was a child. Aged 5, he would begin boxing and taekwondo, and you could say the rest is history as he never looked back or focused on another career. He walked into Duke Roufus’s gym (Roufus Sport), aged eighteen, fine-tuned his MMA skillset and has been a long-standing member ever since. Aged 34, Pettis still has some gas in the tank, and although the UFC fan base will miss him dearly, there’s a massive opportunity for ‘Showtime’ to claim an additional title for his championship cabinet.
Anthony Pettis MMA Accomplishments
- UFC Lightweight Championship (One time, one defence).
- UFC Fight of the Night (Two times).
- UFC Knockout of the Night (Two times).
- UFC Submission of the Night (One time).
- UFC Performance of the Night (Three times).
- WEC Light Championship (One time, last ever champion).
- WEC Knockout of the Night (One time).
- WEC Submission of the Night (One time).
- WEC Fight of the Night (One time).
Utah born and raised Clay Collard might ring a bell to some diehard UFC fans; he made a brief stint for the company during his early pro-fighting years but could not overcome such talent the company’s lightweight division had on display. And to be fair, making your debut against Max Holloway isn’t the most romantic level of competition, given the fact Max was blossoming into a future title contender. With that said, he did make a good account of himself without an entire fight camp.
Outside of MMA, Collard is a boxing enthusiast and has competed in more boxing contests than mixed martial arts. Since 2019 he’s fought nineteen times inside a boxing ring, but it seems like a two-fight losing streak has steered the young athlete towards another shot at MMA.
Clay Collard Combat Sport Accomplishments
- Showdown Fights Lightweight Championship (One time).
- SteelFist Fight Night Lightweight Championship (One time, one defence).
- SteelFist Fight Night Welterweight Championship (One time)
Best available odds: Clay Collard Best at (+400) with BetOnline
PFL 2021 Week 1: Pettis vs Collard Early Prediction
How Can Collard Win?
Looking back on Collard’s sole win for the UFC (versus Alex White) shows us how skilled his boxing fundamentals can be. Baring in mind that he was a young twenty-one-year-old during this time.
His ability to fight has been evident over the years, a great mixture of strikes during MMA contests and fierce aggression that could certainly give the former UFC champion some threats to think about.
How Can Pettis Win?
Pettis needs to remain patient. Should he avoid exchanging strikes in the pocket (like he did with Tony Ferguson)? It is hard to envision a scenario where Collard will be able to out skill the extensive kickboxing skills of Pettis should he keep the chess game on his side of the board.
Pettis has excellent footwork, the ability to finish his opponents with punches or kicks and all the favorable martial arts tools in favor.
Pettis vs. Collard Betting Odds Advice
The bookmaker’s current odds-on Pettis was expected, Collard has not competed in a martial arts contest for two years, and although a tough fighter to deal with, there are levels to this game that Collard has not yet reached.
I would never advise anybody to lay heavy juice on a fighter who has been through the wars Pettis has, but I feel the (-600) price tag can make a great extension to your weekend parlay. Brendan Loughnane, who fights on the same card, could be an excellent addition for a near-plus money parlay.
Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Collard Betting Prediction: Anthony Pettis to win at -600 with BetOnline (Parlay Piece)
PFL 2021 WEEK 1 MAIN CARD
- Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Collard [Lightweight main event bout]
- Nathan Schulte vs. Marcin Held [Lightweight co-main event bout]
- Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Lazar Stojadinovic [Featherweight bout]
- Lance Palmer vs. Bubba Jenkins [Featherweight bout]
- Brendan Loughnane vs. Sheymon Moraes [Featherweight bout]