The PFL has announced on Tuesday, February 2nd that it will be back for the 2021 season after taking a year off due to Covid-19. They all announced the PFL lightweight & featherweight rosters. PFL is a tournament-style battle in which it crowns a winner who will take home $1 million. The first PFL card will take place on April 23 with the other scheduled dates being April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25.
Viewers will be able to watch the fight on ESPN2 and ESPN+. The organization announced the first two weight classes which will include 10 lightweights and 8 featherweights. Out of these 18 fighters, nine are former UFC fighters. Among these fighters, the UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is going to be a favorite this year.
To start the Lightweight division we have Akhmed Aliev who has a fighting record of (19-6) went (1-1) in his first and only PFL season. Aliev was eliminated by Natan Schulte in the Semifinals. Next, we have “The Canadian Gangster” Oliver Aubin-Mercier who has a record of 11-5 and a UFC record of 7-5.
Clay Collard (18-8) was a former UFC fighter who showed the boxing world in 2020 that MMA fighters can also box. Johnny Case (27-7-1) is a veteran with 35 professional MMA under his belt and had only one PFL appearance where he drew with champion Natan Schulte. Marcin Held (26-7) is a submission specialist who is returning to America for the first time since going 1-3 in the UFC.
Joilton Luttenbach (34-8) is a Brazilian fighter that most people in American do not know but with a record like that he is someone who knows how to fight and will provide great competition. Mikhail Odintsov (18-2) will be joining the PFL with a seven-fight win streak.
In his 10 finishes, six have been knockouts and four were submissions. Anthon Pettis (24-10) became a free agent after his last UFC win and then signed with the PFL dropping back down to lightweight.
Loik Radzhabov (13-2-1) was the runner-up in the 2019 PFL championship losing to Schulte but showed he is a force to be reckoned with. Natan Schulte (20-3-1) is looking for a 3-peat as he has gone 9-0-1 in his 10 PFL fights.
The featherweights include many great names. Beginning with Tyler Diamond (11-1) who was on “The Ultimate Fighter 27” but was not able to win the competition. Bubba Jenkins (14-4) became the featherweight champion in the Brave CF promotion.
Movlid Khaybulaev (15-0-1) has shown how dangerous he is with his flying knee to Damon Jackson’s face in the 2019 season but was eliminated due to a failed drug test that was later overturned.
Brendan Loughnane (19-3) went 2-0 in the 2019 season. Sheymon Moraes (11-4) went 2-3 in the UFC facing tough competitors such as Sodiq Yusuff, and Andre Fili. Lance Palmer (22-3) is also looking for a 3-peat in his respected division and is currently on an 11-fight winning streak entering this season.
Jason Soares (14-0) has yet to be defeated in his professional fighting career and will be a fun contender to watch this season. Sung Bin Jo (9-1) also known as The” Korean Falcon has not fought since his only appearance and loss in the UFC in 2019.
These are some highly anticipated roster for the PFL. This is the best competition they have had so far.
The PFL President of Fighter Operations Ray Sefo wants to bring the best fighters in MMA together to provide the best fights in all classes and feels he has done so with the lightweight and featherweight classes which are some of the hardest divisions in the sport of fighting.