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PFL 1: Clay Collard holds on to spoil the debut of Anthony Pettis

The first event of the PFL’s 2021 season featured a slew of upsets, including the main event.

Just ask PFL lightweight Clay Collard.

Collard (19-8-0), a fledging boxer who returned to the cage Friday night to take on former UFC lightweight Anthony Pettis (24-11-0), used superior striking in the first two rounds before holding on in the third round to take a unanimous decision victory at PFL 1 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Pettis was making his debut after dealing to resign with the UFC in December 2020.

Collard even dropped Pettis twice in the second round and looked close to finishing the contest.Only the durability of Pettis allowed him to survive.

And in the third round, Pettis connected with a head kick and then a flying knee that knocked Collard down, followed up by a flying knee that made things interesting. In the end though, Collard survived.

The judges scored it 29-27, 29-27, and 29-28.

With the win, Collard earned 3 points for the decision victory, which is his third straight, but his first since April 2019. Pettis had a two-fight win streak snapped with the defeat.

PFL featherweight champion Lance Palmer was also upset, losing a unanimous decision to Bubba Jenkins to kick off the main card. And in the co-main event, Nathan Shulte suffered his first loss in more than four years by design to Marcin Held.

The PFL points season awards three points for a win and a maximum of three bonus points if a finish is registered, depending on the round of the finish. Bonus points can also be awarded to the opponent of a fighter who misses weight, with the usual total being six points for a fighter who wins by finish in the first round.

The bonus points system means thet defeated fighters still have a chance to catch u by registering finishes in their remaining bouts.

In other bouts:

CLAY COLLARD DEF. ANTHONY PETTIS VIA UD (29-27, 29-27 29-28) 3PTS

MARCIN HELD DEF. NATAN SCHULTE VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) 3PTS

MOVLID KHAYBULAEV DEF. LAZAR STOJDINOVIC VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 3PTS

BUBBA JENKINS DEF. LANCE PALMER VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 3PTS

BRENDAN LOUGHNANE DEF. SHEYMON MORAES VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 2:55  6PTS

RAUSH MANFIO DEF. JOILTON LUTTERBACH VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) 3PTS

AKHMED ALLEV DEF. MIKHAIL ODINTSOV VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) 3PTS

CHRIS WADE DEF. ANTHONY DIZY VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) 3PTS

TYLER DIAMOND DEF. SUNG BIN JO VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 3PTS

ALEX MARTINEZ DEF. LOIK RADZHABOV VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 30-27) 3PTS

The remaining PFL 2021 season events are scheduled for April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25. They will be aired on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and live streamed on ESPN+ in primetime.

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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