Anthony Pettis debut details revealed as PFL unveils 2021 rosters for stacked lightweight and featherweight divisions

PFL featherweight & lightweight roster
PFL featherweight & lightweight roster
Gabriel Colman

Anthony Pettis's debut has been announced as the Professional Fighter's League (PFL) releases its featherweight and lightweight rosters for the 2021 regular season, which kicks off on April 23 and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ in primetime.

Competing in the PFL lightweight division, Pettis will attempt to dethrone the only 155 lb champion the promotion has ever known in Natan Schulte. The Brazilian has seized back-to-back titles and is in the pursuit of his third.

Besides the former UFC lightweight champion, new additions to the category are 2020 boxing sensation Clay Collard, Canadian Olivier Aubin-Mercier, and Johnny Case - who fought Schulte to a draw in 2018.

PFL veterans Akhmed Aliev, Marcin Held, Joilton Lutterbach, Mikhail Odinstov, and 2019 finalist Loik Radzhabov compose the remainder of the promotion's 2021 lightweight roster.

PFL lightweight roster
PFL lightweight roster

The 2021 Lightweight (155 lbs) roster includes:

  • Akhmed Aliev;
  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier;
  • Clay Collard;
  • Johnny Case;
  • Marcin Held;
  • Joilton Lutterbach;
  • Mikhail Odintsov;
  • Anthony Pettis;
  • Loik Radzhabov;
  • Natan Schulte.

Who is fighting in the PFL featherweight division?

The 2021 featherweight division will have two-time champion Lance Palmer attempting to get his third, while new contenders that just signed with the PFL will offer tough competition to make this season the most competitive yet.

Palmer's wrestling nemesis Bubba Jenkins, highly regarded Brit Brendan Loughnane, undefeated Jason Soares, and Korean star Jo Sungbin are some of the new names to shape the 145 lb weight class.

Russian knockout artist Movlid Khaybulaev, Brazilian Sheymon Moraes, and top prospect Tyler Diamond are the other names announced until now that will try to pluck the title from the only featherweight champion the PFL has ever known.

PFL featherweight roster
PFL featherweight roster

The 2021 Featherweight (145 lbs) roster includes:

  • Tyler Diamond;
  • Bubba Jenkins;
  • Movlid Khaybulaev;
  • Brendan Loughnane;
  • Sheymon Moraes;
  • Lance Palmer;
  • Jason Soares;
  • Jo Sungbin;
  • Plus two to-be- announced fighters.

How does the PFL work?

Since its foundation in 2018, the PFL has quickly established itself as the No. 2 MMA company worldwide. The promotion presents MMA in the sport-season format with a revolutionary competition format where individual fighters control their own destiny, competing in a 'Regular Season,' 'Playoffs,' and 'Championship' for a million-dollar prize.

"We're excited to officially unveil the first two rosters for the 2021 season," said PFL CEO Peter Murray. "Our fighter roster is top-tier, and we are looking forward to having fighters from around the world be a part of our league and season. PFL is a fighter-first organization, and we are proud to showcase the depth and breadth of our rosters."
"It has always been our goal to bring in the best talent the MMA world has to offer, and I believe we've done that with the 2021 roster," said PFL President of Fighter Operations, Ray Sefo. "The featherweight and lightweight divisions are some of the toughest in the sport, and our past champions are going to have an even tougher road to the title than ever before. I can't wait to kick this year off on April 23."

Eyeing to attract a broader public, the PFL differentiates itself for its exciting competition format. The league-like setup seems to have drawn the attention of combat sports fans as the promotion has experienced tremendous growth across digital channels and audiences.

PFL events are broadcast live in primetime on ESPN2 and ESPN+ in the United States and distributed to 160 additional countries worldwide on premium sports networks.

The 2021 PFL Season will begin on April 23 on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ in primetime. The remaining Regular Season events will occur on April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25.

Edited by Anirban Banerjee


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