NEW YORK — The PFL experienced superior hopes for Anthony Pettis when it signed him to a multiyear offer in 2021. But for the 2nd consecutive year, Pettis has failed to make it to the tournament finals.
Pettis (25-14), a former UFC champion, dropped a unanimous choice to Stevie Ray in the primary occasion of PFL’s occasion Friday inside Hulu Theater at Madison Sq. Back garden. All 3 judges scored the lightweight fight 29-28 for Ray (25-10).
The semifinal bout was a rematch of a battle that took place just six weeks in the past in the course of the 2022 standard period. Ray, of Scotland, gained that combat as very well, when he tapped Pettis in a unusual modified tornado.
All 7 days, Pettis, 35, experienced promised the rematch would be distinctive. He went into their 1st combat with absolutely nothing to really get, as he experienced previously secured a playoff berth in his opening battle of the year with a initial-spherical complete. He credited Ray for the gain, but acknowledged it experienced been difficult to get inspired for a battle when the final result would not change his playoff position.
Pettis seemed great on the toes Friday from Ray but was terribly outmatched on the floor. Pettis landed fantastic kicks to the entire body but Ray walked him to the fence in the initially and next rounds, took him down and hunted a wide range of submissions.
Ray will progress to the finals Nov. 25 at a place to be declared. He will deal with Olivier Aubin-Mercier (16-5), who punched his ticket to the finals with a powerful decision get around Alex Martinez. Aubin-Mercier dropped Martinez with still left hands twice in the fight and controlled him on the flooring.
The Friday occasion also noticed gentle heavyweights Robert Wilkinson (16-2) and Omari Akhmedov (24-7-1) progress to that division’s finals. Wilkinson, of Australia, knocked out Delan Monte in the opening round of their semifinal matchup with knees. He is been on fire in 2022, recording 3 consecutive finishes. Akhmedov defeated Josh Silveira by unanimous determination.
All four of the 2022 PFL finalists have fought formerly in the UFC. Wilkinson created two appearances in 2017 and 2018, including one particular from recent UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Akhmedov went 9-6-1 in the Octagon from 2013 to 2021. Ray fought in the UFC from 2015 to 2019, and Aubin-Mercier was there from 2014 to 2019.