On April 20th, the Professional Fighters League will kick off their 2022 Season live from the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Fighters will compete to accumulate points so they can advance to the Playoffs and eventually the PFL Championship. In addition to winning a Championship title, each Champion will win $1 Million. Let’s take a look at all of the fights on the main card.
The PFL matchmakers must be commended as they’re putting on the perfect stylistic matchup for the first main event of their regular season. You know who Jeremy Stephens is and what he brings to the table, but you might not be familiar with Clay Collard. Collard has competed in the UFC and has experience as a professional boxer. In April of last year, he spoiled the PFL debut of Anthony Pettis by defeating him by unanimous decision and came close to finishing him in the 2nd round. Afer defeating Anthony Pettis and Joilton Lutterbach, Collard fought Raush Manfio in the PFL Playoffs. If Collard had won, he would have advanced to the PFL Championship to compete for $1 Million. Collard lost a unanimous decision in a fight that many considered a robbery. Collard defeated Manfio on the Verdict Scorecard by a significant margin. He’ll now return to the PFL to finish what he started last year: Win a Championship and win $1 Million. As it stands, this fight is at a 50/50 dead split on Verdict. Expect to see a standup war between these two.
Raush Manfio had a successful 2021 with the PFL as he defeated Anthony Pettis, won the PFL Championship, and won $1 Million. He’s back in the PFL this year and will try to do the same thing. He’ll take on Don Madge who’s on a 7 fight winning streak. Madge made his PFL debut at the PFL Championship event last October when he submitted Nathan Williams. Prior to that, Madge won back to back fights in the UFC. Unlike last year, Madge will be a contestant in the PFL Season. Though Manfio is the reigning Champion, he’s expected to lose with 63% of the Verdict Community predicting Madge to defeat him.
After Antônio Carlos Júnior suffered 3 consecutive losses in the UFC, he was cut from the promotion. His final fight in the Octagon took place in January of 2021 at UFC 257 against Brad Tavares. It seemed like this was the end of the road for Júnior as he was cut from the world’s biggest promotion. However, opportunity knocked on his door when he got a call from the PFL to compete in their 2021 Season. Júnior made the most of that opportunity as he went onto win a PFL Championship and $1 Million just 9 months after being cut from the UFC. Júnior returns to the PFL this year to do it again, starting with fighting Delan Monte. Júnior is the biggest favorite on the card, with 86% of the Verdict Community predicting him to defeat Monte.
The main card of PFL 1 will kick off with a Lightweight bout between former 2x PFL Champion Natan Schulte and 5-year UFC veteran Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Aubin-Mercier had 2 fights in the PFL in 2021 and won both of them by unanimous decision. Unfortunately, it was a late start for Aubin-Mercier, who was forced to withdraw from his first fight in the PFL which ultimately lead him to not accumulating enough points to advance to the PFL Playoffs. Aubin-Mercier will get an opportunity at a fresh start this year when he comptes against Natan Schulte. Though Schulte is former 2x PFL Champion, only 28% predict he’ll be able to defeat Aubin-Mercier.