Professional Fighters League returns for PFL 1 with the main event featuring Anthony Pettis vs Clay Collard on April 23rd, 2021 from Atlantic City.
- The Professional Fighters League returns after canceling their 2020 season
- Anthony Pettis headlines the card against fellow UFC veteran and pro boxer, Clay Collard
- See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full 2021 PFL 1 main card, below
The Professional Fighters League is back and after not having an event in 2020 due to the pandemic. The promotion made some big signings like Anthony Pettis, Rory MacDonald, and Fabricio Werdum among others over their time off and are ready to return. Anthony Pettis is heavily favored in the PFL 1 odds as he makes his promotional debut against Clay Collard at lightweight. The co-main event sees two-time PFL lightweight champ, Natan Schulte against UFC veteran Marcin Held.
For those that might not know, PFL is a regular season and tournament format like stick and ball sports where the winner gets $1 million.
PFL 1 main card airs live on ESPN2 at 9 PM EST on Friday, April 23, from Atlantic City, New Jersey. The table below shows odds for the main card at DraftKings followed by best bets.
PFL 1 Odds
|Fighter||Odds at DraftKings|
All odds as of April 20th
How Will Pettis Do In His Debut?
Anthony Pettis ended his UFC tenure on a two-fight winning streak, and many wondered where he would sign. He ended up only taking a few days and inked a deal with PFL where he will meet UFC veteran Clay Collard in what should be a standup fight.
Pettis & Collard Recent Fights
|Alex Morono, win by decision||Fight 1||Randall Wallace, win by decision|
|Donald Cerrone, win by decision||Fight 2||Lucas Montoya, win by KO|
|Diego Ferriera, loss by submission||Fight 3||Darrick Minner, loss by submission|
|Nate Diaz, win by decision||Fight 4||Carson Hardman, win by submission|
Collard’s recent fights are only showing his MMA fights, which he hasn’t fought in 2019. Since May of 2019, he had eight boxing matches, and in 2020 he had six and even had another at the beginning of 2021 but is solely focused on MMA now.
Pettis vs Collard is the perfect main event for the first event back as “Showtime” is still a big name and has an entertaining style, Collard, meanwhile, is a tremendous boxer and if Pettis keeps it standing it should be a kickboxing fight.
Pettis & Collard Stats
Both Pettis and Collard are known for their striking, but both have underrated ground games. However, I do expect Pettis to try and shoot early to see how much Collard has been training his takedown defense and jiu-jitsu while he was focusing on boxing.
Yet, Showtime is known for his striking, and over 15 minutes, I believe he will try and outstrike the pro boxer and prove a point in his debut. Pettis is the better MMA striker and will use kicks and knees to hurt Collard, but he’s very durable, so I expect Pettis to edge out a decision.
Pick: Anthony Pettis (-590)
Can Schulte Three-Peat as Champ at PFL 1?
Natan Schulte is one of the best fighters outside the UFC and has a good chance to three-peat as the PFL’s lightweight champion. Held, meanwhile, will have his first MMA fight since 2019.
Schulte & Held Recent Fights
|Loik Radzhabov, win by decision||Fight 1||Diego Brandao, win by decision|
|Akhmet Aliev, win by submission||Fight 2||Musa Khamanaev, win by submission|
|Ramsey Nijem, win by submission||Fight 3||Callan Potter, win by submission|
|Jesse Ronson, win by decision||Fight 4||Nasrat Haqparast, win by decision|
Held was not re-signed by the UFC after ending his contract on a win with the decision over Haqparast in a big upset and has gone on to have a to of success in grappling tournaments and in ACA the Russian promotion. In his UFC career, he has also fought the likes of Diego Sanchez, and Joe Lauzon, while also holding wins over Patricky Pitbull and Derek Anderson. However, Schulte is a much more dangerous fighter.
Although when Held normally gets his opponents down, he submits them, I doubt he will be able to take the Brazilain down. Instead, I like Schulte to pick apart Held on the feet and win a clear-cut decision or possibly get a late TKO win.
Pick: Natan Schulte (-435)
Other PFL 1 Picks:
- Movlid Khaybulaev (-670): Khaybulev will be able to piece up Stojadinovic on the feet and eventually find the KO shot.
- Lance Palmer (-500): Palmer will be able to win this fight wherever he wants, and I actually like a Palmer, Khaybulaev, and Schulte parlay.
Cole graduated from Sheridan College in April of 2019 with a diploma in journalism. He now is a full-time freelance writer, focusing on MMA for sites like BJPENN and MMA News, while also covering the Toronto Blue Jays as a credentialed media member. At SBD, Cole covers the four major sports and MMA.