NEW YORK — The PFL had excessive hopes for Anthony Pettis when it signed him to a multiyear deal in 2021. However for the second consecutive 12 months, Pettis has did not make it to the match finals.
Pettis (25-14), a former UFC champion, dropped a unanimous resolution to Stevie Ray in the primary occasion of PFL’s occasion Friday inside Hulu Theater at Madison Sq. Backyard. All three judges scored the light-weight combat 29-28 for Ray (25-10).
The semifinal bout was a rematch of a combat that happened simply six weeks in the past through the 2022 common season. Ray, of Scotland, gained that combat as nicely, when he tapped Pettis in a uncommon modified tornado.
All week, Pettis, 35, had promised the rematch can be totally different. He went into their first combat with nothing to essentially achieve, as he had already secured a playoff berth in his opening combat of the season with a first-round end. He credited Ray for the win, however acknowledged it had been onerous to get motivated for a combat when the result would not change his playoff standing.
Pettis regarded good on the toes Friday towards Ray however was badly outmatched on the ground. Pettis landed good kicks to the physique however Ray walked him to the fence within the first and second rounds, took him down and hunted quite a lot of submissions.
Ray will advance to the finals Nov. 25 at a location to be introduced. He’ll face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (16-5), who punched his ticket to the finals with a powerful resolution win over Alex Martinez. Aubin-Mercier dropped Martinez with left palms twice within the combat and managed him on the ground.
The Friday occasion additionally noticed gentle heavyweights Robert Wilkinson (16-2) and Omari Akhmedov (24-7-1) advance to that division’s finals. Wilkinson, of Australia, knocked out Delan Monte within the opening spherical of their semifinal matchup with knees. He is been on fireplace in 2022, recording three consecutive finishes. Akhmedov defeated Josh Silveira by unanimous resolution.
All 4 of the 2022 PFL finalists have fought beforehand within the UFC. Wilkinson made two appearances in 2017 and 2018, together with one towards present UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Akhmedov went 9-6-1 within the Octagon from 2013 to 2021. Ray fought within the UFC from 2015 to 2019, and Aubin-Mercier was there from 2014 to 2019.