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Former MMA world champion Pettis joins PFL

Two-time MMA world champion Anthony Pettis has jumped ship and becomes the next superstar fighter to sign a multi-year deal with Professional Fighters League (PFL). 

Anthony Pettis psyches himself up in this file photo before the start of his fight against Diego Ferreira at UFC 246 January 18, 2020. AFP
The 33-year-old American—nicknamed “Showtime”—has made a career of being a human highlight reel and has notched 23 career wins, with 11 coming by way of knockout. Pettis will be fighting in the 155-pound lightweight division upon his PFL debut in 2021.

“I am really looking forward to this next big challenge after signing with the PFL to compete in the lightweight division. I’m super impressed with what the PFL has built, how they are growing the sport, and the amazing talent they have added. I’ve been watching the Brazilian guy (Natan) Schulte who is the champion and he is really good but there isn’t anyone I’m scared of,” said Pettis. 

“The season format is great; I think it will be an amazing new journey for me and to get to wrap it up over the course of one year will be awesome. I can’t wait to get another world championship to add to my collection.”

In addition to his status as one of the pound-for-pound greats, the Wisconsin native is known as one of the most acrobatic fighters in the world. Equipped with lightning quick speed and unrelenting power, Pettis was responsible for one of the most iconic moments in MMA history when he ran off the cage and threw a flying kick—now known as the Showtime Kick—that connected with his opponent’s head en route to claiming his first world title. 

Pettis is one of the most mainstream fighters in mixed martial arts history, evidenced by in 2014 when he became the first MMA fighter to ever be featured on a Wheaties cereal box.

“I am excited to announce that the PFL has signed two-time world champion, Anthony Pettis,” said Peter Murray, CEO of the Professional Fighters League. 

“Not only is Anthony a transcendent athlete within the sport of MMA, but he is also an innovator in the cage who is known for his charismatic fighting style and determination to win. I am confident that Anthony will bring that ‘wow’ factor into every matchup he participates in over the course of our season format, and we’re excited for him to join the PFL family.”

The PFL’s 2021 season will begin on April 23 on ESPN2. The remaining Regular Season events will take place on April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25.

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) presents MMA for the first time in the sport-season format where individual fighters control their own destiny, competing in a Regular Season, Playoffs, and Championship for a million-dollar prize. 

PFL’s differentiated format and exciting fights sparked breakout growth for the league. PFL events are broadcast live in primetime on ESPN2 and ESPN+ in the United States and distributed to 160 additional countries around the world on premium sports networks.

Topics: Anthony Pettis , Professional Fighters League , Peter Murray , MMA
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