Ex-UFC champion Anthony Pettis signs deal with PFL

It did not take long for Anthony Pettis to find a new home: “Showtime” is coming to PFL.

Pettis, the former UFC and WEC lightweight champion, will join the PFL in the 2021 season and compete for 155 pounds. PFL announced the news Wednesday shortly after advertising partner ESPN reported it.

Pettis (24-10) fought his UFC contract last Saturday with a unanimous victory over Alex Morono at UFC Fight Night 183.

Pettis spoke openly about his impending free agency in the run-up to the fight and announced his UFC departure on Tuesday. It did not take long for Pettis to sign with the PFL, the promotion operating on a system similar to major team sports with regular season matches, playoffs and $ 1 million until the championship winner in each weight class. Pettis was expected to have a potential suitor in Bellator when promotion president Scott Coker expressed interest in MMA Junkie on Tuesday night.

Pettis won the WEC Lightweight Championship in the last event of the campaign, WEC 53 in December 2010, where his famous “Showtime kick” by Benson Henderson in the closing seconds sealed the deal on scorecards in a close match. In 2013, Pettis Henderson submitted to UFC 164 in his hometown of Milwaukee to claim the UFC lightweight belt and lost it to Rafael dos Anjos in 2015.

Pettis struggled to regain his stride from there and fought everywhere from featherweight to welterweight, but he finished his UFC race as the winner of two straight.

No date or first opponent has been named after Pettis. The PFL’s 2021 season is scheduled to begin on April 23 in Las Vegas.