The Professional Fighters League (PFL) has announced its featherweight and lightweight rosters for the 2021 season.
April 23 will mark the return of the league, which didn’t have a 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ll be kicking off their 2021 season with a bang, with two-time champions Lance Palmer and Natan Schulte coming back to try to claim their third consecutive championship titles in the featherweight and lightweight divisions, respectively.
Both divisions will be stacked with some of the best MMA talent looking to claim $1 million in prize money. This year will be a particularly interesting season for the lightweight division, though, with former UFC champion Anthony Pettis joining the fray. Pettis announced his departure from the UFC at the end of last year and quickly found a home with the PFL.
While all eyes will be on Pettis and Schulte, it would be a mistake to count out the other competitors in the division, including Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Johnny Case, Loik Radzhabov, Akhmed Aliev, Marcin Held, Joilton Lutterbach, Mikhail Odintsov, and boxing star Clay Collard — all of whom have put on stellar performances in the past.
In the featherweight division, Palmer will have to contend with notable wrestler and Bellator veteran Bubba Jenkins. Titan FC veteran Jason Soares will be making the move to the PFL with an eyebrow-raising professional record of 14-0, and Jo Sung-Bin, who has finished all nine of his winning fights, will also be among the new additions to the roster. Brendan Loughnane will be entering the season on a five-fight winning streak, and Movlid Khaybulaev, Sheymon Moraes, and Tyler Diamond will also be vying for the prestigious title.
In a press release shared with the Jiu-Jitsu Times, PFL President of Fighter Operations Ray Sefo remarked on the level of competition in the lightweight and featherweight rosters for the upcoming season.
“It has always been our goal to bring in the best talent the MMA world has to offer, and I believe we’ve done that with the 2021 roster. The featherweight and lightweight divisions are some of the toughest in the sport and our past champions are going to have an even tougher road to the title than ever before. I can’t wait to kick this year off on April 23.”
The 2021 PFL Season will begin on April 23 and can be watched on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+. The remaining regular-season events will take place on April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25.