The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league, is set to return with the second half of the 2022 Regular Season this Friday, June 17, on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+. Fighters across the lightweight and light heavyweight divisions will be looking to punch their ticket to the PFL Playoffs. Only the top four athletes in each division will earn a PFL Playoff berth and a chance to fight for a 2022 PFL World Championship and the $1M winner’s purse. PFL 4 begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ (English and Spanish) with the action continuing on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET.
Clay Collard will square off with Alexander Martinez in the main event of PFL 4. The Idaho native and crowd favorite defeated Jeremy Stephens to kick off his season. Collard’s three points have him tied with a pair of fighters, including Martinez, in third place in the division. Both Collard and Martinez will look for a finish victory to secure a potential postseason bid.
The 2021 PFL World Light Heavyweight Champion, Antonio Carlos Jr., sits tied atop the division with six points after his submission win over Delan Monte at PFL 1. Carlos Jr. is one of the favored fighters at 205 pounds this year and he’ll look to lock up a playoff spot when he takes on 2022 PFL Challenger Series winner Bruce Souto in the co-main event. “Shoeface” overcame an early barrage of punches in his first fight before locking up the six-point submission while Souto dropped his bout to Robert Wilkinson. A win should be enough to put Carlos Jr. back in the Playoffs while Souto will need an early finish and some help if he wants to continue his 2022 campaign.
Raush Manfio is back and looking for a second consecutive title after his underdog run to the 2021 Lightweight title. Manfio, the returning champion, had issues in his first fight of 2022 with Don Madge. Seeming to drop the first two rounds, Manfio rallied in the third delivering a fight-ending knockout and taking four points to put him in second place heading into the second half where he will duel with “The Canadian Gangster” Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
Aubin-Mercier came up just short of the postseason in 2021 despite going 1-0. This year is different as Aubin-Mercier steps into the SmartCage with the PFL Playoffs in site. A win of any kind would put him ahead of the reigning champion in the standings.
Jeremy Stephens postseason hopes are on the line, as he gets set to face Myles Price. After a Fight of the Year performance that saw Stephens come up just short against Collard, he looks finish Price early with his season hanging in the balance. The Irish, Price, a submission specialist will have his hands full with the power puncher.
Calling the live action will be play-by-play announcer and former world champion, Sean O’Connell. He’ll be joined by Hall-of-Famer and MMA legend Randy Couture and one of the most popular MMA personalities today, Kenny Florian.
“The second half of the 2022 Professional Fighters League season is upon us and we could not be more enthused,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “The Lightweight and Light Heavyweight athletes know it is win or go home. We expect intensity and drama that can only come with PFL’s industry disrupting season format.”
“On Friday, MMA fans can expect an action-packed night of fights,” said PFL President of Fighter Operations, Ray Sefo. “I cannot wait to see what is in store with PFL Playoff positions in the balance.”
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ Card
Clay Collard vs. Alexander Martinez
Antonio Carlos Jr. vs. Bruce Souto
Raush Manfio vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Jeremy Stephens vs. Myles Price
Omari Akhmedov vs. Teodoras Aukstuolis
Natan Schulte vs. Marcin Held
Emiliano Sordi vs. Delan Monte
Robert Wilkinson vs. Viktor Pesta
Marthin Hamlet vs. Josh Silveira
Jacob Childers vs. Nate Jennerman (Showcase bout)
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