ARLINGTON, Texas - The Professional Fighters League kicks off their highly anticipated 2022 season with PFL 1, featuring bouts in the lightweight and light heavyweight division. In the main event, "Cassius" Clay Collard (20-9) faces league newcomer Jeremy "Lil' Heathen" Stephens (28-19).
Collard weighed in at 155 pounds and will look to build off a stellar 2021 campaign that saw him reach the PFL Playoffs semifinals. In last year’s season opener, Collard stunned the world by spoiling the debut of Anthony Pettis. This year, he looks to repeat history against Stephens, who came in at 156 pounds for his debut under the PFL banner. The 34-fight veteran has shared the cage with multiple world champions such as Charles Oliveira, Jose Aldo, Rafael dos Anjos, Max Holloway, Renan Barao, and Gilbert Melendez. He himself hopes to capture world championship gold with the PFL but will first need to get past Collard.
In the co-main event, 2021 PFL Lightweight Champion Raush "War Horse" Manfio (15-3) faces Don "Magic Man" Madge (10-3-1). Manfio weighed in at 156 pounds as he begins his quest for a second-straight PFL world championship. The Brazilian knocked off the likes of Collard, Pettis and Loik Radzhabov en route to the PFL world championship and million-dollar purse. Madge, meanwhile, weighed in at 155.8-pounds for his lightweight tournament debut. The highly touted South African was successful in his maiden PFL appearance last year, submitting Nathan Williams in the second round.
In a featured bout at 205 pounds, 2021 PFL light heavyweight champion Antonio "Shoeface" Carlos Junior (13-5) also kicks off his campaign for a second title run against fellow Brazilian, PFL newcomer Delan Monte (8-1). Carlos Junior came in at 205.6 pounds and will try to extend his undefeated streak in the PFL to four fights. Monte, meanwhile, came in at 205-pounds, and comes into the league having won four of his last five bouts.
MAIN CARD (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET)
- Clay Collard (155) vs. Jeremy Stephens (156)
- Raush Manfio (156) vs. Don Madge (155.8)
- Antonio Carlos Junior (205.6) vs. Delan Monte (205)
- Natan Schulte (156) vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (155.8)
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESP+, 6 p.m. ET)
- Emiliano Sordi (205.4) vs. Corey Hendricks (205.8)
- Alexander Martinez (156) vs. Stevie Ray (155.6)
- Marthin Hamlet (205.8) vs. Teodoras Aukštuolis (204.6)
- Omari Akhmedov (204.6) vs. Viktor Pešta (205.6)
- Rob Wilkinson (205) vs. Bruce Souto (204.6)
- Simeon Powell (205.8) vs. Clinton Williams (204.6)