Clay Collard defeated one of the PFL’s 2021 favorites right off the bat, but he may end up meeting him again.
Although Pettis lost, he still could earn a playoff spot, which means the two could end up crossing paths again. While it’s good for Collard to get a notable name like Pettis out of the way early, he’s open to fighting him again.
“Beating him once is great. Beating him twice would be even better,” Collard told MMA Junkie Radio. “I’m not really too worried about it. I’m not really thinking that far ahead. If I meet him again, cool. If not, there’s other opponents. Right now, I’m just focused on the next fight and winning the next one, and hopefully scoring a few more points in the tournament.”
Collard, who’s had plenty of success as a pro boxer, was able to show off his hands in full effect. In Round 2, he dropped Pettis multiple times, but Pettis was able to survive the barrage. Although his best work came midway through the fight, Collard was oozing confidence and said he knew he had the fight won from the outset.
“Right when the very first round started, we had a little exchange and he grabbed a hold of me, and I just felt more powerful than him,” Collard said. “Right then, I was like, ‘All right. I’m good. We’ve got this.’ Just real early on when he clinched me up, and I kind of just, like, pushed him off me and was like, ‘OK. All right. We’ve got this.’”
Collard was in firm control after two rounds until he got rocked with a head kick, followed by a flying knee in Round 3. However, he said none of Pettis’ shots landed cleanly, which is why he was able to weather the late surge.
“So the kick, I caught most of it on my arm, luckily,” Collard said. “I took the blunt force of that, most of it to my arm. If I didn’t get my hand up and block most of that, who knows if I would have got up or not. Then the knee, he caught me with more of his thigh. It wasn’t quite the knee. So sometimes, it’s good to be lucky I guess.”
This was originally published on www.mmajunkie.com