Newly-signed PFL lightweight Anthony Pettis says he wants to be a trailblazer for the future of free agency in the sport of MMA.
Pettis, the former UFC lightweight champion, became a free agent for the first time in his career after finishing out his previous contract with decision wins over Alex Morono and Donald Cerrone. Many expected Pettis to either re-up with the UFC on another contract or to join his brother Sergio Pettis in Bellator, but he instead decided to sign with PFL, where “Showtime” joins the likes of other former UFC champions in Fabricio Werdum and Rory MacDonald there.
Speaking to The Sun, Pettis said that he hopes making the surprise signing with PFL will help lead to a positive change in the future of MMA free agency. While Pettis admits leaving the UFC for PFL is a risk, he believes the reward is worth it and he hopes to lead the way for other fighters in free agency.
“Right now when I’m fighting, it’s for legacy. By me making this move I think it will be talked about down the line for years to come. I felt like I needed to make the change and show other fighters there are other promotions out there, other opportunities to fight. It was a big change, a big risk for me but I’m very excited about it,” Pettis said.
After beating Morono and Cerrone at 170lbs, Pettis plans to move down to 155lbs in 2021 for the PFL season three lightweight tournament. He will no doubt be one of the favorites to go the whole way and take home the $1 million grand prize. Either way, the fact that a free agent of his stature chose another promotion over the UFC speaks to the changing of the guard in regards to free agency in MMA, where other players in the sport now exist.
Do you think Anthony Pettis signing with PFL will help lead to a positive change in MMA free agency?