The Professional Fighters League (PFL) has unveiled the rosters for both featherweight and lightweight tournaments to begin the upcoming 2021 season.

The action kicks off on April 23 live on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ in primetime as defending two-time champions Lance Palmer and Natan Schulte look to score a third consecutive title and the largest payday in MMA, a million dollars.

PFL officials have put together a stacked roster from top to bottom for the two weight classes, adding some of the biggest names in the sport to the draw. 

Palmer will need to overcome the likes of Bubba Jenkins, Brendan Loughnane, Jason Soares and Jo Sungbin as he begins his march to another featherweight title. The former standout amateur wrestler is 22-3 in his career including 11 consecutive victories.

Jenkins, who previously faced Palmer on the wrestling mats while both were competing in college, is 14-4 with three straight wins to his credit. 

Rounding out the featherweight division will be Tyler Diamond, Movlid Khaybulaev and Sheymon Moraes. One open spot will be filled at a later date. 

“We’re excited to officially unveil the first two rosters for the 2021 season,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “Our fighter roster is top-tier, and we are looking forward to having fighters from around the world be a part of our League and season. PFL is a fighter-first organization and we are proud to showcase the depth and breadth of our rosters.”

In the lightweight division, all eyes will be focused on a potential mega-collision between Schulte and former world champion Anthony Pettis. Pettis, nicknamed “Showtime,” signed with the PFL and is looking to unseat Schulte atop the 155-pound division.

Pettis has earned world titles in both the UFC and WEC, along with being the first-ever MMA athlete to be featured on Wheaties.

Schulte enters with a 20-3 overall record that includes 10 straight fights without a loss.

Joining Schulte and Pettis in the lightweight field will be Akhmed Aliev, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Clay Collard, Johnny Case, Marcin Held, Joilton Lutterbach, Mikhail Odintsov and Loik Radzhabov. 

“It has always been our goal to bring in the best talent the MMA world has to offer,” said PFL President of Fighter Operations Ray Sefo, “and I believe we have 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.”

Other planned dates for the PFL season are April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17 and June 25. All cards will air on the ESPN family of networks live. 


Mentioned in this article:

More About: