Kicking off a trio of events that will conclude their 2021 regular season, PFL will present a card on Thursday night from the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic CIty, New Jersey, USA.
Throughout the card, lightweight and featherweight fighters will get their last chance this year to earn points in the PFL season and potentially advance into the playoffs.
A rare non-season fight will main event the card, as championship boxer Claressa Shields will make her pro MMA debut against Brittney Elkin.
A full preview of the card can be read here.
Preliminary Card (7:00PM EDT) (ESPN+ / TSN GO)
Bout 1: Chris Wade (18-6) vs. Arman Ospanov (11-3) (Featherweight)
Looking to finish his PFL season with two wins, Chris Wade will fight fellow featherweight Arman Ospanov in the opening bout of the card.
Wade, who is competing in his third PFL season, scored a decision win earlier this year, defeating Anthony Dizy on scorecards to earn three points in the featherweight standings.
He now fights Ospanov, who will be making his PFL debut. Ospanov enters the promotion after winning two of his last five bouts.
Bout 2: Sheymon Moraes (11-5) vs. Jesse Stirn (11-4) (Featherweight)
Sheymon Moraes has the chance to snap a three-fight skid when facing Jesse Stirn on the prelims.
Moraes lost his PFL debut earlier this year, being finished within a round by Brendan Loughnane. The fight was his third consecutive loss, as he was entering the promotion following two losses in the UFC.
Stirn is getting the call-up to the PFL in this fight. He is filling in for Movlid Khaybulaev, who was pulled from his bout against Moraes. Stirn is coming back after winning on a CFFC card two months back, defeating Reginald Adams.
Bout 3: Akhmed Aliev (20-6) vs. Loik Radzhabov (13-3-1) (Lightweight)
In the first lightweight bout of the card, Akhmed Aliev will fight Loik Radzhabov.
Aliev stared his second PFL run with a win in April, defeating Mikhail Odintsov via decision. His previous PFL season saw him make it to the semifinals, where he was eliminated by Natan Schulte.
Radzhabov, a 2019 finalist, lost his first fight of the season to newcomer Alexander Martinez, who won via split decision.
Bout 4: Marcin Held (27-7) vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (11-5) (Lightweight)
Former UFC fighter Olivier Aubin-Mercier will make his PFL debut on the prelims, facing Marcin Held in a lightweight bout.
Aubin-Mercier was first set to compete on a PFL card in April, although he was pulled from the card due to injury later on. The appearance on Thursday will see him attempt to break a three-fight skid that he developed near the end of his 12-bout UFC run.
Held scored an upset win in April, defeating two-time PFL champ Natan Schulte via decision. The bout was Schulte’s first loss since 2017, and his first since PFL switched to a season format.
Bout 5: Natan Schulte (20-4-1) vs. Alexander Martinez (8-0) (Lightweight)
The prelims will wrap up with a fight between two-time PFL champ Natan Schulte and undefeated prospect Alexander Martinez.
As mentioned before, Schulte is returning after being on the losing end of an upset earlier this year. He now fights Martinez, who won his PFL debut in April against Loik Radzhabov. He joined the promotion on short notice after putting together seven wins as a pro, including appearances in notable promotion Brave CF.
Main Card (10:00PM EDT) (ESPN 2 / TSN 2)
Bout 6: Brendan Loughnane (20-3) vs. Tyler Diamond (12-1) (Featherweight)
After kicking off his 2021 season with an explosive win, Brendan Loughnane will return on the main card against Tyler Diamond.
Loughnane was one of the few fighters to score a stoppage win at PFL’s April 23rd card, putting together explosive punches to stop Sheymon Moraes in the third minute of a bout. The fight extended his win streak to six consecutive since 2017.
Diamond also won in April, defeating Jo Sungbin on scorecards to get three points in the PFL leaderboard.
Bout 7: Bubba Jenkins (15-4) vs. Bobby Moffett (13-5) (Featherweight)
Former UFC fighter Bobby Moffett will make his first appearance in the PFL cage when facing Bubba Jenkins.
Jenkins, a former Brave CF Featherweight Champion, made a splash in his PFL debut earlier this year, defeating 2019 champion Lance Palmer via decision.
Moffet is making the move to the PFL after wrapping up a three-fight UFC run that resulted in two losses and one no contest.
Bout 8: Clay Collard (19-8) vs. Joilton Lutterbach (34-9) (Lightweight)
In the final regular season bout of the card, Clay Collard will face Joilton Lutterbach in the lightweight division.
Along with the upset wins over former PFL champions on their show in April, Clay Collard shcoked many in the main evet of the promotion’s first show of the year by scoring a decision victory over former UFC fighter Anthony Pettis.
The win came after a busy year of boxing for Collard, as he earned five wins through six fights in 2020 while PFL was on a break.
Lutterbach lost his first PFL appearance in April, dropping a split decision to Raush Manfio. The loss came after attaining four consecutive wins through 2019 and 2020.
Bout 9: Claressa Shields (0-0) vs. Brittney Elkin (3-6) (Lightweight)
Olympic gold medalist and championship boxer Claressa Shields will appear under MMA rules for the first time ever on Thursday night, facing Brittney Elkin in the main event of the PFL card.
Shields’ participation in MMA had been hinted at in the past, but was confirmed in December when she reportedly signed a deal with the PFL. She has been training at notable MMA gym Jackson Wink MMA leading up to this fight.
Shields has an extensive resume in boxing that will be seen in her fight on Thursday. She competed as an amateur boxer from 2010 to 2016, earning gold medals at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics for the United States.
She has put together an undefeated record of 11 wins since starting her pro career in boxing in 2016. Her last fight was in March, where she defeated Marie-Eve Dicaire.
She now faces Elkin – the same person who welcomed Judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison to MMA in 2018. Despite having a negative MMA record of three wins and six losses, Elkin enters the cage with an upper hand in experience in the sport, having fought as a pro since 2014.