Ray beats Pettis again, advances to PFL finals
Stevie Ray is one win away from $1 million. And he now owns two victories over a former UFC champion.
Ray defeated Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in a rematch in the PFL 7 main event Friday night in New York to advance to the lightweight final.
"Braveheart" will face fellow UFC veteran Olivier Aubin-Mercier on Nov. 25 to determine the 2022 tournament winner. Aubin-Mercier defeated Alex Martinez in the other semifinal bout earlier Friday.
Pettis and Ray initially met in their final regular-season fight on June 24, with Ray upsetting Pettis by second-round submission to earn a postseason berth and setting up an immediate rematch.
Ray marginally got the better of Pettis in the stand-up department in Friday's bout but dominated on the ground. The Scot took Pettis down multiple times across Rounds 1 and 2. He attempted a submission late in the first and then racked up a significant amount of control time in the second. Pettis' best round was the third.
Ray is in the midst of his first season with the PFL. He came out of retirement to sign with the promotion and hadn't competed since his final UFC bout in 2019. The 32-year-old went 1-1 in the regular season, losing to Martinez by decision and then beating Pettis in their first contest. He's now riding a two-fight winning streak and holds a 2-1 PFL record.
Pettis also went 1-1 in the regular campaign, submitting Myles Price in his 2022 debut and losing to Ray. It was an improvement from his first season with the PFL in 2021 when Pettis lost both of his regular-season bouts and missed the playoffs. "Showtime," who left the UFC two years ago following a lengthy tenure during which he held the lightweight title from 2013-15, is now 1-4 in the PFL.
Pettis confirmed after the fight that he suffered two broken hands.