An uphill climb awaits former World Extreme Cagefighting and Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder Anthony Pettis, as he tries to qualify for the 2021 Professional Fighters League playoffs.
Saddled with a season-opening loss to Clay Collard in April, “Showtime” will confront the undefeated Alex Martinez in the PFL 4 co-main event on Thursday at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The setback against Collard was Pettis’ first in more than a year, spoiled his hotly anticipated organizational debut and closed the book on his modest two-fight winning streak. Martinez, meanwhile, improved to 8-0 with a split decision over Loik Radzhabov at PFL 1 on April 23.
As Pettis and Martinez make final preparations ahead of their high-stakes battle, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
34: Years of age for Pettis, who was born in Milwaukee on Jan. 27, 1987. “Platoon,” “Critical Condition,” “Crocodile Dundee,” “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and “The Golden Child” were the Top 5 movies at the domestic box office at the time.
72: Seconds needed by Pettis to defeat his first three opponents as a pro. He put away Tom Erspamer in 24 seconds, Lonny Amdahl in 12 seconds and Michael Skinner in 36 seconds—all under the Gladiators Cage Fighting banner.
11: Pettis victories by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for 46% of his career total (24). His list of victims includes Stephen Thompson, Donald Cerrone, Joe Lauzon and Danny Castillo. Pettis owns seven other victories by submission and six more by decision.
284: Combined wins between the 11 men who have defeated Pettis: Collard, Diego Ferreira, Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier, Max Holloway, Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez, Rafael dos Anjos, Clay Guida and Bart Palaszewski. They own a cumulative winning percentage of .723 (284-109).
560: Days spent by Pettis as the undisputed UFC lightweight champion. The Duke Roufus disciple held the 155-pound title from Aug. 31, 2013 to March 14, 2015.
27: Years of age for Martinez, who was born on May 21, 1994 in Encarnacion, Paraguay, more than 4,800 miles from Professional Fighters League headquarters.
4: Martinez wins by submission, accounting for 50% of his career total (eight). His methods of choice: two guillotine chokes, one rear-naked choke and one armbar. Martinez owns two other wins by knockout or technical knockout and two more by decision.
6: Promotions in which Martinez has competed as a mixed martial artist. He has gone 2-0 in Xcessive Force Fighting Championship, 2-0 in Brave Combat Federation, 1-0 in Hard Knocks Fighting Championship, 1-0 in Modern Fighting Championship, 1-0 in the iKon Fighting Federation and 1-0 in the PFL.
14: Total strikes by which Martinez was outlanded in his contentious split decision over Radzhabov at PFL 1. He connected on 36 strikes while absorbing 50 in return, but he nevertheless managed to sway the judges with a strong second round.
2: First-round finishes on the Martinez resume. He submitted Cody Purtell with an armbar 2:29 into their HKFC 52 pairing on Dec. 9, 2016 and tapped Christofer Ramirez with a guillotine choke 1:49 into their iKon Fighting Federation 4 encounter on Dec. 11, 2020.
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