Stevie Ray beats Anthony Pettis for a second time to advance to $1million PFL final

Stevie Ray will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier after the pair won their PFL lightweight semi-finals in New York tonight.

The former UFC stars headlined a card of play-offs in the lightweight and light-heavyweight divisions, just six weeks after their first meeting. Ray had landed a stunning twister submission in their last bout, and was able to do it again, this time on the judges’ scorecard by unanimous decision.

The bout drew a packed house to Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre, with celebrities from across the sporting, music and social media worlds including rapper Fat Joe, Tik Tok star Liver King and Brandon Walker of Barstool Sports in attendance. And the event didn’t disappoint with exciting action from start to finish including a first round stoppage between Rob Wilkinson and Delan Monte.

A slow start saw Ray and Pettis locked against the cage early, and neither man engaging with heavy shots in the early exchanges. The former UFC champion’s fans were out in force chanting support for their man early, but he found himself on his back within the first round, although he blocked Ray’s attempts to work.

And the capacity crowd were on their feet when Ray locked in a deep choke on the ground, only for Pettis to pop up and finish the round with strikes. Towards the start of the second, he almost landed a big head kick, but soon it was Ray in control on the ground again.

Ray took Pettis’ back towards the end of the round, but was unable to make lighting, or his famous twister, strike twice. The pair headed into the third with the Scot in the ascendancy for their fifth consecutive round together, but Pettis landed some of his patented kicks.

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The third swang in Pettis’ favour, and he almost managed to finish at the very end with a series of kicks. But the bout ultimately went to the judges’ scorecards and went in favour of Ray.

Aubin-Mercier took an unanimous decision victory over Alex Martinez in his play-off, almost stopping the fight on a number of occasions. He heads towards a chance at the $1m prize on a five-fight win streak since leaving the UFC, and will be a difficult puzzle to solve for the Scot.

Meanwhile, the light-heavyweight finals were decided, with Omari Akhmedov heading to the final to face Rob Wilkinson. The Russian slogged out a decision victory over Josh Silveira to earn his spot, while Wilkinson got it done within a round by way of flying knee.

But the Australian didn’t have it all his own way throughout the brief main card opener. He was dropped in the opening seconds before earning his way back into the bout and eventually landing a massive knee to close the show within the opening salvo.

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