Collard to face Manfio in PFL semifinal

MMA

Clay Collard’s quest for $1 million resumes in August.

The MMA veteran, who made a name for himself last year in the boxing world, is two wins away from winning the PFL 2021 lightweight championship and one of the six $1 million prizes. He will face Raush Manfio in the semifinals of the PFL playoffs on Aug. 13 in Hollywood, Florida, PFL officials told ESPN on Tuesday.

An official announcement is expected later Tuesday. Collard is the No. 2 seed and Manfio is No. 3

The other lightweight semifinal taking place during that event will be Loik Radzhabov vs. Alex Martinez. The welterweight semifinal between former UFC star Rory MacDonald and Ray Cooper III will headline the event, which was reported last week by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. The co-main event is the other welterweight semifinal: Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Joao Zeferino.

Collard (20-8, 1 NC) has won four straight in MMA, including both regular-season fights for PFL. In April, the Utah native bested former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision.

Collard, 28, is 6-1 as an MMA fighter since being cut from the UFC in 2015. “Cassius Clay” has also been a pro boxer since 2017. From January 2020 to August 2020, he won five straight boxing matches as the underdog while the PFL was dormant due to the COVID-19 pandemic, earning him another nickname: “Cinderella Man.” He has won eight of his past 11 boxing matches.

Manfio (13-3) beat Pettis by split decision in June to earn his way into the playoffs. The Brazil native is the former Titan FC lightweight champion. Manfio, 29, has won five of his past six fights overall.

On the prelims of the Aug. 13 card in non-playoff action, former two-time PFL champion Natan Schulte takes on UFC veteran Olivier Aubin-Mercier, and kickboxer Sadibou Sy meets UFC veteran Gleison Tibau.

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