The PFL's prized signee and both of its two-time champions will have their work cut out for them when the season resumes on June 10 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The promotion announced on Thursday that former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (24-11), who lost his PFL debut last month by unanimous decision, will have to get past an undefeated opponent in order to make the playoffs. Alexander Martinez (8-0) is among four lightweights who won their season openers by decision on April 23 to earn 3 points.
With just the top four fighters in each division's standings after the two-fight regular season advancing to the playoffs, Pettis (0 points) could use an early finish and the bonus points that would come with it.
Also with 0 points at lightweight is Natan Schulte (20-4), the $1 million champion in the 2018 and 2019 PFL seasons. After dropping a unanimous decision in his opening bout, he will face Mikhail Odintsov (18-3), who is coming off a loss as well and sits at the bottom of the standings with minus-1 point because he missed weight.
The other division whose season resumes June 10 is featherweight, with two-season champion Lance Palmer (22-4) facing Lazar Stojadinovic (14-8). Both lost their April 23 bouts by unanimous decision and have 0 points.
Atop the 145-pound standings with 6 points is Brendan Loughnane (20-3), who scored a first-round knockout in his first bout. He will face Tyler Diamond (12-1), one of four fighters who earned 3 points for season-opening decision wins.
The fight card at Ocean Casino Resort, which airs on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET and ESPN+ at 6 p.m., will be headlined by the MMA debut of Claressa Shields, the undisputed junior middleweight women's boxing champion and unified middleweight champ. Shields, No. 1 in the ESPN pound-for-pound women's boxing rankings, faces Brittney Elkin (3-6) in a non-season bout.