A talent in both professional MMA and boxing, Clay Collard has had his fair share of shortcomings over the last two PFL seasons despite all the ability he has. Collard knocked off Anthony Pettis and Joilton Lutterbach in 2021 before coming up short against eventual 2021 Lightweight World Champion Raush Manfio in the semifinals. Collard started his 2022 with an entertaining win over Jeremy Stephens but dropped a close decision against Alex Martinez. Collard, who has 13 wins via stoppage out of his 22 MMA victories, defeated Yamato Nishikawa in April.
After a brief retirement at the end of 2020, Stevie Ray returned to MMA and made his way to the PFL last season. Ray lost his PFL debut to Alexander Martinez but then scored back-to-back victories over Anthony Pettis. The first came with a modified twister submission that earned him Submission of the Year nominations, while the second came in the semifinals. Ray, however, fell short of the World Championship, losing to Olivier Aubin-Mercier in last year’s final. The Scottish grappling expert lost his first bout of the 2023 Regular Season, dropping a decision to former PFL Lightweight World Champion Natan Schulte.
Collard clinches a PFL Playoffs spot with any kind of finish, while Ray is in a win-or-go-home situation here.
A couple of low kicks from Collard to start, as he comes out the aggressor. Ray looks for a takedown attempt. Collard tries for a cradle and rolls through, but Collard still has a hold of him as the two move against the SmartCage. Ray gets Collard down and is in a backpack, holding onto Collard. Ray looks for a choke, but he gets too high on Collard, and Collard is able to get out.
Another low kick from Collard. Ray throws one, but Collard attacks the body. Knee to the gut by Ray, but Collard works his boxing (and sticks his tongue out at Ray for good measure). Ray gets another takedown against the fence. Collard gets to his feet, but Ray looks to get to his back again. Collard with a boxing combination attacking the body, plus a leg kick to boot. Ray goes in for a takedown, but Collard’s the one who ends up on top. Ray looks for a heel hook from the bottom, but Collard escapes.
Collard with an early high kick. Collard drops Ray with a straight right hand. Collard kicks Ray’s right leg multiple times before letting Ray back up. Collard lands an uppercut to the body before firing off a big combination that sends him to the ground. Ray has a hold of his leg, but Collard continues to rain down blows until the referee steps in!
Clay Collard returns to the PFL Playoffs!
Clay Collard defeats Stevie Ray by 2nd round TKO (1:04) earning 5 points and clinching a playoff spot in the PFL Lightweight Division