Let’s set the scene. It’s October 2019 and Scotland’s Stevie Ray has just defeated Michael Johnson in what would be his last ever professional MMA bout. After an 11 fight UFC run, it was officially announced in September 2020 that Ray would retire from the sport due to ongoing knee injuries. Despite initially claiming that it was due to these injuries, he later revealed that his retirement resulted from the UFC cutting him after he turned down a fight due to visa issues.
We wouldn’t see Ray compete until November 2021, when he competed in a grappling match at Polaris 18 where he won with a modified twister, something that would become a ‘go-to’ submission for Braveheart.
After battling personal demons, Ray signed with the PFL and made his promotional debut in April of this year. Despite losing this effort via unanimous decision, he was still given the opportunity to face off against former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis.
On Friday night, Stevie Ray will compete in the PFL finals with the opportunity to win $1 million. and become the 2022 lightweight champion.
Journey to PFL 10 – New York City
Stevie Ray took on Pettis at PFL 5 and in a shock victory, Scotland’s own defeated Pettis via modified twister (again). This was arguably the biggest victory of Ray’s career, coming three years after his last victory. The two rematched in the semi-final of the 2022 season and the fight served as the headliner for the PFL’s debut in Cardiff.
Ray would yet again defeat Pettis, this time via unanimous decision, cementing his place in the PFL finals on Friday night.
In New York City at the Hulu theatre at Madison Square Garden, Stevie Ray, a man who retired from professional mixed martial arts in 2020, will compete for $1 million and the chance to become the 2020 lightweight champion. In his way will be fellow UFC veteran, Olivier Aubin-Mercier. The Canadian Gangster is undefeated in his PFL career after leaving the UFC, going 5-0, of which all have gone to a decision.
PFL 10 goes does this Friday night live on PPV. The card will be headlined by the women’s lightweight finals between the dominant, Kayla Harrison and former foe, Larissa Pacheco. This will mark a trilogy between the two women where Harrison is currently 2-0 up.
The co-main event sees England’s Brendan Loughnane take on Bubba Jenkins in the featherweight finals. The two men have a lot of respect for each other, however, there is no doubt that they will leave that respect at the cage door in pursuit of $1 million.
Elsewhere, the heavyweight, light heavyweight and welterweight champions will be crowned.