Ex-UFC champ not intimidated by promotion’s new hot shot

Anthony Pettis says a fight with this new PFL fighter would be one for the history books.

By: Kristen King | 2 months ago
Ex-UFC champ not intimidated by promotion’s new hot shot
Ex-UFC champion Anthony Pettis at the 2022 PFL semi-finals | Credit: IMAGO/USA Today by Louis Grasse.

Ex-UFC champion Anthony Pettis isn’t buying the hype around the PFL’s hottest new signing.

Cedric Doumbe announced his arrival to the Professional Fighters League (PFL) with a nine-second KO of Jordan Zebo at PFL Europe 3 this past Saturday. Fresh off a successful first appearance in the SmartCage, Doumbe expressed interest in joining the upcoming tournament to vie for $1 million and a championship. 

Up first, though, the ‘Best’ would prefer to go up against the best for his next PFL appearance. 

“For the best, it doesn’t matter what some people used to say. I never decline a fight,” said Doumbe in his post-fight interview. “Anyone. I don’t have to call out anybody because I’m the best. They have to call me out. Next for me, it doesn’t matter.”

Cedric Doumbe wants big names like ex-UFC champ Pettis

Days after PFL Europe 3, Cedric Doumbe appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani and reversed his not-calling-anyone-out policy. This time, the Frenchman had at least three names, all of whom were former UFC fighters. 

“I want to make big fights before that $1 million tournament challenge that I know I will win for sure,” said Doumbe. “I want to make big fights, like big superfights, face big guys like Jorge Masvidal, Nate Diaz, or maybe Anthony Pettis, you know. I want to face these kind of guys because I know that I can knock them out.

“I know I’m better than them,” continued Doumbe. “I just want to prove, to show to the world, who am I.”

Pettis responds to Doumbe

The first of those three names to respond to Cedric Doumbe was Anthony Pettis, who said a fight against the former GLORY champion would be the ‘biggest fight in PFL history’. 

After leaving the UFC in 2020, Pettis announced he signed with PFL and competed in the 2021 season. ‘Showtime’ fell short in his appearances against Clay Collard and Raush Manfio at PFL 1 and PFL 6, respectively. In the 2022 season, Pettis recorded his first PFL win at PFL 3 — a first-round submission of Myles Price. The ex-UFC champion went on to suffer consecutive losses to Stevie Ray, moving his PFL record to 1-4 in his past five fights. 

Prior to re-signing with the PFL, Pettis accepted an offer to box Roy Jones Jr. at Gamebred Boxing 4 this past April. He was successful in his first foray into boxing, winning a majority decision against the former multi-weight champion.

Now focused on mixed martial arts again, Pettis is expected to return to PFL in the near future. 

“I am with the PFL,” said Pettis on an episode of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “I’ll be fighting on their pay-per-view format. I’m not going to do the season format this year. The last two years, the season format is rough. It’s a really hard format for somebody like myself. You’ve got to be in the trenches. It’s kind of like The Ultimate Fighter. You’ve got to be on weight every five weeks, three or four fights on a row, you’ve got the point system, it’s a really hard format.

“I met with the team, they presented a couple of options to me and initially I was going to do a tournament at 170 and then this fight came about and just changed the rest of the year.”

Since they compete in the same weight class, perhaps Doumbe can be Pettis’ return opponent. 

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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