Stephens competed in arguably the ‘Fight of the Year’ so far in 2022, going toe-to-toe with Clay Collard in the 2022 PFL season opener on Wednesday night. Despite a strong start, he lost the bout on the judges’ scorecards via unanimous decision.
Stephens signed with the PFL following a long stay in the UFC. While the end of his UFC tenure was rocky with five-straight defeats, he proved in his PFL debut that he can still compete against some of the top lightweights.
In the leadup to his fight with Collard, Stephens ripped Pettis for his struggles last year. After being arguably the league’s biggest signee of 2021, Pettis failed to reach expectations with losses to Raush Manfio and Collard.
During his 2022 PFL 1 post-fight press conference, Stephens opined that Pettis owes a lot to the league after his struggles last season.
“He’s at 170. I told you guys, he looked a little big when I saw him around the UFC, then he moved up,” Stephens said of Pettis. “I feel like he’s not treating the company very fairly. They pay him a lot of money, he doesn’t show up for them, for you guys. Around here, he’s just a walking big fame. I turned him into a wrestler, too, so, we can get into it at ’55 (or) ’70. If he happens to run across, I would love to fight Anthony Pettis.”
Stephens and Pettis competed against one another once before while each man was still in the UFC, with Pettis earning a split-decision win at UFC 136. Three fights later, Pettis would earn the lightweight title over Benson Henderson via a first-round finish at UFC 164.
Pettis is set to face Myles Price in his season debut at PFL 3 on May 6. If he’s able to pull off an impressive win over Price, a rematch nearly 11 years in the making with Stephens could be in the cards.
Do you want to see a Jeremy Stephens vs. Anthony Pettis rematch in 2022?