Collard Makes Final Four After Loss to Burnell


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Emery County native Clay Collard debuted in his first hometown fight, put on by the Professional Fighters League (PFL). He has headlined many fights in his home state of Utah before, but none with more eyes on him then Friday night’s event. The fight was broadcast on ESPN and located at the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah.

Collard was coming off a win over Patricky Pitbull, former champion in Bellator. His opponent in his home state would be against Denmark’s, Mads Burnell. Both Collard and Burnell grew up boxing and wrestling, though Burnell also would become a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The two headlined the event, as it was the final fight before the PFL playoffs were official. Collard was at five points going into the fight and Burnell at zero in the Lightweight Division.

Collard came out in the first half of the first round, throwing 100 strikes, looking to put on a “fight of the night” for his hometown fans, friends and family. Burnell’s game plan was different, as he was accumulating points by getting takedowns against Cassius Clay. The match would go into three rounds as Burnell’s strategy worked out for the Denmark native. The final score of the judges was 29-28 by all three judges, giving Burnell the Unanimous Decision.

Though Burnell won the fight, he did not have enough points to make it to the final four fighters in the division, going for the million-dollar prize and title of PFL Champion. Collard would catch a break, ending with one more point than Nicaragua’s Elvin Espinoza, ending as the number four fighter going into the playoffs.

Collard will have to win two fights in a row to finally be crowned as champion in his fourth season with the PFL. Next up, he will face fellow American Brent Primus. Primus is from Eugene, Oregon, in his debut PFL season. Primus is a former Bellator Lightweight World Champion. Coming off a hot start with two straight finishes, he will be a tough task for Collard. The fight will be held in Hollywood, Florida on August 16.

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