Paddy Pimblett can look outside the UFC for a potential fight with a familiar foe.

PFL is back with the lightweight and light heavyweight divisions kicking things off with the start of two tournaments on Friday, Aug. 5. The card will be headlined by a big rematch between Stevie Ray and former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis. Ray’s eyes aren’t just on the fight coming his way against Pettis, but he’s watching another up-and-comer in the sport closely, Paddy Pimblett.

“There’s definitely some holes to his game just like every fighter,” Ray told FanSided. “But the hype is real, he talks the talk and he’s been backing it up.”

They faced each other in a popular grappling competition, Polaris, where Ray picked up the victory.

“I beat him in a grappling competition, not quite MMA but we’re the same weight. I’m probably being biased but I believe that I could beat him whether it’s on the feet or on the ground in an MMA fight as well,” Ray said. “But never say never, I’m in my prime, I’m healthy and the reason I left the UFC was due to injury, and if I got offered a fight with Paddy in PFL or UFC or whatever and I was getting paid well I’d be up for it.”

Pimblett has taken the MMA community by storm. Since joining the UFC he’s picked up three-straight wins, with his most recent coming against Jordan Levitt via second-round submission. His performances and antics are drawing a close comparison to another individual who caught on like wildfire in MMA, Conor McGregor.

Stevie Ray looks to defeat Anthony Pettis a second time

Ray was last seen back in June at PFL 5 where he was able to stop Pettis via second-round submission. He used a modified body triangle technique to get the former champion to call it quits. This was his first win with the promotion and pushed his overall record to 24 wins and 10 losses.

“As far as the fight goes, I think it was going well, even before the twister,” Ray said during media day. “I was the one pushing forward and landing the better shots. I’m going to do the same job, try to stop him on the feet or on the ground. Regardless of where it goes.”

Ray’s career has seen him move through some of the biggest organizations in mixed martial arts. This includes 11 fights in the UFC, starting in 2015 through 2019, where he defeated well-known names like Michael Johnson, Joe Lauzon, and Ross Pearson. His run also involved stints with Cage Warriors and BAMMA.

PFL Playoffs: Anthony Pettis vs. Stevie Ray takes place on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, live from Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Follow along with FanSided MMA who is on-site for all your news and highlights.

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