Olivier Aubin-Mercier outworks Clay Collard for second $1M win, plans time off | 2023 PFL Championship Fight Night HQ


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The PFL crowned its next $1 million lightweight winner Friday.

No. 1 seed Clay Collard (24-10) met No. 2 Olivier Aubin-Mercier (20-5) in the 155-pound season championship at The Anthem in Washington, D.C.

Go inside the matchup below, from the backstory and the buildup through the end of the fight itself, with stats, photos, preview videos, highlight videos, quotes, recaps and more.

The story will update throughout the fight and event.

How we got here

Collard has reached two semifinals. Now he finally has a shot at $1 million. He outworked Yamato Nishiwaka in his first fight, then knocked out Stevie Ray in the second. In the semifinals, he took a decision from Shane Burgos.

Aubin-Mercier won the 2022 lightweight season. In 2023, he outworked Burgos to open, then stopped Anthony Romero in the third round to get back to the playoffs. In the semifinals, he pounded out Bruno Miranda in the second frame.

Clay Collard vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier: Weigh-ins

Final betting odds

2023 PFL 9: New York at the The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Defending champ Aubin-Mercier closed as more than a 3-1 favorite to win a second straight $1 million crown.

Is this OAM's final fight?

Intensity from Collard

Clay Collard vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier: The fight

Records: Collard (24-10), Aubin-Mercier (20-5)
Round 1: Aubin-Mercier dominated the first round on the canvas and left Collard looking for any kind of offense while the defending champ was draped all over him.
Round 2: It was more of the same for Aubin-Mercier in the second. He found control on the canvas with relative ease and kept Collard from getting any kind of momentum or offense started.
Round 3: Aubin-Mercier was struggling with his lead leg in the third, but he got the fight back to the canvas where he could control things. Collard got back to his feet with less than two minutes left and put some pressure on and hoped to turn the tide by staying busy to get to the fourth.
Round 4: Collard started to take things over in the fourth. Aubin-Mercier continued to struggle on his lead leg, which kept him from getting Collard back to the canvas. Collard had all the momentum going to the fifth.
Round 5: With the fight potentially hanging in the balance, Collard couldn’t stop an early Aubin-Mercier takedown in the first 12 seconds. Aubin-Mercier regularly chased a submission and kept Collard from any kind of hope of a rally. Aubin-Mercier took a trio of 49-46 scorecards for his second $1 million title.

Fight stats

The aftermath

Aubin-Mercier won his second straight $1 million lightweight crown. After the PFL purchased Bellator, champ-vs.-champ fights have been promised, which sets Aubin-Mercier up for a bout against Bellator’s lightweight champ, Usman Nurmagomedov.

But Aubin-Mercier said he’ll take some time off to be with his family. He didn’t say it was a retirement, but he had hinted at that leading up to the fight.

Winner post-fight interview

PFL's 2023 champions

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