Rausch Manfio’s main goal for 2022 is to win another championship belt in the Professional Fighters League – the second in a row – and a million dollar check. This does not mean that he does not strive for “superfights”.
Manfio is scheduled to face Olivier Aubin-Mercier in the main card section of Friday’s PFL 4 in Atlanta, a win that nearly secured a spot in the lightweight playoffs after his strong start to the season with a third-round finish over Don Madge in Atlanta. April.
One of the names to keep an eye on in 2022, Manfio said on this week’s MMA Fighting podcast. free exchange he wants to pair up with big name fighters in the newly created “PPV superfight division,” cards that will air on pay-per-views with the promise of a 50-50 pay split for fighters.
“I would love to have a rematch with Anthony Pettis, especially in this new pay-per-view format,” said Manfio, who won a split decision over Showtime in his second PFL appearance back in June 2021. “His name is for sale. more and the first fight gave me a good review [from fans]. And Jeremy Stevens has one too. [big] name. Even though he is losing, he has a name and it will be a great fight.”
Stevens made his PFL debut in April of this year after a long run under the UFC banner and lost a decision to Clay Collard. The Little Pagan has lost his last seven fights and is looking to clear the skid when he faces Miles Price on Friday.
“I would knock him out before the end of the second round because he comes out too open,” said Manfio. “It’s never nice to beat someone who’s been down for a long time because the media will say it doesn’t add much, but he’s got a name from fighting in the UFC and he’s had good fights and I think that’s who I can knock out. . Actually, I asked to fight him next, but I was assigned against Olivier Aubin-Mercier. I don’t know what their criteria were, but those two names would be great fights.”
Stevens’ request and the acquisition of Aubin-Mercier caused Manfio to completely change his game plan. The “Canadian Gangster” is currently 3-0 under the PFL banner with decisions over Marcin Held, Darrell Horcher and two-time PFL champion Nathan Schulte, and Manfio considers it his worst matchup on the company’s roster.
“I like the opponent,” Manfio said. “Honestly, I think he is the guy who can give me the most problems in the tournament. But despite the fact that I think he’s that guy, I’m ready for the challenge. Now that I’m getting around him, the other guys are mostly hitters and that’s where I’m fighting my hardest. I think it will be a great win and I’m going for a knockout again.”
Manfio admits that facing Aubin-Mercier in a cage isn’t “fun” given his fighting style, but ending his wrestling and wrestling efforts could break him mentally.
“It’s my plan to upset him,” said Manfio. “He will fall into despair. “Dude, I used all this energy to bring him down and he’s already back?” We will use this to our advantage. See my last fight, the blow that ended it. When I speed things up, man, I end it. He gives more chances than Don Madge and I will have more chances to finish the fight.
I think I’ll stop him. But to be honest, I have four points and I’m ahead of everyone except Anthony Pettis. If I win the first and second rounds, then I will not rush things in the third. I’d rather win on points and guarantee playoffs [than take risks]. Winning on points guarantees me that.”