Ex-UFC Fighter Wrecks Boxing: ‘I Love Proving People Wrong’

Clay Collard

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Former UFC fighter Clay Collard is having quite the year as a professional boxer. The 27-year-old had long been cut by the UFC after posting a 1-3 record with the company half a decade ago and had nothing left to do after MMA’s Professional Fighters League (PFL) canceled its upcoming season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So Collard turned his attention toward wrecking the boxing world, and all he’s done since has become the frontrunner for the sport’s 2020 Fighter of the Year award.

In fact, if the Boxing Writers Association of America was taking votes today, I know who’d I’d be voting for, and it’s “Cassius” Clay Collard.

Collard won again on Tuesday night via second-round stoppage. The stunning victory over Lorawnt Nelson ran Collard’s boxing record to 4-0 in 2020.

So during a year when most fighters are lucky to get one fight for the whole year, Collard is tearing through the opposition as if there wasn’t a global pandemic going on right now.

On top of that, he just keeps winning his fights in impressive fashion.

You can watch Collard wreck Nelson below.

Clay Collard Still Considers Himself an MMA Fighter

Perhaps the best part about Collard’s dominance is that he doesn’t even consider himself to be a boxer.

Collard revealed to ESPN earlier this week that he still thinks of himself as an MMA athlete and that he definitely plans to compete in the PFL when it resumes.

“I have a contract signed with the PFL, the Professional Fighters League, and so I wasn’t supposed to be boxing this year,” Collard told ESPN. “But with the whole COVID thing, they canceled the season. And lucky enough for me, [the PFL] was willing to let me box for a little while. So I’ve got to give a huge shoutout to PFL for allowing me to do so.”

So all Collard is doing right now in boxing is staying busy, and he’s done so well at it that he’s gone from being the guy that his promoter feeds to rising prospects to the guy his promoter wants to build into a superstar.

Before Tuesday night, Collard’s three boxing victories in 2020 came against opponents with a composite record of 20-0.

If you follow boxing, you know Collard wasn’t put in those first three fights to win.

“I love being the underdog; I love proving people wrong. It’s something satisfying when you’re supposed to lose — and win,” Collard told ESPN. “I thought I was going to win the whole time.”

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Opportunities Abound for Clay Collard

Now Collard is sitting in prime position to continue his remarkable fighting career, one that seemed all but finished at the highest levels anyway after Collard was released by the UFC back in 2015.

But now? Collard has just about the entire boxing world in the palm of his hand. He went from nobody knowing who he was to the person people ponder about facing the likes of boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez.

And Collard still has his PFL plans on the horizon, too.

At this point, it would almost be silly for the UFC not to give the guy a call however everything works out.

Because if Collard, who famously took a short-notice fight against UFC legend Max Holloway in his first fight with the company back in 2014, isn’t an “ultimate” fighter, then nobody is.

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