2021 PFL champion Raush Manfio has a year-end plan that includes a ‘quick knockout’ over Jeremy Stephens and Roberto Satoshi in RIZIN


Raush Manfio is out of the race for the 2022 PFL lightweight championship and the million-dollar prize after a “horrible” decision defeat to Olivier Aubin-Mercier this past June, but wants to end 2021 on a high note with two more victories.

Manfio, who claimed the PFL belt in 2021 after collecting wins over the likes of Anthony Pettis and Clay Collard, told MMA Fighting he has a bold plan for the end of the year: to win one more at the PFL and then challenge RIZIN lightweight king Roberto Satoshi in Japan.

“I would need the permission from the PFL but it would be cool because I was the champion last year and he’s the RIZIN champion,” Manfio said. “Patricky Pitbull is the Bellator champion but he’s a friend of mine and I have no interest fighting him, unless I was on the Bellator roster. But I think [Satoshi] would be a cool fight, really. I would have to skip Christmas but that would be awesome [laughs]. Fighting in Japan is one of the dreams I have.”

Manfio revealed his contract with the PFL expires at the end of the year but “I’m really happy with PFL and I want to re-sign.” The ideal scenario, he said, is to compete once more under the company’s banner at the PFL 10 card on Nov. 25 and then get the permission to compete at RIZIN so he can renegotiate a better contract on a winning streak and stay active “since next year’s tournament only begins in April.”

” I really want to be able to compete at the PFL again,” he stated. “It’s just a matter or getting the salary right because when you renew [the contract], it’s for another two years. My [2021] title champion was not a major factor in my salary increase, but it did compare to the I earned when I launched .

Manfio stated that he is still embarrassed by Aubin-Mercier’s performance and their “horrible fight” and wants the right partner to help him “clean it up”.

“That is why I asked them to place me on the final card, and, if they are able, let me fight [at RIZIN].. That would motivate me a lot,” he said, citing a rematch with Collard of a lightweight bout with Jeremy Stephens as ideal matchups. “I’d give Jeremy Stephens the priority because I already beat Clay Collard, but he’s a guy people like watching.”

“[Stephens] Is a hard striker but there are many opportunities,” he said. He said, “I am a poor match-up.” He’s small for the division but is really strong and powerful, but there’s a good chance I would add another knockout to my record against Jeremy Stephens. He would be a quick elimination. He’s very dangerous with those overhands, but it’s a good match-up for me.”