It looks as though Anthony Pettis is making the cut to featherweight. The former WEC and UFC lightweight champion posted on his Instagram that 145lbs is in the works.
Pettis (18-5 MMA) won the WEC lightweight title, defeating Benson Henderson via unanimous decision in a ‘Fight of the Night’ performance at the last ever WEC event, due to the merger with the UFC.
His UFC debut did not go to plan however, dropping a unanimous decision to Clay Guida. Following the loss, ‘Showtime’ went on a tear. He earned a split decision win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 136 before earning KO wins over Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone at UFC 144 and UFC on FOX 6 respectively.
These three wins in a row earned Pettis a title shot at lightweight, however it was announced that Pettis would not wait for a title shot at, and would instead be dropping down to 145 pounds to challenge featherweight champion, José Aldo on August 3, 2013, at UFC 163. However, Dana White announced that Pettis had pulled out of the Aldo bout with a serious knee injury, and that Aldo would instead defend the title against Chan Sung Jung.
A few weeks later after a quick recovery, it was announced on July 12 that Pettis would receive a UFC lightweight title shot as he replaced an injured TJ Grant against Benson Henderson on August 31, 2013, at UFC 164. Pettis defeated Henderson via armbar submission in the first round, taking a championship belt from Henderson for the second time, and becoming the new UFC Lightweight Champion. The win also earned Pettis his first Submission of the Night bonus award in the UFC.
Pettis was selected to serve as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 20, opposite Gilbert Melendez and the two would face each other at UFC 181 on December 6, 2014. Pettis won the fight via guillotine choke in the second round, becoming the first man to finish Melendez. He also earned a Performance of the Night bonus award.
Following this title defence, Pettis has gone on a three fight losing streak at lightweight, losing the title to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185 via unanimous decision before dropping a split decision to Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 81 and a unanimous decision most recently to Edson Barboza at UFC 197.
There will be a number of exciting matchups for Pettis at featherweight including Jose Aldo who is currently scheduled to fight Frankie Edgar for the interim title at UFC 200, Conor McGregor, the current UFC featherweight champion and the streaking Max Holloway.Check out our latest podcast episode featuring a conversation with Cortney Casey.