After a somewhat rocky year or two in the lightweight division, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis recently announced his intention to drop down to featherweight in the hopes of recapturing the form that saw him win the lightweight title exactly 3 years ago today.
With a submission victory over Benson Henderson getting him a gold strap around his waist, Pettis went on to defend his title once against the former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez before picking up 3 decision losses in a row against Rafael dos Anjos, Eddie Alvarez, and Edson Barboza.
With the blueprint seemingly out to nullify the exciting striking of Showtime, prospects were not looking good for the Milwaukee-born fighter. So when he made the choice to drop down to the 145lb division, people were immediately interested to see what the future had in store for the young man, who at 29 still presumably had it in him to thrill and excite.
Number 6th ranked featherweight Charles Oliveira was chosen as his first opponent. The dangerous submission artist and the relatively young prospect would be the perfect test for Pettis.
Not only to see how his physicality would translate to his new weight but also to see his mental resilience. Pettis, going 0-3 in his last 3 fights would have been the target for much criticism and his desperation for a win seemed to fuel a solid performance and contribute to his eventual victory by 3rd round submission.
Speaking with 120 Sports recently, Pettis touched on his future in the division.
“I’m here for belts, that’s why I set out to fight. I want to be a champion and prove my skill set against the best in the world. I didn’t pick an easy fight, I picked the number #6 in the world. Maybe one more and I get a title shot or maybe they just give it to me.”
With an impressive victory under his belt, Pettis is finally back in the win column. Now, despite stating that his future at lightweight is not over, he has established himself in the top-15 at 145lbs and he made his plans clear for his future in the coming years.
“Jose Aldo is the guy that had that belt the whole time and Conor came in and stole it from him. You know, Conor it was a great performance by him, but there are other great fights in this weight class. BJ Penn coming back, there’s Frankie Edgar down there, there’s Max Holloway, there are so many good fights in this weight class. I didn’t even look at the weight class when I moved down here, I just said let’s look at the weight class and see what happens after.”
With several long-time veterans and top-5 opponents on “Showtime's radar”, who do you think stylistically poses the greatest threat to him at 145lbs? And could you see Pettis coming away with a belt anytime soon?
Check out the interview in full below.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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