Visions of a Champion: Does the Winner of Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone Deserve a Shot?


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

Anthony Pettis vs Donald CerroneIs the winner of Saturday night’s UFC on Fox 6 lightweight battle between top contenders Anthony “Showtime” Pettis and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone heading for a title shot next?

That’s a good question, and one that has been asked often in the lead-up to the fight.

Pettis was the final WEC lightweight champion when the UFC absorbed the promotion. His hit list includes Joe Lauzon, Jeremy Stephens, Shane Roller, Alex Karalexis, and perhaps most importantly, current UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson.

Cerrone is also a former WEC product. He challenged for the lightweight strap three times, one of those being for the interim belt, but was never able to walk out of the cage with it around his waist.

His win list is just as impressive as Pettis’ though. Cerrone has defeated the likes of Melvin Guillard, Dennis Siver, Paul Kelly, Jamie Varner, and like Pettis, Stephens.

Pettis currently has a 15-2 overall record; Cerrone’s sits at 19-4.

Pettis was already promised a title shot once. Making his way to the Octagon as the final WEC champion, a fight against the winner of Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard was on tap… until those two fought to an unlikely draw and rematch was granted.

While Edgar and Maynard finished up their trilogy of fights, Pettis started his UFC tenure on a sour note with a decision loss to Clay Guida. That derailed any immediate hopes he had of challenging for the belt.

He regained momentum with wins over Stephens and Lauzon, but Pettis spent the rest of 2012 on the sidelines nursing injuries.

Cerrone, on the other hand, was plugging away.

He reeled off four consecutive victories to start his UFC career, but just as he moved into position to earn a title shot, a certain Nate Diaz put up a roadblock, dominating Cerrone en route to a unanimous decision.

Cowboy also returned strong, winning back-to-back bouts over Stephens and Guillard.

Leading us to where we are now, with Pettis and Cerrone chomping at the bit to enter the Octagon and prove to the world that one of them should be stepping in with Henderson next, not Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez.

That won’t happen, however, as Henderson and Melendez are slated to headline UFC on Fox 7 on April 20. The best that Pettis or Cerrone can hope for is an impressive victory to lay claim to a shot at the winner.

That claim is a little easier for Pettis to make should he come out on top, particularly if Henderson defeats Melendez in San Jose, Calif. It was Henderson that Pettis took the WEC belt from. If Pettis beats Cerrone and Henderson still holds the belt this spring, a rematch for the UFC strap would make for excellent backstory.

Cerrone may want to root for Melendez, however. If Henderson wins, even an impressive victory over Pettis may make for an uphill climb to a title shot.

Cerrone is 6-1 in the Octagon, but two of his three losses in the WEC were to one Benson Henderson, the second of which was by way of submission. Making his case for a rematch is a much tougher sell than it is for Pettis, but it’s still not out of the realm of possibility. It has been nearly three years since Cerrone and Henderson last fought.

Right now, however, neither fighter is wasting much energy stressing about a title shot dancing around out in the ether.

“I’m not worried about the title shots right now,” said Pettis recently. “It’s a year off for me. I’m just worried about getting Ws on my belt.

“So that kind of shot is going to come when it’s supposed to. I got a tough dangerous opponent in front of me and I’m concentrating on that.”

Cerrone is of a similar mind.

“We can go up there and put on one hell of a fight and give everyone what they want to see,” Cowboy commented. “And if they give it to the winner, that’s what’s up, I guess. But if not, we just wait and do what they tell us to do.

“I think both of us have worked hard and we deserve it.”

Possible title shots are always a great motivator heading into a fight, but neither Pettis nor Cerrone is a fighter that needs a lot of motivating in the first place. They both love to fight, and they both love to finish fights.

Regardless of whether or not the winner gets a title shot when all is said and done, we as fans are going to be the winners when these two step in the Octagon on Saturday night.

Be sure to Like MMAWeekly.com on Facebook and Follow @MMAWeeklycom on Twitter.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 22 days ago
  • 35 views

How many fights does an "Eagle" have to win inside the Octagon before he gets a title shot? One more, apparently. Khabib Nurmagomedov has racked up six straight wins inside the Octagon against some rather stiff competition since making his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut back in 2012. Couple those six victories with the 16 others he won in his undefeated (22-0, 6-0 UFC) professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career, and the Russian-born fighter has made a pretty good case for a title s read news >>

  • 15 days ago
  • 37 views

Lightweights Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller face off in New Jersey for a shot to see who can rise above the gatekeeper status both men are far too good for. Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller Lightweight Aren't these guys coming off losses? It feels like it. Both are top flight fighters in the division who have only quietly put together a win streak. Donald Cerrone is remembered more for his losses to Rafael dos Anjos and Anthony Pettis than his wins over Adriano Martins and Edson Barboza. Miller is r read news >>

  • 21 hours ago
  • 8 views

Could Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez be UFC bound? According to Sherdog.com, a bout between Alvarez and Donald Cerrone is being targeted for UFC 178 Sept. 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sources close to the bout who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matchup had not yet been finalized confirmed the news to Sherdog.com. The bout is contingent on the UFC acquiring Alvarez's services from Bellator. Negotiations are ongoing because Alvarez currently remains under Bellator contrac read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 42 views

Undefeated UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed that he is yet to get a call regarding his next fight, but that he expects it will be the winner of the Cerrone vs. Miller main event on July 16. Khabib Nurmagomedov is still waiting to find out who his next opponent will be inside the octagon. "The Eagle," who picked up arguably the biggest win of his UFC career when he defeated Brazil's Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision back in April, was hoping the win would elevate him towards a t read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 59 views

A look at next Wednesday's UFC Fight Night card on Fox Sports 1, which features Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller in the main event in Atlantic City, NJ. I hope you're geared up for what promises to be a highly entertaining night of fights next Wednesday in Atlantic City at the Revel Casino. Lightweights Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller comprise a surefire thriller of a main event, while Edson Barboza and Evan Dunham take part in a surefire thriller of a co-main event. This card also features the retur read news >>

  • 18 days ago
  • 314 views

This Wednesday night, a pivotal fight takes place in the lightweight division when Donald Cerrone squares off against Jim Miller in Atlantic City. Cerrone is on a three-fight win streak, all of which were finishes that he earned fight-night bonuses for. The fight against Miller will arguably be Cerrone's biggest fight since a first-round TKO loss to Anthony Pettis in 2013. Miller comes into the fight having won three of his last four, and his last two in a row. Both of his last two wins have bee read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 32 views

This Wednesday's UFC Fight Night 45 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is headlined by a lightweight clash between the Garden State's own Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone. This is a matchup with major title implications, therefore making it a pivotal scrap inside the Octagon at 155 pounds. Miller, the most recognizable face from Whippany, New Jersey's AMA Fight Club, enters the bout ranked as the No. 7 lightweight in the world, according to the UFC's official rankings. The 30-year-old was a dark-horse t read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 77 views

Nate Diaz took a shot at a certain cowboy for 'sucking too much UFC d***'. He hardly uses social media as much as other fighters, but it's always interesting when Nate Diaz bitches rants on twitter. This time, the blunt of it is targeted at his former opponent in Donald Cerrone, who fights tomorrow against Jim Miller at UFC Fight Night: Atlantic City. Here's what Diaz had to say: Some people just suck way too much #UFCdick ... An they where cowboy hats — Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) July 15, 2014 read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 17 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) held its weigh in event earlier today (Tues., July 15, 2014) at the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for those fighters competing at the UFC Fight Night 45: "Cerrone vs. Miller" event, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow night live on Fox Sports 1. For complete UFC Fight Night 45 weigh in results and video click here. The staredowns were nothing to write home about, as is usually the case, but you can at least get a look at how each figh read news >>