What no one could have predicted however was that the champion at the time Frankie Edgar would end up fighting Gray Maynard to a draw just a couple of weeks later, forcing a rematch, and pushing Pettis back in line. Eventually, Pettis ended up losing a close decision to Clay Guida, and then had to work his way back to the top of the division.
On Saturday night, Pettis not only cleared the way for another path to the title, but got UFC President Dana White on board to assure him the next crack at the belt is his and he will get the winner of Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez, which happens in April.
White reiterated that Pettis’ knockout win over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone was ultra impressive, but he won’t mess with the current UFC on Fox 7 main event and make any changes. Pettis is next in line though and will face the winner.
“I think the (Gilbert) Melendez fight is pretty set, but he’s next,” White said about Pettis at the UFC on Fox 6 post fight press conference. “I can’t say enough good things about the kid, that was incredible tonight. Obviously, his big all time highlight will be the kick off the fence, but tonight was unbelievable, the knee off the fence, it was phenomenal.”
The last time Pettis was given a choice to wait for a title shot or go ahead and fight, he opted to take a risky bout against Clay Guida, and ended up losing a decision. This go round if the title shot is locked in, Pettis will happily sit out for a few months and wait for Henderson or Melendez.
“I mean if it’s a guaranteed title shot, I’m waiting,” Pettis stated. “That’s what my goals are, that was my goal this year, if it’s next I’m definitely going to wait. (I’ll) get better, and get what’s mine.”
The waiting game is always a risky one when it comes to UFC title shots. Some fighters have waited and never ended up getting a shot due to injuries and just the way things played out, while some have waited and it paid off with a championship win. UFC President Dana White has seen it go both ways, so he can’t offer any advice to Pettis on his decision.
“I’ve seen both go the wrong way, so who knows,” White said about waiting.
It’s likely at this point because Pettis has seen the wrong side of not waiting the last time he had a title shot looming overhead, that he’ll gladly sit out for a few months and take his chances at facing Benson Henderson or Gilbert Melendez later this year.
Go back to 2014 when Rafael Dos Anjos won Performance of the Night with a knockout of Benson Henderson. Next, he faces Neil Magny at UFC 215. read news >>
In a battle of two gifted wrestlers, Rustam Khabilov simply outworked Desmond Green.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
While the victory was marred by a failed trip to the scales, Michel Prazeres did pick up a nice submission over octagon newcomer Mads Burnell.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Wins and losses be damned: Gilbert Melendez is going to stick to his roots when fighting fellow brawler Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos read news >>
Jeremy Stephens postponed his wedding, which is why he hopes to make Gilbert Melendez’s first night as a featherweight miserable.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos read news >>
Gilbert Melendez has seen it all during his 15 year career in mixed martial arts. He's been on the highest highs while ranked as one of the best lightweights in the world as he competed in Japan as w read news >>
Eleven-year veteran Rick Glenn turned in one of the best performances of his career, battering a previously undefeated Gavin Tucker.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Gilbert Melendez once again proved his durability in the cage, but he’d probably just as soon forget all about his featherweight debut against Jeremy Stephens.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>
Gilbert Melendez got off to a bad start against Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215, which is another way of saying that after one round in the cage his left shin looked like it was ready to give birth.Filed read news >>
No. 8 ranked featherweight Jeremy Stephens kicked off the UFC 215 main card with a dominating performance against former lightweight title challenger Gilbert Melendez. Stephens' leg kicks were the st read news >>