“I’m moving down for Jose Aldo, really,” Pettis said. “There’s nobody (else) in 145 that intrigues me.”
Pettis (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) isn’t calling the shots, however. He chose not to wait for a rematch with current champ Henderson and opted to shed pounds for a meeting with Aldo (22-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC), which takes place at UFC 163 in August in Rio de Janeiro.
Now, as a condition of moving down, he must defend his belt “a couple of times” if victorious. Even though he’d like to fight Henderson after Aldo, he must wait.
Thankfully, he’s used to that.
“I’m already getting a fight with Aldo, man,” Pettis said. “I don’t want to push it too much.”
Still, after watching Henderson defend his title against Gilbert Melendez at this past Saturday’s UFC on FOX 7 event, Pettis didn’t sound so sure he would have made the decision to go to featherweight.
“That’s hard to call,” he said with a smile.
It was a call he made on a whim, when he texted UFC President Dana White after Aldo’s decision win over Edgar at UFC 156 in February. He was surprised when White jumped at the opportunity to put the fight together.
Pettis hosted an event at a club in Las Vegas when he saw Henderson vs. Melendez, and the champion’s performance, which resulted in a narrow split-decision win, reinforced his belief that he could take the lightweight belt.
“I just wasn’t that impressed, man,” he said. “It was another close decision. I think Henderson’s last finish was (Donald) ‘Cowboy’ (Cerrone) in the WEC. For me, (he’s) a great fighter, but I feel like I’ve got what it takes to beat this guy.”
Henderson now has won seven straight decisions since transitioning from the now-defunct WEC to the UFC. That’s includes three defenses of the lightweight belt he earned by outpointing Edgar at UFC 144.
Pettis attributed Henderson’s remarkable knack for winning rounds not to fighting, but to behavior between rounds.
“I think it’s his intensity,” Pettis said. “In between rounds, he’s hyping everybody up, looking like he’s ready to go. But when it actually comes down to it, he’s barely landing the hard punches. He’s barely landing any kicks. He’s doing well in the scrambles.
“Then you’ve got to take into account that Gilbert is one of the best lightweights in the world. It’s hard for me to watch that and say, ‘It was a close fight, because they’re both good.’ I come in to finish my fights, and I’ve proven it in my last two fights, and I can’t wait to do it again.”
For now, though, Pettis is excited to win another belt. Other intriguing opponents are bound to arise.
(Pictured: Anthony Pettis)view original article >>
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 >>
Though it has been expected for quite some time, Dustin Poirier vs. Anthony Pettis on Wednesday was officially named the UFC Fight Night 120 main event. read news >>
Boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard gives his thoughts on the huge fight between UFC champion Conor McGregor and unbeaten boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. read news >>
A lightweight showdown between Anthony Pettis and Dustin Poirier is on for UFC-Norfolk in November.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Former lightweight champion Anthony "Showtime" Pettis faces No. 8 ranked Dustin Poirier in the UFC Fight Night 120 main event on November 11. UFC officials announced the headlining bout for the Norfo read news >>
It hasn’t been smooth sailing so far for Benson Henderson or Lorenz Larkin. Roy Nelson tests the waters for the first time at Bellator 183.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News read news >>
The upcoming UFC Fight Night 118 event in Poland has a new addition: Felipe Arantes vs. Josh Emmett.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Ovince Saint Preux improved his record in the UFC to 6-1 after his victory over Patrick Cummins at Fight Night Newark in 2015. read news >>
After testing the waters with a trio of events in Macau, the UFC soon makes its debut in Mainland China. Is there a future there, though?Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>
UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg couldn't wait to get back in the ring, so she's taken up a position as a ring card girl. read news >>