The former WEC champion was supposed to earn a shot at the UFC belt when he moved over to the promotion at the close of 2010, but when Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard battled to a draw, he was pushed out of the title picture at least temporarily.
With his performance in Japan, Pettis may have vaulted right back into that title picture.
Taking on Joe Lauzon, who was fresh off a huge win over Melvin Guillard at UFC 136, Pettis was taking on an experienced UFC veteran who had shown well rounded skills quite a bit in his last couple of fights.
Unfortunately for Lauzon, he played with fire and got burned on Saturday night.
Pettis came out in a southpaw stance to open the fight, and seemed to throw Lauzon off his attack, while the Duke Roufus trained fighter fired off kicks early in the opening round.
Lauzon struggled to get out of the range of Pettis’ strikes, and at that point it was just a matter of time before the former WEC champion went for something big.
Pettis launched a left high kick and Lauzon guessed that it was going low.
He was wrong.
“I came out in southpaw stance, I saw him biting on the left hand and I just set it up perfectly,” Pettis said about the kick.
Pettis’ shin landed flush across Lauzon’s chin, and it sent him crashing to the mat. Pettis followed up with a few more punches, but it was only because it took the referee a moment to swoop in for the stoppage.
A thunderous knockout to say the least and as Pettis climbed the cage he shouted to the crowd ‘give me that belt!’.
It would be hard to deny that Pettis has done his part to earn a shot at the UFC lightweight title, especially making the kind of statement he did on the same night where the 155lb belt will be up for grabs.
“I knew this is where I’m supposed to be at, I’m in the UFC for a reason, I’m the best in the lightweight division. I’m coming for that title shot,” Pettis stated.
Pettis won the WEC lightweight title by defeating Benson Henderson in the fight where he landed the infamous ‘Showtime’ kick. Now Henderson is competing for the UFC title, and while Pettis gives him credit for earning the shot, he’s ready for one of his own.
“It’s motivating. (Benson) Henderson did his thing, he had three great fights, I’m ready to get my shot,” said Pettis. “Hopefully whoever comes out tonight, I get the winner.”
If Georges St-Pierre defeats Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight belt in November, don't be surprised if he calls out Conor McGregor. read news >>
Nik Lentz said his decision to go to the hospital because of a health issue forced his withdrawal from tonight’ UFC 216 event.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Daniel Cormier asked and the fans responded. The reigning UFC light heavyweight champion put out a call on social media recently asking who he should face when he returns to action in 2018 with the o read news >>
Due to a past drug-testing issue, Andrea Lee will have to wait six months to make her debut in the UFC women’s flyweight division.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Jessica Andrade made a very strong statement with her win on Friday night as she bloodied and battered former title contender Claudia Gadelha en route to a lopsided decision in the co-main event at U read news >>
With a brilliant first-round submission win, Jussier Formiga kept himself in the middle of the pack of flyweight title contenders.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
The UFC has reacted following Werdum's outburst earlier this week read news >>
The UFC, which has long made its home base in Las Vegas, issued a statement on Monday in response to Sunday's tragic concert shooting. read news >>
The UFC has released a statement on Sunday’s mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Following the tragic concert shooting on Sunday, UFC officials have responded to questions about how it will affect Saturday's UFC 216. read news >>