Anthony Pettis is set to make his welterweight debut.
Pettis will face former two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the main event of UFC Nashville. The action goes down from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on March 23rd. Speaking to MMA Junkie recently, “Showtime” confirmed that his jump up to 170 pounds isn’t a one-off affair:
“It’s definitely not a one-off,” Pettis said. “This is just me trying out that division. I’ve been inactive in my career. This is a point where I want to be active.
“I don’t want to sit around and wait for the right fight at 155. If a 170 opportunity presents itself, I’ll find out right now if that’s what I want to do.”
Thompson hasn’t fought since May of last year when he suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Darren Till in England. Now he’ll face Pettis, who was one-half of an epic co-main event at UFC 229 in October.
Pettis fought Tony Ferguson in a bloody lightweight collision, that ended after the former champ was unable to get off the stool for the third round due to a broken hand. Now, he’ll attempt to skyrocket into the top ranks of welterweight with a possible victory over Thompson.
At this point in his career, Pettis is looking for big fights, as he even name-dropped surging former 145-pound king Jose Aldo as a possibility:
“I want big fights,” Pettis said. “I want (Jose) Aldo. I want everybody that I should have fought a long time ago. I’m not waiting for anything this year. I’m just going out and having fun.
“I’m getting these wins. Last time I had a great time, but I didn’t get the win. This one here, I’m focused on the win. I need this win, and it needs to be impressive. Against a guy like ‘Wonderboy,’ it’s already impressive.”