Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis hasn’t had the best of luck during his stint in the UFC; after a hard loss against Cla Guida in his promotional debut, the former WEC (world extreme cagefighting) boss had two killer knockouts over Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon which led him to a title shot against Benson Henderson. Defeating ‘Smooth’ by armbar at UFC 164 in Milwaukee, it seemed the sky was the limit for ‘Showtime’, and he was being legitimately talked about in the P4P (pound for pound) rankings.
Then an injury bug befell Pettis like not many witnessed before, as bouts with Josh Thomson and Jose Aldo were scrapped due to a multitude of knocks. Defending his title only once in two years, ‘Showtime’ would get crushed in his second attempt by the newly crowned Brazilian boss Rafael Dos Anjos. UFC 185 was the scene of the crime, as ‘RDA’ jacked the Duke Roufus product with ruthless efficiency. For Pettis, it was quite the fall from the top, and an injury forcing him from his comeback fight with Myles Jury at UFC on FOX 16 was just the icing on the cake.
Talking to MMAJunkie.com, the former UFC and WEC lightweight kingpin declares he wants to fight Rafael Dos Anjos again this year, whether it’s for the belt, or not:
“As a man, I need that rematch, I know I can do better than that, and that’s what I want. “If he has the belt, that’s what I want, If he doesn’t have the belt, I want him.”
Going into the fight, I just felt off,” he said. “I was hitting him with shots; I had this mental block like I can’t hurt him. I didn’t have the power to hurt him. I just felt weak. I know what I signed up for,” he said. “There’s no hard feelings on that. It was his night.”
Pettis’ performance was sub-par to say the least, but there was also a serious under-current regarding the drug testing for the fight. Dos Anjos passed the post-fight drug test, but still there were doubters in reference to the lack of dope tests before the fact. The Brazilian insists he never took any PEDs (performance enhancing drugs), yet his insane stamina and physique on fight night made it an obvious question to ask.
With Donald Cerrone aligning himself in the title mix, I think an immediate rematch for Pettis is highly unlikely. Add in the trouble the UFC has had with him over the years in relation to injuries, and ‘Showtime’ might well be at the back of the line in that conversation. The fact remains though, that he needs to get some good wins under his belt and remain active for more than two fights at a time.
There are those that believe Pettis has the potential to be an all-time great, and has simply had a bad run of luck, and then some who say that Pettis got to the title at a weak time in the division’s history. Maybe Dos Anjos is the real dark horse here, and I guess will know that after his rematches with Donald Cerrone and Khabib Nurmagomedov.