The final WEC lightweight champion was on a collision course with the winner of Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard for his first fight in the Octagon, but an unexpected draw forced Pettis to wait on the sidelines.
Not wishing to sit out for an extended period of time, Pettis opted to accept a fight against Clay Guida in the main event of “The Ultimate Fighter Season 13” finale coming up in June. The division has also continued to develop new contenders as well.
Jim Miller has staked his claim as possibly the top lightweight in the UFC not named Frankie Edgar or Gray Maynard, while Melvin Guillard is on an impressive winning streak, including a first round drubbing of Evan Dunham in January.
Add to that list, with Strikeforce now under the Zuffa umbrella, Gilbert Melendez, who has climbed to the top of the MMAWeekly World MMA Rankings, has also said he’s hoping for a shot to prove he’s the best 155-pounder by facing either Edgar or Maynard in the future.
As impressive as that list is, Pettis won’t get pushed to the back of the pack. The terms are the same as they were a few months ago. Beat Clay Guida and he will get the next lightweight title shot.
“It’s Pettis,” UFC President Dana White confirmed when asked who would be getting the next crack at the championship.
The confirmation obviously gives Pettis extra motivation going into the June fight with Guida. A win guarantees a title shot, likely towards the end of 2011.
Pettis won’t focus on the title shot at this time though because the business at hand is beating Clay Guida. Without that, White’s declaration of his title shot doesn’t even matter.