Carpe Diem! Anthony Pettis Granted Shot at UFC Featherweight Champ Jose Aldo

February 5, 2013
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Anthony Pettis vs Donald CerroneAsk and ye shall receive.

That’s what Anthony Pettis did – he asked for a chance to drop to featherweight and challenge Jose Aldo for the UFC belt – and he was answered with a resounding, “Yes!”

As soon as Aldo stepped out of the Octagon after defeating Frankie Edgar at UFC 156 on Saturday night, Pettis sent a text message to UFC president Dana White saying he didn’t want to wait around for his promised lightweight title shot, he wanted to drop down and challenge Aldo.

White mentioned Pettis’ intentions during the UFC 156 post-fight press conference, where it was immediately apparent that he was more than receptive to the idea. He had the Cheshire grin of his beaming from ear to ear.

By Monday, White told USA Today, the fight was made for Aug. 3. The location is yet to be determined, but the UFC president said the main locations under consideration are Texas, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Rio de Jeneiro.

“Two of the baddest dudes in the fight business are going to fight at 145 pounds,” White said. “These guys are two of the most amazing, gravity-defying athletes in the sport. I am so pumped for this fight.”

Chan Sung Jung and Ricardo Lamas were both crashing down the door for a shot at Aldo. Jung is on a three-fight winning streak, defeating the likes of Leonard Garcia, Mark Hominick and Dustin Poirer; while Lamas has done him one better since dropping to featherweight. He has strung together victories over Matt Grice, Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch.

Jung, however, is expected to be on the sidelines for several more months recuperating from a torn rotator cuff.

Lamas is a reasonable choice, and the worthy No. 1 contender, but much like Chris Weidman at middleweight, gets docked points for not carrying enough name value. Like it or not, mixed martial arts is big business as well as sport, so name value and being able to sell the fight to fans factors into match-ups.

There is a reason that the UFC opted to insert light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and failed middleweight contender Chael Sonnen as Ultimate Fighter coaches and have them fight at UFC 159 in April… the fight sells and sells big.

Aldo’s most recent fight was against Frankie Edgar, who was making his featherweight debut, but jumped to the front of the line because he was the former lightweight champion, is considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters around, and it allowed the UFC to bill the bout as a superfight.

Anthony Pettis was the final WEC lightweight champion and has worked his way up to being the No. 1 UFC lightweight contender, most recently knocking out Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. He had been waiting for champion Benson Henderson, the man he defeated for the WEC belt, to square off with final Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, but saw the writing on the wall with fights like Jones vs. Sonnen and Aldo vs. Edgar, and seized the moment.

He’ll drop to featherweight for the first time in order to fight Aldo.

White and the UFC brass jumped at the fight, which gives Aldo’s next defense much more splash than Lamas could provide, worthy contender or not.

So now, Pettis finally gets a crack at the UFC title, albeit a completely different one than he had initially been aiming for.

Carpe diem, Anthony Pettis, carpe diem.

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  • Sir_Roy

    Fantastic fight. I’m pumped.

  • bmc92

    love this fight cant wait for it but what about edgar?? think he should get a rematch that fight could of gone either way imo!!

    • dan

      Yeah it couldve but the backlash on Edgar would be severe considering he halted the LW division for 2 yrs

      • kbroesq

        Edgar shouldn’t be blamed for that. Of those two years, Penn was the one who was granted a rematch with Edgar, and Edgar fought to a draw with Maynard. The only one of the rematches that you can ‘blame’ Edgar for (if that’s even the right word) is the one with Henderson, and it was totally deserved, and only ‘halted’ the LWD for a few months.

        • MuayThaiFood

          Very true, I don’t even see how that could be a criticism.

    • bajafox

      He should fight Lamas on the same card for #1 contender to the winner of Pettis/Aldo

      • bmc92

        ya thats another good option cause the pettis and aldo fight has to happen cant wait to see those guys bouncing off the cage!!

        • bajafox

          The only problem I just noticed with that is Edgar is going to be out on medical suspension for a while, not sure if he’ll be able to get back to training in time for a fight in August.

          • bmc92

            ya very true, also im not sure i like pettis being in this weight class ther was alot off good fights for him at lw. tho saying that id love to see pettis and korean zombie go at it.

    • Sir_Roy

      Edgar should indeed add the title ‘rematch’ to his name.

      Frankie “the rematch” Edgar.

      It’s a legacy.

    • kennybro

      i’m a huge fan of edgar and i’m bitter after every loss.

      with that said, it’s not the judges fault that his fights are so debatable. other people need to get a chance for a less debatable victory.

    • JimmyPettishardo

      Umm…Edgar eeked out a point edge in round 4.

      Dude…the guy finally found his “rhythm” by the 3rd round but that wasn’t enough.

      Fight could have gone either way in the eyes of retarded judges. <–this doesn't mean Edgar should have won.

      • Maddawgmar

        I felt the fight was close but clearly Aldo’s fight. Edgar made the third round close but Aldo won it. Four and five was Edgar’s hands down. 48-47 judge was the only one that got it right. Not rematch worthy though.

        • stu

          Agree, Edgar may have landed a larger amount of strikes, but Aldo clearly landed the more damaging strikes in every round, even in the 3rd with the counter jab. It wasn’t like Edgar vs. Henderson. Anyways it was a well deserved win for Aldo, and I think Edgar can still be champ at LW or Featherweight given the chance.

  • Darin

    Great fight. Pettis could be the first to hold belts in two weight classes at the same time.

    • Scotty_O

      I hate when people jump the gun like this. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but let’s see him win a belt first before we start talking about a double weight class champ.

      • JimmyPettishardo

        Yeah! Chan Sung Jung could hold two belts by defeating both as soon as he recovers….yeah….yeah…..yeah…..How did I get here? I dunno!! I am Darin the Moron.

        • Ripper McGee

          your the moron. Darin said that Pettis COULD be the first. He didn’t predict it, he said its a possibility. Pettis does have what it takes to make that happen. Chan Sung Jung does not. suck a fart outa my ass douchbag

          • onehitwonder

            suck a F outa my A ? now that’s funny !

        • shakejunt


        • Darin

          I was about to reply to Scotty when my eyes fell onto the total absurdity that is JimmyPettishardo. Look, both of you, Pettis HAS WON a belt. He was the final WEC lightweight champ and he won it by BEATING BENDO, the current UFC lightweight champ. How is it “jumping the gun” to think he could repeat something he ALREADY accomplished?

          He also cuts little to no weight to make 155, so I don’t expect he’ll be a different fighter at 145 and his style presents a lot of problems for Aldo.

          So, if you want to dispute those facts, go ahead. But please refrain from embarassing yourself with immature name calling.

          • Scotty_O

            I’ll SIMPLY reply with this. It is “jumping the gun” because while Pettis did beat BENDO in WEC, he still has ZERO belts in the UFC. So let him win a belt first, then talk about a second.

            CAP LOCK

            I also said “I’m not saying you’re wrong”, which you’re not, but you are JUMPING THE GUN.

  • I feel bad for Ricardo Lamas. Hopefully he keeps winning and gets his shot. Great fight though. Should be very interesting.

  • burnie223

    Good fight. Sorry Frankie but im a firm believer that to be the champ you have to beat the champ i.e. ko, sub, unanimous at the least convincing. Pettis thinks he saw some holes in Aldos game to capitalize on. We c..

    • kooolout

      i hate to say it but if you win by split decision… you win. Scoring for a championship fight is still a round by round point system there is no special treatment for champs. you don’t score rounds for a fighter and then take it back at the end of the fight(no that did not happen) but if you say he has to win my unanimous decision you are basically saying that… he wins a split he doesn’t win? In short yes to be the champ you have to beat the champ… that includes close decisions.

  • Jonathan

    Ah, Jose Aldo “The Superfight Guy”, pretty soon he’ll be fighting Ben Henderson, assuming he wins ofcourse.

  • Tiddy28

    I have no problem with this fight. It’s gonna bring a ton of fireworks for sure. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with guys asking for title fights in different divisions and being granted them, like Sonnen, Edgar and now Pettis have. I just hope it doesn’t become a trend.

    • seeing as pettis had a title shot then had it taken when edgar/maynard went to a draw and now he has to wait for the winner of henderson/gilbert i can understand taken a title shot at 145 question is can he make the cut.

  • I feel bad for Pettis. He should be fighting for the light weight belt. Gaining the feather weight belt does not seem like it’s as much of an accomplishment.

  • gs77

    I’m happy for Petis and he deserves respect for calling out Aldo – it will be a tough fight. But I feel bad for him it’s not till August..the whole point is he didn’t want to be waiting around for a fight since the Cerrone finish was so quick. Now he still has to wait over 6 months for this thing to go down, heck Bendo will probably be ready to go again by that time. Would have been better if they could have set it up for April on the same card as Bendo/Melendez, then both would be ready again by around September. These guys are just not fighting often enough imo…should be able to go 4 times per year.

  • if pettis can make the cut and it not drain him too bad this should be a fun fight to watch

  • Maddawgmar

    I don’t understand this move. He was next in line for a shot at 155. Where he wanted to be. Now he picks a fight with Aldo instead of waiting. If he loses to Aldo he will lose his shot at Henderson/Melendez winner. Didn’t he learn a lesson from last time? I feel Aldo will win this fight, and Pettis will be hung out to dry.

  • No Regrets

    Why drop to featherweight when he can stay and fight/possibly beat Benson for a second time?