Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will not fight for the interim featherweight title on Saturday as planned.
While his opponent, Max Holloway, hit the mark at 145 pounds, Pettis had a difficult weight cut, according to MMAFighting.com. His body reportedly stopped responding to his attempts to make the weight, and he stepped on the scale at the official UFC 206 early morning weigh-in at 148 pounds.
At the time of the official weigh-in, with Pettis missing the mark, it was unclear how UFC officials were going to handle the situation.
It’s possible that the fight, if it moves forward, could be an interim title fight for Holloway, should he win the bout, but not for Pettis, if he were to win.
There has been precedent for such a stipulation in the past, as Johny Hendricks nearly missed weight for his welterweight title fight with Robbie Lawler at UFC 171. Had he missed weight, Lawler would have been eligible to win the title, though Hendricks would not. Hendricks, however, eventually made the weight on his final attempt, averting such a situation.
That, however, would have to be worked out between the UFC, the Ontario Athletic Commission, the fighters and their camps. Negotiations were ongoing, so the bout’s status was unresolved as of the time of publication.
Holloway vs. Pettis was elevated from a co-main event non-title fight to headlining inteirm championship status when original headliner Daniel Cormier had to drop out of the main event. He was slated to defend his light heavyweight title against Anthony Johnson, but that bout fell apart when Cormier suffered a torn adductor tendon.
UFC officials then forced Conor McGregor, the promotion’s first dual-division champion, to relinquish the featherweight title. They then elevated interim champ Jose Aldo to undisputed champion status and made Holloway vs. Pettis for the new interim designation, topping the bill at UFC 206 on Saturday in Toronto.
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for updates as the situation develops.