When Anthony Pettis pulled off an upset win over Ben Henderson at WEC 53 in December to become the promotion’s last ever lightweight champion, he also earned the No.1 contender status in the UFC 155lb division as well.
That led to him sitting cageside at UFC 125 on New Years Day eager to discover whether he’d be fighting Frankie Edgar or Gray Maynard next for the title.
Unfortunately for ‘Showtime’ fate conspired against him, with Edgar and Maynard fighting to a draw, and UFC President Dana White announcing later that there would now be an immediate rematch.
That left Pettis facing a dilemma: Sit and wait for the rematch later in 2011 and potentially get the title shot before the end of the year, or risk taking another fight in the mean time.
According to Pettis manager, he’s decided to roll the dice and go with the latter option.
“After consulting with Anthony and Duke Roufus, we collectively decided that it would be in Anthony’s best interest to take a fight in the meantime, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc told MMAWeekly today.
“A 10-month or possible year layoff was just too long. We believe with a win against a top lightweight contender Anthony will still get the title shot later in the year.”
It’s an unfortunate situation for the 23 year-old, but the show must go on and I think it’s the right decision to make under the circumstances.
Pettis isn’t the only one affected by the recent events though. Spare a though for George Sotiropoulos for example who’s laid down a seven fight winning streak in the UFC’s lightweight division and yet there’s still no sign of a title shot on the horizon.
Jim Miller is even further down the pecking order even though he’s six fights unbeaten.
Perhaps it’s only fair that Pettis, who recently put together a four fight winning streak in the WEC, has to compete with at least one of these guys in order to establish a true No.1 contender.
Make no mistake though, the UFC desperately wanted to have Pettis fight Edgar next after his now infamous ‘Showtime’ kick off the cage at WEC 53 went viral, watched by millions around the globe, but as in the octagon, sometimes you’ve just got to roll with the punches.