A striking clinic is assured with the new lightweight match-up announced for UFC 197 in Las Vegas on April 23rd with former champion Anthony Pettis set to square off against Edson Barboza.
For a moment of time as the champion of the division The 29 year-old Pettis looked on the verge of becoming one of the UFC’s biggest stars, but he’s come unstuck over the past 12 months.
Firstly came his convincing unanimous decision title loss to Rafael dos Anjos back in March of last year which brought an end to a five fight winning streak, then a split decision defeat to Eddie Alvarez last month
Neverthless, ‘Showtime’ still holds down the No.3 spot in the division, five spots above his next opponent Barboza who’s at No.8.
Like Pettis, Barboza is a tremendously skilled striker who’s been struggling of late, with two losses in his last three fights, losing out to Michael Johnson and Tony Ferguson in 2015 with a win over Paul Felder sandwiched in-between.
UFC 197 will be headlined by a long awaited light-heavyweight title rematch between current champion Daniel Cormier and the returning Jon Jones, while a second title fight in the co-main event sees Demetrious Johnson looking to make his latest defense of the flyweight belt against Henry Cejudo.