WEC lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis was expecting to get a shot at the winner of the UFC 125 lightweight title scrap between champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. After the instant classic bout was ruled a draw, Pettis’ position in the UFC 155-pound title picture was unclear, and it was eventually decided that Maynard deserved another shot at Edgar following such a close and exciting bout.
Pettis’ manager Mike Roberts recently spoke with MMAWeekly, to whom he indicated that his client will likely not wait around for Edgar and Maynard to square off again (the two are rumored to be facing off at UFC 130 in late May), instead opting to risk his shot by taking on a top contender in the division.
“Anthony was obviously disappointed in not getting the title shot, but he also understands why Dana made that decision,” Roberts said. “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.”
Pettis defeated Ben Henderson in December on the WEC’s last show in spectacular fashion, capping off a close and exciting fight with the now-famous, off-the-cage “Showtime kick.” Roberts told MMAWeekly that sitting out for almost a year is simply too long for the 23-year old to be on the shelf, and that they would be looking for one of the division’s more highly regarded prospects for Pettis’ UFC debut.
“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,” he said.
Who would you like to see Pettis matched up with for his UFC debut? Do you think he will meet a similar fate as did Josh Grispi when he took on Dustin Poirier at UFC 125 after featherweight champ Jose Aldo pulled out of their proposed title fight? Let us know in the comments section.