Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will look to continue his rebuild later this evening (Sat., Nov. 11, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 120 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia, when he meets divisional stud Dustin Poirier in the main event.
Pettis, 30, is approaching the pinnacle of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career and in desperate need for an extended win streak at 155 pounds. “Showtime” is coming off an impressive victory over veteran Jim Miller at UFC 213 this past July, but that isn’t going to launch him to the forefront of the title picture entering 2018.
That said, a victory over Poirier this weekend in Virginia could help Pettis save some face at 155 pounds before the end of the year. Poirier is the perfect type of fighter to test Pettis’ resolve, patience, technique, and execution, so it will be interesting to see how “Showtime” looks from the opening bell on. For a talent like Pettis, it isn’t just about how he finishes a fight. It’s also about how he looks throughout it, because the former champion has noticeably lost a step over the past few years.
Luckily for Pettis, UFC is still feeding him opportunities to rebound and rebuild his promotional worth en route to another run at the title. The promotion understands how valuable “Showtime” is at 155 pounds, despite the massive divisional depth. But with a 2-4 record since the beginning of 2015, the Wisconsin native isn’t making it easy for UFC. From losing his lightweight title to Rafael dos Anjos to suffering his first knockout defeat at the hands of current featherweight champion Max Holloway during a brief run at featherweight, Pettis hasn’t performed like we all know he can in the biggest of spots.
Despite this unforeseen dip in production, Pettis remains one of the very best fighters at 155 pounds. His takedown defense has been exposed over the past few years, but “Showtime” is quickly regaining the in-cage flash that landed him on a Wheaties box earlier in his career. As long as he can stay healthy and properly climb his way back up the lightweight ladder, it’s only a matter of time before Pettis gets back to full form.
It all starts tonight against “The Diamond,” who has looked like a bona fide title threat since his divisional invasion back in 2015. A victory over Poirier, especially if it’s in dominant fashion, will finally allow Pettis to wipe the slate clean and build on a win streak.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 120 fight card, starting with the UFC Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.