Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has had a bit of a difficult run as of 2015. After a 5-fight win streak that saw Pettis claim the UFC lightweight championship by submitting Benson Henderson in the 1st round of their UFC 164 fight, Pettis defended the belt just once before losing the title to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185. In his next fight, Pettis looked to return to the win column against Eddie Alvarez, who handed ‘Showtime’ his second straight loss, this one coming via split decision. Pettis then stepped into the Octagon with Edson Barboza at UFC 197 in hopes of snapping his 2-fight losing streak. Barboza handed Pettis his third straight loss, resulting in the former champ announcing a move to featherweight in hopes of experiencing a career resurgence.
In Pettis’ featherweight debut, he fought Charles Oliveira in a highly anticipated showdown that saw Pettis snap his 3-fight skid, and pick up an impressive win in his featherweight debut. Unfortunately, in just his next fight, Pettis was TKOd by Max Holloway at UFC 206 in a highly anticipated fight for the interim featherweight title.
Now, on the heels from his loss to Holloway, Pettis has declared himself the king of lightweight. He spoke on the Five Rounds podcast:
“I was rushing for my title shot. I was right there at 145 pounds and still in the running at 155. I think it was rough on my body [doing that]. I had a lot of injuries I needed to heal up and I wasn’t healing them up. I was just going right to the next camp.”
“I’m going to take my time at 155 pounds,” Pettis said. “I was in a rush to get back into title contention. Everybody I fought besides [Charles] Oliveira was a the No. 1 contender or a former champion. I’m going to go back to the 155-pound division, work my way back to the top and see how far I can take it again.
“Yeah, I was looking to get Jim Miller,” Pettis said. “He was the only guy not booked, besides [Michael] Johnson. I let my management take care of who I’m fighting, but there’s Miller, Johnson, Nate Diaz. There’s a bunch of guys out there I’d like to fight.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/13/2017.