Duke Roufus wants Holloway next in NYC on anniversary of Pettis’ father’s death

Anthony Pettis

Anthony Pettis’ head coach Duke Roufus has an idea for ‘Showtime’s’ next featherweight fight, and it’s none other than Max Holloway.

Roufus spoke to ESPN’s ‘5 Rounds Podcast’ on Wednesday, explaining his decision to call out Holloway given the current landscape of the featherweight division.

“I believe Frankie [Edgar] is going to fight Dennis Bermudez — it’s rumored,” Roufus said. “We can’t fight [interim champion, [Jose] Aldo yet. We probably need another contender fight. Ricardo Lamas is fighting BJ [Penn].

“I think the only guy out there without a fight right now who is a top contender is Max Holloway.”

Pettis was victorious in his 145 pound debut, submitting Jiu Jitsu ace Charles Oliveira with a slick guillotine choke in the third round. The win marks ‘Showtime’s’ first since 2014, when he defended the lightweight belt against Gilbert Melendez back at UFC 181. Pettis dropped three losses in a row following the win over Melendez, and dropped to featherweight shortly after his loss to Edson Barboza at UFC 197.

Holloway is on an impressive nine fight win streak and seems on the cusp of a title shot himself. Pettis’ coach went on to talk about the significance of fighting in New York City, not because of the UFC’s historic debut in the Empire State, but because of the date that event is scheduled for.

“Anthony, on a very personal note, wants to fight on November 12,” Roufus said. “The reason is that’s the day of the death of his father and he would like to use that as an eraser in his life. Every year, the Pettis family, I don’t care what fight we have coming up, they take that day off from training and all get together to think about their father. They get together with their mother. It’s a very sad day for their family and Anthony wants to bring that motivation into Madison Square Garden.”