UFC welterweight Alex Oliveira plans on calling out Anthony Pettis following a win at this weekend’s UFC 254 card over Shavkat Rakhmonov.
Oliveira takes on Rakhmonov in a very intriguing matchup at 170lbs at this weekend’s UFC Fight Island event. “Cowboy” is currently riding a two-fight win streak and a win over Rakhmonov — who he is favored to defeat at the sportsbooks — would give Oliveira a three-fight win streak. That could be enough to earn him an opponent in the top-15.
Though he says he’s not looking past Rakhmonov, Oliveira already has his eyes set on his next opponent. Speaking to Sherdog.com, Oliveira said that he plans on calling out the No. 14 ranked welterweight Pettis if he wins his fight this Saturday at UFC 254.
“My focus is 100 percent on Savkhat. I’m sure it will be a war, but when I win I will challenge Anthony Pettis, who is 14th in the UFC rankings. I’m sure our styles can provide fireworks for the fans,” Oliveira said.
Pettis is coming off of a decision win over Donald Cerrone in a closely-contested battle at UFC 249 in May. Since he’s a big name and the No. 14 ranked fighter at 170lbs, Pettis has been a very popular callout target for a lot of fighters looking to break into the rankings. Though he has previously been a ranked fighter, Oliveira currently is not ranked. However, if he did beat Pettis, it would give him a set in the top-15.
Ultimately, the decision will reside with the UFC matchmakers, but at this point in his career, Pettis is likely chasing bigger names. Then again, the prospect of a “Fight of the Night” war may be too tantalizing to pass up. It would certainly be a fan-friendly fight, and perhaps if Oliveira wins this weekend the UFC would be apt to book the fight.
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