UFC star Anthony Pettis hijacked the headlines this week after swooping in to claim contendership in the featherweight division despite having never fought at 145 pounds before in his career. Prior to news of Pettis’ pending shot at champion Jose Aldo the 26-year old was thought to be waiting in the wings for a lightweight title-fight.
“Showtime” spoke about the situation to UFC Tonight where he explained he was willing to risk his reputation in a new weight-class based on the challenge Aldo presents as well as his confidence in both slimming down and how he matches up with the explosive Brazilian.
“To me, Aldo is a tougher fight – that’s why I asked for it. He’s one of those guys who has gone through his opponents like crazy and he just beat the last 155-pound champ,” said Pettis. “Aldo is definitely a tougher challenge for me. I’ve beaten Benson Henderson once and I think I’m going to be doing it again soon, but right now Aldo is the guy on my radar.”
“The biggest thing is where he’s good at. He’s good where I’m good. He likes to stand and trade and bang, and I feel like I’m a little more well-rounded and I can offer him a big challenge,” he concluded.
Pettis, who said he barely had to cut weight before his January win over Donald Cerrone, went on to confirm he’s still interested in competing for the lightweight belt at some point down the road but isn’t looking past Aldo.
“I have to cross those bridges when I get there, but my goal is to become the 155-pound champ,” admitted Pettis.
Also worth noting, the 16-2 Pettis revealed he would prefer to fight Aldo sooner than scheduled, stating he wasn’t sure why the UFC was delaying the duel, but appeared content with having his long-awaited title-shot in ink (not to mention some extra time to refine the process of making the featherweight limit). The two are set to tussle on August 3 at UFC 163. No location has been attached to the event.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC