In order to do that, he required a "Smooth" rematch against "Bendo," who took over the 155-pound throne under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner by outpointing Frankie Edgar last month in Japan.
Unfortunately nobody cleared it with Edgar.
His "Answer" to UFC President Dana White, who urged the Jersey Shore native to drop a few pounds and challenge Jose Aldo for the featherweight crown in the promotion's desolate 145-pound division, was an emphatic "No." Edgar instead wanted a Henderson rematch based on the (mildly) controversial finish from their championship tilt at the Saitama Super Arena.
That means Pettis will have to fend off another round of lightweight hopefuls to keep his spot in line. Or he can do what Edgar wouldn't, and shed some skin to give "Junior" the fits in a featherweight title fight. A move his manager tells Ariel Helwani (via UFC Tonight) is currently under consideration.
"I spoke to Anthony's manager just a few hours ago and he told me that he was really disappointed, but he respects the decision. He would consider going down to 145 to fight Aldo. This is definitely something to monitor."
Pettis (15-2) is currently 2-1 as a ZUFFA employee and already coughed up one lightweight title shot after getting mugged by Clay Guida in June 2011. Does he stick around and risk another possible loss to a decorated wrestler like Gray Maynard, or see what kind of impact he can make against Aldo?