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Anthony Pettis, who is currently the No. 1 contender in the UFC's lightweight division, doesn't want to wait for his shot at UFC gold, which is why he took the opportunity to call out featherweight champion Jose Aldo after "Junior's" UFC 156 win over Frankie Edgar. During his recent appearance on The MMA Hour, "Showtime" explained his reasons behind the challenge.
With his swift, yet, impressive victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 6, Anthony Pettis secured his much-desired shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title, which is currently held by defending champion Ben Henderson.
Aldo's 145-pound strap.
Immediately after "Scarface" defeated "The Answer" in a very entertaining five-round battle in Las Vegas, Nevada, UFC president Dana White received a text message from "Showtime" asking for a shot at the best 145-pound fighter in the planet.
Perhaps Pettis saw a chink the armor of the Brazilian, or, maybe he just doesn't want to sit around for three months to see who his next challenge will be as Henderson will defend his lightweight title against former Strikeforce 155-pound champion Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7 on April 20, 2013 in San Jose, California.
Depending on how much damage "El Nino" or "Smooth" suffer in their five-round championship fight, Pettis will be looking at potentially sitting on the sidelines for six to eight months. That's quite an extended break for a man who barely broke a sweat in his bout against "Cowboy."
Nevertheless, Pettis appeared on a recent edition of "The MMA Hour" to explain why he called out the 145-pound kingpin and why he would love his shot to dethrone the crafty Brazilian from atop the featherweight mountain:
"Yeah man, I'm at the point of my career where I want to fight the best in the world and 145 was always an option for me, I was just doing good at 155 and Erik Koch was down there tearing things up, that's my team mate. So, I wouldn't say I'm done at 155, because 155 is a sure grab, it's just that it makes sense and they can keep me from having to wait for all of these title shots and I'm here to do it. It's something I've been thinking for a while. He's on the top pound-for-pound list and that is where I want to be. I want to be the best fighter in the world in my weight class or around my weight class. The only way to do that is to beat the guys that are there already."
Pettis made it clear he is still gunning for the lightweight title, he just doesn't want to wait around for it:
"Honestly, right now, I don't know, I don't want to wait. Aldo just fought, I know I can make 145 and I think the world wants to see that fight, it has fireworks written all over it for sure. I still want the 155 strap, too. I'm torn between both. I think me and Benson have some unfinished business and I think I am the guy to beat Ben Henderson, but, I'm just tired of waiting man. I'm just stuck. I hate begin in these position where I can't do anything. I can't fight, I can't take fights. I just want to keep going. I dont know. Who knows man. I know I can beat Ben Henderson. He is a very good guy, I respect him, I respect all of these guys but I think they need to put the fights that world wants to see and I think the world wants to see both of these fights and I'm excited to be a part of either one."
Though a fight pitting the two former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) champions would be nothing short of exciting, there are still plenty of contenders who truly call the featherweight division home that would likely object to "Showtime" dropping down and jumping over them in the title shot race.
Specifically, Ricardo Lamas, who recently defeated Erik Koch, widely considered to be the number one contender at 145 pounds prior to UFC on Fox 6. And let's not forget "The Korean Zombie," Chan Sung Jung, who has won three straight fights including a dominant victory over Dustin Poirier last May.
Then again, if history tells us anything, UFC has recently made it a habit to give title fights to those who ask for them and who many would argue don't necessarily deserve them; as was the case with Chael Sonnen, Nick Diaz and the aforementioned Edgar, who all received title shots after coming off a loss.
In Anthony's case, he has won three straight inside the Octagon and has some leverage when it comes asking for a shot at the gold in a division he has yet to compete in. But, will ZUFFA officials give in and deliver it to him?
Time will tell...