When Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight contender Anthony Pettis decided to drop down to featherweight and challenge division kingpin Jose Aldo, it wasn't for a lack of challenges in the 155-pound division, but rather, a necessary evil.
Especially seeing as how "Showtime" couldn't catch a break when it came to his promised title shots.
"A lot of things led to my cutting down to 145," said Pettis in a recent interview with New York Post. "I was tired of waiting for a 155-pound title shot."
After getting passed over for former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez, Pettis was matched up against former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) comrade Donald Cerrone. Anthony was able to walk right through "Cowboy," stopping him in the very first round thanks to a vicious kick to the body at UFC on FOX 6.
Soon thereafter, Pettis took a chance and asked for a title shot against Aldo via text message due to the fact that "El Nino" had already received the nod at the lightweight title against current champion Ben Henderson.
To the surprise of many, "Showtime" got his wish and was booked to swing leather against "Scarface" at UFC 163, which goes down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 3, 2013. But, the 155-pound weight class will still have to deal with Pettis down the road because the move down to featherweight is not forever.
"It's not a permanent weight cut (to featherweight)," said Pettis. "But a striker like myself and Aldo, it doesn't really matter what weight class it happens at. It's going to be fireworks either way."
And while both men posses an impressive striking arsenal, Pettis admits it has been tough to find a training partner that can mimic his Brazilian foe. However, that dilemma is one Junior has to deal with, as well. "It's impossible to find a training partner exactly like Jose Aldo, otherwise they would be champ too," declared Pettis. "But the same goes for me. I don't think Aldo can find a training partner that could emulate my style."
Should Pettis dethrone Aldo from the top of the 145-pound mountain, it's unclear whether or not UFC President Dana White will allow Anthony to go back up to the 155-pound division and challenge for that title, too.
But it would be interesting to see if "Showtime" can become the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two different weight classes at the same time.
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