After he was forced out of his UFC on FOX 16 showdown against Myles Jury due to an elbow injury, Anthony Pettis is gearing up for his return to the Octagon.
The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion appeared on AXS TV's Inside MMA and proclaimed that he is eyeing a return to action by the end of the year.
And he also threw his name in the hat to be a replacement in case either Donald Cerrone or Rafael dos Anjos get injured prior to their 155-pound title fight, which is set to go down on Dec 19, 2015 at UFC on FOX 17 in Orlando, Florida.
His words (via MMA Junkie):
"My ideal opponent would be Rafael dos Anjos - somebody who did that to me, that's something I want back. Ideally, that's the fight I want. Who makes sense to get me there? You've got Khabib out there with an injury, and I think he's coming back soon. Nate Diaz and me never had a good exchange of words, so Diaz is out there. Anybody who's going to get me my shot back at dos Anjos. I'm pushing for this year. I'm pushing for a December return.‘Cowboy' and dos Anjos are on a card, and if one of them gets injured I'd be ready to step in."
Pettis lost his 155-pound belt to Dos Anjos after the Brazilian bomber outworked and outscored "Showtime" at UFC 185 to claim the title.
As for Cerrone, he earned his first-ever UFC championship fight be reeling off an astounding eight-fight win streak after losing to the aforementioned Dos Anjos in 2013.
But, times have changed, and going for a full 25 minutes against "Cowboy" is a "scary" thing.