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With Conor McGregor on hiatus, UFC 206 headliner Anthony Pettis 'is what the division needs right now'

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

In an unforeseen turn of events, the Anthony Pettis vs. Max Holloway fight — which is now set to headline UFC 206 on Dec. 10, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (because of this) — will now be for the interim Featherweight title after the promotion stripped Conor McGregor of the belt and promoted Jose Aldo to champion.

While Pettis and Holloway are the beneficiaries of the series of events, there are some who are crying foul, saying that "Showtime" doesn’t deserve to vie for a title since he only has one win at 145 pounds.

While Anthony says he could care less what critics say, he will say in his defense that all people have to do is look at his resume to see his worth. Plus, as he said during a recent interview on The MMA Hour, the featherweight division could use a fresh face given the state it’s currently in.

"Look at my previous fights. I fought the who’s who at 155 pounds, I’m a former champion. I’m what the division needs right now," said Pettis. "Max Holloway is a great competitor, good fighter, he already lost to Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo lost to Conor McGregor. I go in there and it’s a fresh face, and whether it’s McGregor, whether it’s Aldo, or Holloway, I haven't fought any of these guys. I think that’s a plus for the division."

Since Jose Aldo still has no plans to fight and Conor taking time off from fighting altogether, Pettis may have a point.

Should he get the win over "Blessed," Pettis admits he won't feel like the real champion until the fights and defeats either Aldo or McGregor.

Once he accomplishes that goal, he intends to move back up to 155 pounds in order to get some revenge on a few foes who defeated him on his path to reclaim his 155-pound strap.

"I’m a million percent going back to 155. After I capture this belt, I am going to defend against whoever I have to defend, and then I got some fights that I have to avenge at 155 pounds," added Pettis. "At the top of the list is ‘RDA.’ He threw me off. I was at the top of the world a few years ago and he dethroned me and that is something I have to get back."

Dos Anjos defeated Pettis via unanimous decision at UFC 185 back in 2015.

As far as his mental state going into the bout following an incident that saw a few of his cars get torched in front of his house, Pettis says he is mentally ready and won’t let anything deter him from becoming UFC's next multi-division champion.


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