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Anthony Pettis returning to lightweight, eyes UFC showdown against Jim Miller

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Pettis vs Alvarez Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis, tried to cut down to the featherweight division and make a run at the division strap, answering questions that started with this fantasy fight several years back.

Close, but no cigar.

Now that Pettis had time to reflect on his recent performances, which left him struggling to reach the 145-pound limit, “Showtime” is gunning for a summer 2017 return, and already has a potential opponent in mind.

From his conversation with ESPN’s Five Rounds Podcast:

"I'm going to take my time at 155 pounds. I was in a rush to get back into title contention. Everybody I fought besides Oliveira was a the No. 1 contender or a former champion. I'm going to go back to the 155-pound division, work my way back to the top and see how far I can take it again. I was the king of lightweight in both the WEC and UFC. I have to go back there and keep doing that, with no pressure on myself. There's no lack of motivation, no superstition. It's just me, out there grinding hard and winning fights. I was looking to get Jim Miller. He was the only guy not booked, besides [Michael] Johnson. I let my management take care of who I'm fighting, but there's Miller, Johnson, Nate Diaz. There's a bunch of guys out there I'd like to fight."

Miller is coming off a majority decision loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 208.

Pettis (19-6) left World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) with a win over Ben Henderson and the lightweight strap in tow. He was quickly upended by Clay Guida in his Octagon debut, but stormed back to capture five straight — and the UFC title — before getting whooped by Rafael dos Anjos in early 2015.

Anyone think “Showtime” can return to prime time?