There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Anthony Pettis was the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion and ranked in the top five on the promotion’s pound-for-pound chart.
Fast-forward to 2019 and “Showtime” sits at No. 8 in the current 155-pound rankings, which may be a generous placement when you consider the former Wheaties frontman hasn’t won back-to-back fights in over four years.
In addition, Pettis has bounced around between lightweight and featherweight and will now travel up to the welterweight division for his latest fight, a 170-pound showdown against two-time title contender, Stephen Thompson.
But don’t worry, he hasn't forgotten about that Jose Aldo “super fight.”
“I want big fights,” Pettis told MMA Junkie. “I want (Jose) Aldo. I want everybody that I should have fought a long time ago. I’m not waiting for anything this year. I’m just going out and having fun. I’m getting these wins. Last time I had a great time, but I didn’t get the win. This one here, I’m focused on the win. I need this win, and it needs to be impressive. Against a guy like ‘Wonderboy,’ it’s already impressive.”
Pettis vs. Thompson headlines UFC Nashville on March 23 on ESPN+.
After coughing up his title to Rafael dos Anjos back in early 2015, the 21-8 “Showtime” is just 3-6, having been finished in his last three defeats. Now 32, the window for Pettis to secure his legacy fights appears to be closing and could slam shut with a poor showing against Thompson.
We’ll find out in roughly one month.