After the UFC Vegas 17 main event between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev — which was set for Dec. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada — was scrapped because “Rocky” tested positive for COVID-19, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has booked another fight to fill the void.
While it won’t be the main event, Anthony Pettis will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon to face Alex Morono inside UFC APEX in a Welterweight affair.
Pettis will look to post back-to-back victories for the first time in six years after defeating Donald Cerrone for the second time at UFC 249 this past May. “Showtime” has bounced around from Lightweight to Welterweight over the years, but he hasn’t really been able to find a groove.
But, after seeking treatment to get his mind and body right, Pettis feels he’s ready to make another run.
“I was actually trying to get a fight for a while now,” Pettis told ESPN. “My mindset has been so sharp. I’ve gone back to being a student of the game and I feel myself moving over this plateau. I feel like I was plateaued for a while and it was just never-ending, but last month I went to Colombia and got a stem-cell injection and I’ve been working with a sports psychiatrist.
“I have these tools in my mental game and I’m eager to put them to use,” he continued. “I’m making real progress as a martial artist and it’s felt so good to reinvent myself.”
Morono, on the other hand, has won four of five and was last seen defeating Rhys McKee a few weeks ago at UFC Vegas 14. In fact, his lone loss during his streak was to hard-hitting contender, Khaos Williams. A win over Pettis could be what gets Morono a bigger share of the spotlight.