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Anthony Pettis parts ways with UFC, will test free agency

UFC Fight Night: Pettis v Morono Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis, has announced his decision to part ways with the promotion after 12 years. “Showtime” announced on social media that he would not ink a new deal with UFC so that he could test the free agent market.

“Almost 12 years with this company and so many amazing memories. From winning my first world title at 23 years old to becoming the UFC world champion at 26 in my hometown. From being on MTV to the cover of the Wheaties box, I am forever grateful for everything I have experienced and accomplished with this company,” Pettis wrote before thanking UFC President, Dana White.

“Dana, thank you for everything you have done for me. I was just a kid from the south side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a big dream. You helped me turn that dream into a reality. THANK YOU!!!”

Pettis also thanked the Fertitta brothers, as well as UFC matchmakers and former UFC executives.

“Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, Reed Harris, Sean Shelby, Dave Sholler, and Burt Watson, you have helped me and impacted my life and career in countless ways. I will be forever thankful. Everyone at the PI, you helped take my game to the next level! Everyone that works behind the scenes, I am so grateful for your tireless work, especially on the road, you have no idea how much you are appreciated. Thank YOU!!!”

Pettis will now be free to sign anywhere he wants, as there will be several promotions such as ONE Championship, Bellator MMA and Professional Fighters League (PFL) who will undoubtedly like to have a chat with “Showtime,” who assured fight fans that he is far from done in mixed martial arts (MMA).

“Last and most importantly the UFC fans … thank you!!! You gave me energy in every fight. I hope I have been able to you that ANYTHING is possible. I am excited about my future in this sport. I promise I am not done. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.”

Pettis ends his run with UFC with an 11-9 record, though he does leave on a two-fight win streak against Donald Cerrone and Alex Morono, who he defeated at UFC Vegas 17 last Saturday night (Dec. 19, 2020) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Care to predict where “Showtime” will end up?