31-Year-Old UFC Lightweight 20-7-0
May 1, 2018 Anthony Pettis News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Pettis will now face Michael Chiesa in a previously-scheduled lightweight matchup at UFC 226 on July 7 in Las Vegas, ESPN's Brett Okamoto reports.
Pettis and Chiesa were originally supposed to square off at UFC 223 in Brooklyn, but Chiesa was forced to withdraw due to facial lacerations were caused when Conor McGregor tossed a dolly through a window on the bus Chiesa happened to be riding. Though the cuts were enough to cancel the upcoming fight, there was no long-term damage sustained, allowing the matchup to be re-booked at a later date. Pettis hasn't fought since losing to Dustin Poirier last November, and hasn't been particularly sharp since moving up to the lightweight division -- with the lone exception being a victory over a washed-up Jim Miller. He'll concede three inches in both height and reach to Chiesa, and will likely once again enter a betting underdog.
Anthony Pettis: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisThings certainly got interesting regarding Pettis' status for the weekend when he didn't come back for a second weigh-in, and it's now official that he won't be fighting with the news of Nurmagomedov taking on Al Iaquinta Saturday night. The only possible opponent remaining for Pettis would be Paul Felder, who was originally scheduled to fight Iaquinta, but with Pettis and Felder being teammates at Roufusport, they will not fight each other.
Fantasy AnalysisPettis was originally scheduled to take on Michael Chiesa, but after Chiesa suffered several cuts following the Conor McGregor incident, the bout was cancelled. Pettis was then viewed as the likely replacement for Max Holloway, who was scheduled to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov before being ruled unfit to fight. Pettis, however, will have to make weight within the two-hour window he's been given per NYSAC rules in order to be eligible to take on Nurmagomedov this weekend. If it doesn't work out with Pettis, Al Iaquinta's name has surfaced on multiple occasions as a potential opponent for Nurmagomedov, though we're currently awaiting any kind of announcement from the UFC.
Fantasy AnalysisChiesa suffered several cuts after Conor McGregor and his entourage shattered a window in a bus that was transporting a handful of fighters to a media session. While Chiesa was released from the hospital and medically cleared to fight, the New York State Athletic Commission has ruled to cancel the fight, with Chiesa not able to make weight after the altercation. Chiesa tweeted that he hopes to reschedule the fight with Pettis for June 9 at UFC 225. Pettis was looking to get back on track at UFC 223 after losing five of his previous seven fights.
Fantasy AnalysisPettis will look to get back on track at the Barclays Center after recovering from a fractured rib that he sustained during a loss to Dustin Poirier in November. The 31-year-old has lost five of his previous seven bouts and is sporting a career record of 20-7. On the other hand, Chiesa hasn't fought since June, when he lost via submission (rear-naked choke) to Kevin Lee in Oklahoma City. "Maverick" received a lengthy 180-day medical suspension stemming from that fight, and will look for his first victory since April of 2016 when he clashes with Pettis.
Fantasy AnalysisPettis struggled against Poirier. He allowed his opponent to get in position for a triangle choke with his legs high on his ribs partway through Round 3. Poirier had moved to full mount with a body triangle and was in the process of clamping on the choke when Pettis tapped out due to an injury. It has been determined that Pettis suffered a fractured rib, which was a relief to his coach who feared ligament and cartilage damage. A timetable for his return to action hasn't been stated.
Fantasy AnalysisBeing battered from pillar to post and a bloody mess, Pettis appeared to suffer a rib or chest injury during an exchange on the mat midway through Round 3 and after an immediate grimace he quickly tapped out. "Showtime" had no answer for the aggressive style or takedown attempts of Poirier. Once known as one of the best athletes in the sport, Pettis' footwork has all but evaporated and he once again appears to be thinking too much inside the Octagon. His win over Jim Miller in July meant little because it didn't tell us if he was ready to face top competition once again. We got our answer on Saturday night and the answer was a resounding "no". Pettis is somehow 2-5 in his last seven fights dating back to March 2015. It's baffling that his sudden, pronounced downfall doesn't get talked about more often. Pettis also took home a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus.
Fantasy AnalysisPettis returned to the lightweight division after a brief trip to featherweight, and recorded a quality victory over veteran Jim Miller at UFC 213. He suffered a hand injury in that victory that resulted in a 180-day suspension, but it sounds as if he's received the required physician's clearance to get booked for a fight approximately four months later. Pettis has had a tough time with the elite lightweights since his days as champion, but a win over a potential top contender in Poirier could earn him a top-5 opponent.
Fantasy AnalysisPettis' win over Jim Miller gave him a leg up in the lightweight division. He managed to stop three of Miller's four takedown attempts and landed more significant strikes in all three rounds of the bout, 78 percent of which came from a distance. His slight height and reach advantages allowed him to pop in and out while landing strikes, which may be what gained "Showtime" the decision win. Pettis was given a medical suspension of 180 days due to a possible right hand injury. He can be cleared earlier by a physician. Other fighters facing similar suspension pending clearance include Travis Browne, Robert Whittaker and Curtis Blaydes.
Fantasy AnalysisPettis is back in the lightweight division. He looked great against Jim Miller, winning in every aspect of the fight. Miller was successful with leg kicks early on, but Pettis eventually found his rhythm and hurt Miller. "Showtime" was very effective at getting in and landing strikes and then exiting quickly. Once the second round started, Pettis opened up a big cut over Miller's left eye before being taken down. He was eventually able to reverse positions and end up on top, and he applied a lot of pressure using positioning and ground-and-pound. Pettis fought a safe third round, but toward the end of the round both fighters opened up with strikes. Pettis was never in danger and looks to be back to his championship form. He should get a high profile opponent near the top of the lightweight division in his next fight.
Fantasy AnalysisPettis, a former UFC lightweight champion, will return from his two-fight stint in featherweight to his former division. He's lost four of his past five fights, with his last fight ending in a third-round TKO loss to Max Holloway at UFC 206. Pettis's opponent, Jim Miller is also looking to bounce back from a loss, in which he lost by majority decision to Dustin Poirier at UFC 208 in February.
Fantasy AnalysisPettis admits to being a bit overly aggressive in his title pursuits in 2016, as he fought four times and even endured multiple brutal weight cuts to featherweight, where he missed weight once for the first time in his career. Now back to the lightweight division where he was the former champion, Pettis is eyeing matchups with the likes of Jim Miller, Michael Johnson or even Nate Diaz. With the 155-pound class being one of the deepest divisions in the entire UFC, a climb back to the top will likely be a slow process for the 30-year-old Milwaukee native.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's been a lousy 48 hours for Pettis. He missed weight on Friday which made him ineligible to fight for the UFC Interim Featherweight Championship, and he told his corner after Round 1 on Saturday that he broke his hand during the first frame. Pettis looked smooth and confident for about two minutes. He did virtually nothing after that. The hand injury probably paid a major role in that, but considering what we've seen from Pettis of late and what we've seen of Holloway of late, Showtime still probably wasn't winning this fight. With everything going on in the world of MMA today it rarely gets talked about, but Pettis' dreadful performances of late are shocking. He is now 1-4 in his last five fights taking back to March 2015. This is a guy who was talked about as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world not all that long ago. Pettis confirmed after the fight that he will be moving back up to lightweight because his body simply can't handle the cut down to 145 pounds. Moving back to arguably the UFC's deepest division isn't going to help Showtime break out of his current funk.
Fantasy AnalysisThis has always been a risk for Pettis, as he recently attempted to reinvent his career following a drop from lightweight (155 pounds) to featherweight (145 pounds). His weight cut went OK for his first featherweight fight against Charles Oliveira, but he was not able to replicate the successful cut this time around. As a penalty, Pettis will have to give 20 percent of his purse to Holloway, who could still earn the interim featherweight title with a win. Pettis is the first fighter since 2007 to miss weight for a title fight, and this will surely cause questions about his ability to continue to compete in the 145-pound class.
Fantasy AnalysisPettis held the UFC lightweight title from 2013-15 before he dropped the belt to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185. Since then, he's gone 1-2 -- most recently defeating Charles Oliveira in August via submission. "Showtime" will do battle with one of the hottest fighters in the world right now, who's 16-3 and has won nine straight bouts. The featherweight matchup will occur Dec. 10 in Toronto.
Fantasy AnalysisA much-needed win from Pettis in his featherweight debut. Entering the bout on a three-fight losing streak, it took Pettis about two minutes to find his range and he took over from there. He did damage on the feet, and although he did give up four takedowns to Oliveira, he was able to his bigger frame to reverse position whenever needed. An especially impressive fact when you take into account what a wizard Oliveira is on the mat. It still wasn't the dominant, flashy performance that we got used to seeing from Pettis at his peak when he was UFC Lightweight Champion, but his introduction to a new division against a highly-talented opponent couldn't have gone any better. It was a great night for both Pettis and the UFC.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's been a rough road of late for the former UFC Lightweight Champion, who is a loser of three-straight fights. Pettis will be dropping down to 145 pounds for this fight in hopes of rejuvenating his career. If you're looking for an easy mark in your first fight in a new division, Oliveira isn't it. It's hard to imagine the UFC ever releasing a fighter of Pettis' caliber, but virtually all guys who lose four-straight end up on the unemployment line. He doesn't look like the same fighter and he better find his game - quickly.
Fantasy AnalysisThe career of Pettis has hit a bit of a roadblock of late, as three straight losses in the lightweight division prompted a move down to featherweight. He won't be getting any sort of "warmup fight" to accommodate the transition, as Pettis will a tough opponent in Oliveira, a Brazilian submission artist that is 5-1 in his last six bouts. Oliveira is currently the No. 7 fighter in the featherweight division, so if Pettis can get back on track in this one, he could ultimately face a top-5 opponent before early-2017.
Fantasy AnalysisA change was definitely in order for Pettis, who needed to reinvent himself after three straight decision losses in the lightweight division. He just hasn't looked like a former champion of late, as the 29-year-old's recent performance hasn't been convincing enough to show the judges that he deserved to come out on top. Now in the featherweight class, he'll match up better size-wise with most opponents, but will undoubtedly have to deal with a much tougher weight cut. To cope with this, he's hired esteemed nutritionist Mike Dolce to help with the cut, in hopes of making it as healthy as possible. As long as he can make weight without any fatigue-related side effects, look for Pettis to be competitive against the top featherweight contenders.
Fantasy AnalysisKnown for his unique and innovative striking game, Pettis' offensive game was non-existent on Saturday night. To make matter worse, Pettis stood in front of Barboza for extended period of times as the fight progressed and the end result was Showtime eating countless kicks to both the legs and body. In need of an impressive performance and more importantly, a win, in the worst way, Pettis simply didn't show up in this one. A guy who was considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world less than 18 months ago, Pettis is now riding a three-fight losing streak. Fighting in the deepest division in the UFC, Pettis is in trouble. He is getting lapped in the peking order by a countless number of fighters. Showtime is suddenly miles away from the top of the UFC's lightweight division.
Fantasy AnalysisConsidered one of the better pound-for-pound fighters in the world not all that long ago, Pettis is coming off back-to-back losses against Rafael dos Anjos and Eddie Alvarez. Showtime has plenty of impressive wins on his resume, but they will mean little if he loses to Barboza. Pettis is a big enough star that he is probably closer to another title shot than he deserves to be, even with the depth at the top of the lightweight division. The 29-year-old not only needs to win on Saturday, but he needs to do so impressively. His stock as dipped considerably in the past 13 months.
Fantasy AnalysisThe former champion Pettis had once been considered tops in the division, but has now suffered back-to-back losses to Rafael dos Anjos and Eddie Alvarez. A tune-up fight against Barboza, who is 1-2 in his last three fights, may be just what the doctor ordered to get Pettis back on track. It the health of Pettis holds up leading up to April, it will be the first time the 29-year-old has fought twice in a calendar year since 2013.
Fantasy AnalysisThis fight likely came down to the first round, as Pettis seemed to have won the second, while Alvarez took the third. Pettis landed his fair share of strikes, but was largely out-wrestled in this one, as Alvarez was able to close the distance and take him down at will in the final round. The inability of Pettis to create distance not only left him susceptible to the takedown, but limited his ability to land the unique combinations of strikes he is typically known for. Showtime has now lost back-to-back fights for the first time in his career, and it's unclear at this point what his next step will be.
Fantasy AnalysisThis is just for record keeping purposes. It was reported nearly three weeks ago that this fight would be happening, but the UFC took their time announcing it. Either way, it should be a great fight on what figures to be a cold winter night in Boston.
Fantasy AnalysisAn official announcement from the UFC will be coming shortly. Never a picture of health throughout his career, Pettis underwent Tommy John surgery in May and considering his past injury history, it is probably about 50/50 as to if he will be able to make it to Boston in one piece. Pettis was obliterated by Rafael dos Anjos in his last fight, losing his UFC lightweight championship at UFC 185 in March.
Fantasy AnalysisPettis underwent Tommy John surgery in May, but fortunately he's not a baseball player, as he should be back to full strength by August rather than sit an entire calendar year. He suffered the injury while training with a collegiate wrestler in an effort to improve his wrestling prowess, but has since admitted that training with fighters who are not MMA-experienced may have been a mistake, and is unlikely to do so again. He was taken down nine times in his recent loss to Rafael dos Anjos, and acknowledged that he needs to improve his wrestling, but will have to do so via other methods. Showtime was originally scheduled to take on Myles Jury on July 25, but that bout will have to wait until at least August if that's what the UFC wants. Other potential opponents could be Nate Diaz, or the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov (22-0).
Fantasy AnalysisThe surgery is expected to sideline Pettis for four-to-six months. He's a physically gifted as anyone in MMA, but the guy just can't stay healthy. Pettis was hoping to return to the octagon quickly after losing his lightweight title to Rafael dos Anjos back at UFC 185 on March 14.