It all started January 26th, 2013 when former WEC Lightweight Champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis records his second consecutive Knockout of the Night performance in his win over Donald Cerrone and is granted a title shot at UFC Lightweight Champion and the man he dethroned in the WEC in the Fight of the Year (2010), Benson Henderson. The announcement that Pettis was now the number one contender in the Lightweight division brought a smile to all MMA fans as they remembered the battle these two had in 2010 (Pettis win) and the kick heard around the world. The kick that would later be named the “Showtime Kick” as Pettis leaped off the cage and hit Henderson with a right head kick that was straight out of a movie. All roads led to an epic rematch. Then UFC 156 happened.
February 2nd, 2013 UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo gets taken the distance by former Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar in Las Vegas but retains his title via unanimous decision. This fight could have gone either way and the world along with Anthony Pettis saw that Aldo is human and can be beat. Moments after the fight UFC President Dana White gets a text from Pettis stating that he wants to fight Aldo. This was very interesting because Pettis has never fought at that weight but this wouldn’t be the first time White had let a big name from a different weight class fight for a title in another division. White green-lit the fight and the promo started but Aldo and his camp were very disappointed with the fight and for a period of time said it wouldn’t happen. After some “words of wisdom” from White and a promise of a Lightweight Title shot if he wins, Aldo and his camp agreed to the fight.
But why make this fight? On paper it makes no sense at all but in the desire of exciting fights it makes all the sense in the world.
The prime example of why it doesn’t make any sense at all is that Pettis has been quoted many times saying he isn’t moving down to Featherweight permanently, he just wants to fight Aldo. So if Pettis wins, he would become a champion of a division that he has no desire to fight in. There are many guys in the Featherweight division such as Ricardo Lamas (4 fight win streak) who are a better choice for a title fight and this was the main argument of Aldo’s camp. Pettis already has a title shot lined up in his division but now he wants to leave that division for one fight and it is for a title, doesn’t make sense at all but to Pettis, Aldo is a name he can put on his list of wins that would make him the best in the world. Make no mistake a win over a top Pound for Pound and UFC Champion would do just that for “Showtime”.
Every press conference or interview that UFC President Dana White does he makes sure to mention that he wants to create “exciting fights”. At the current moment Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis are two of the most (if not the most) exciting fighters in the UFC and having these two in close weight divisions does create the chance to have them face off. This fight could easily be a Fight of the Year as these two don’t put on boring fights, they stand and bang with some of the craziest stand-up skills known to man. With the main event fights recently such as GSP vs Diaz, Cain vs Dos Santos and the creation of the women’s division and the rise of Ronda Rousey, Dana almost had no choice but to make this Super Fight just to keep pace. It is also a win-win for the UFC and it’s fans if Aldo wins, not only do they get the Pettis vs Aldo but then Aldo vs Benson Henderson for the Lightweight title. So this fight is more than just a Featherweight title fight, it is a SUPER FIGHT with SUPER outcomes for both fighters! Make sure to tune in this August as the buildup to the fight could be just as good as when the cage door closes and IT’S ON!