UFC 144 reaction: Does Anthony Pettis deserve a title shot?

I don’t think so. However, that looks to be the case according to UFC President Dana White via the UFC 144 post-fight press conference.

It’s true that Anthony Pettis defeated the now current champion Ben Henderson via unanimous decision a little over a year ago in the final WEC fight ever. Pettis then followed up that performance by allowing Clay Guida(a guy Henderson just beat) to take him down and control him the entire fight and lose via unanimous decision.

Pettis was able to rebound and get a split decision win over Jeremy Stephens and then the highlight reel KO of Joe Lauzon we saw on Saturday night. Jeremy Stephens nor Joe Lauzon are top ten lightweights, so I don’t see how those two wins make him the number one contender. If anything, Pettis should have to avenge the loss to Guida before getting the opportunity to fight for the belt.

Then we have the Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller fight which will take place on May 5th. A win for Diaz would be three wins in a row with the last two being against top ten fighters(Cerrone and Miller). A win for Miller would be two in a row over top ten opponents(Guillard was ranked prior to the loss). It’s true that Miller lost to Henderson via dominating fashion just over six months ago, so a rematch could be a tad early. However, if he puts Nate Diaz away impressively it would be hard to put Pettis ahead of him in the pecking order.

I have no doubts that Pettis would give Henderson a great fight if he were given the next title shot. However, title shots are about who has earned the right, not who would give the champion a great fight.

13 thoughts on “UFC 144 reaction: Does Anthony Pettis deserve a title shot?”

  1. Pettis needs another win IMO. In his last three fights he lost to Guida, Split dec against Lil Heathen (I thought he lost, as did a lot of people), then he had a HUGE ko of lauzon… Not very impressive. I think he should fight the winner of Diaz/Miller and give Frankie a rematch.

  2. “However, title shots are about who has earned the right, not who would give the champion a great fight.”

    They’re also about marketing. I agree that Pettis doesn’t deserve the shot, and even went a little psycho on Twitter when I read that he was likely next in line. He certainly hasn’t earned it, and his performances suggest that he wouldn’t give Bendo a good fight. Pettis appears to be headed in the wrong direction while Bendo is looking better with each performance. Obviously, the marketing angle is what’s really driving this fight, but I doubt this would even be the most marketable fight. Pettis shouldn’t get the shot yet.

  3. Hey Robert…thanks for chiming in….I certainly took the marketing aspect of it into consideration…probably the timing of these two fighting on the same card is what’s driving it more than anything…if Diaz/Miller took place at UFC 144…I don’t think Pettis is even in the picture….Nate Diaz is probably more popular than Pettis at this point…and you know he can market a fight like his brother with their smack talk…

    I just think people got carried away when Pettis got the highlight reel finish…including Dana White.

  4. He 100% deserves the shot. He crushed Joe, beat the crap out of Stephons, got laid on by Guida but was always active on his back, and beat the champ a little over a year ago. Give him the shot.

  5. Pettis more than deserves the shot. He’s a top 6 or 7 LW in the world, holds the only win over Ben Henderson that he clearly deserved IMO, was put in this event specifically to create the next challenger to the champion with a dominant performance (which he achieved), and is extremely marketable.

    The only people more deserving would be Edgar (because many feel he actually beat Ben this weekend), Gray Maynard, Gilbert Melendez, and the Diaz/Miller winner. The problem with those guys though is as follows; If Edgar were to get the shot it would be the third instant rematch to take place out of the last 6 fights for the LW title, Gray still doesn’t have a win after losing to Frankie by TKO, Gilbert is stuck in SF, and Diaz vs. Miller is still over 2 months away. Pettis is not only deserving, but the easiest match up to make next.

  6. BTW Lauzon could have been easily considered a top 10 LW last Saturday before getting KO’d. He was on a nice little win streak, and beat Melvin Guillard in the first round when Melvin was close to the LW top 5.

  7. “He certainly hasn’t earned it, and his performances suggest that he wouldn’t give Bendo a good fight.”

    Apparently you didn’t see the first fight between the two. Styles make fights, and Pettis could easily have Ben’s number again.

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