We should all personally send a thank you to Reed Harris. It was his vision and promotion that has given us the amazing talent and depth that makes up the UFC’s lighter weight divisions. The WEC has given the UFC the likes of current 155lb champion Benson Henderson, 145lb champion Jose Aldo, as well as contenders like “Cowboy” Cerrone and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.
It was “Showtime” that was the last reigning 155lb WEC champion. So it only makes perfect sense that he would turn away from a title shot against the man he beat in the WEC’s final show, Benson Henderson. Wait… What? That’s right… Anthony Pettis is scheduled to face Jose Aldo for the 145lb title.
The logical path would tell Anthony Pettis to take advantage of the title shot he earned after dominating top contender Donald Cerrone. Pettis though, was intrigued. Intrigued by the idea of a fight so exciting that fans everywhere would be clamoring for instant classic status. A fight that could put Pettis in the history books. A fight with Benson Henderson made sense. He already defeated him. Fought his way back to earn another shot and would obviously have a legitimate chance at claiming the title he has seeked since coming with the rest of the WEC roster over to the UFC upon the merger last year. However, that would not be “Showtime”, at least not to Anthony Pettis.
Pettis has been there, done that. Even though Henderson Vs Pettis was a fight of the year candidate and Pettis pulled off the highlight move of a lifetime, he wanted to give the fans what they wanted. A super-fight. Anthony Pettis Vs Jose Also.
Aldo, coming off an epic 5 round battle with former 155lb champion Frankie Edgar, got the message in the events post-fight press conference. Dana White stood on the podium and revealed the news. Anthony Pettis, the number one contender for the 155lb title had texted Dana. Pettis told Dana that not only did he want the fight with Aldo, he wanted to come down to 145lb to do it.
That’s what Anthony Pettis does. He doesn’t take the easy way out. He is the epitome of his nickname. He is “Showtime.” At only age 26, he has all the time in the world to get back to a rematch with Henderson. Pettis wanted to do what hasn’t been done. He wanted a new challenge. Who knows what triggered his interest. Could have been the off the cage Superman punch Aldo threw, reminiscent of Pettis’ own kick off of the cage vs Henderson. Maybe it was just the unknown challenge.
One thing is for sure, Aldo vs Pettis is going to be epic. Both fighters were coming back off somewhat long layoffs in their last fights. Both fought around the same time frame so both will have the same rest and training. No excuses. Just one epic fight for the fans. Yes, the fans!
Hats off Mr. Pettis. You stepped up and gave the fans a super fight for the ages.