Before the UFC 125 lightweight title fight between champion Frankie Edgar and challenger Gray Maynard, the final WEC lightweight champ, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, was setting his sights on the winner for an upcoming title unification bout.
After the bout between Edgar and Maynard resulted in a draw, however, Dana White made the call to give Maynard an immediate rematch instead of going forward with an Edgar/Pettis matchup.
That announcement raised the question of whether or not Pettis would fight in the interim period and risk his title shot.
Apparently, Pettis is eager to make his debut in the UFC and will not wait nearly a year to face the winner of Edgar/Maynard III, even if it may cost him a title opportunity. MMAWeekly is reporting that Pettis is willing to risk his title shot in order to prevent an extended layoff.
Mike Roberts, a member of Pettis’ management company, stated that “a 10-month or possible year layoff was just too long. We believe with a win against a top lightweight contender Anthony will still get the title shot later in the year”.
While “Showtime” was disappointed with the decision made by Dana White, he understands it. “Anthony was obviously disappointed in not getting the title shot, but he also understands why Dana made that decision,” Roberts said.
Edgar and Maynard are slated to meet again at UFC 130 on May 28, lining up the winner to potentially face Pettis this fall at the earliest.