Posted On:2/06/2013 6:12pm
Summer UFC title fight set for Pettis, Aldo
"These guys are two of the most amazing, gravity-defying athletes in the sport. I am so pumped for this fight." -- Dana White
Two of the most dynamic strikers in mixed martial arts will meet Aug. 3 when Anthony Pettis drops from lightweight to 145 pounds to challenge champion Jose Aldo for the Ultimate Fighting Championship's featherweight title.
USA TODAY Sports learned of the booking from UFC President Dana White on Monday.
"Two of the baddest dudes in the fight business are going to fight at 145 pounds," White said. "These guys are two of the most amazing, gravity-defying athletes in the sport. I am so pumped for this fight."
White says the company is seeking a venue for the yet-to-be-announced event and sites in Texas, Chicago, Las Vegas and Rio de Janeiro are under consideration. Aldo vs. Pettis is expected to headline the card.
Aldo (22-1, 4-0 UFC) defended his title Saturday with a unanimous decision win against former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar in UFC 156 in Las Vegas. Afterward, Pettis texted White and requested the matchup.
"Aldo is a tremendous fighter," Pettis said. "I have all the respect in the world for his skills. I just want to be one of the best in the world, and the only way to do that is to beat the best."
Pettis (16-2 MMA, 3-1) is best known for his December 2010 win against UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson in the final event for the now-shuttered World Extreme Cagefighting promotion. In that bout, the fighter nicknamed "Showtime" clinched a decision win by leaping off the cage wall and knocking down his opponent with a flying kick to the face.
After dropping a decision to Clay Guida in his UFC debut, Pettis, 26, has put together a three-fight winning streak that includes back-to-back "Knockout of the Night" wins against top contenders Joe Lauzon and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone 10 days ago.
Meanwhile, Brazilian striker Aldo boasts a 15-fight winning streak and has not lost since 2005. He has earned 11 career first-round stoppages and possesses some of the sharpest, most devastating muay Thai skills in the sport. Still, Pettis, a taekwondo black belt, believes he's capable of upsetting the 26-year-old champ.
"I wouldn't call him out if I didn't really feel confident I could beat him," Pettis said.
Pettis was expected to challenge for the UFC lightweight title this year against the winner of an April championship bout between Henderson and Strikeforce import Gilbert Melendez. However, the Milwaukee native said he wasn't comfortable waiting and instead will face one of the sport's top pound-for-pound fighters.
"It's a superfight, and I want to be a part of these fights," Pettis said.
Cage flying fun!
Why no rematch with Benson Henderson / winner of Henderson vs Gilbert Melendez? I was cheering for Henderson to retain the UFC title so we would have a Petis rematch. Maybe later on, they are both still young.
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Posted On:2/07/2013 10:24pm
Style: Muay Thai, Boxing, nogiJJ
Oh man, you can't really say anything with certainty in MMA (Overoids losing to Silva proved this last weekend), but I really like the chances of this being an incredibly exciting fight. I wonder how well Pettis will be able to handle the weight cut?
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