Is Anthony Pettis Still a Championship Contender?
Showtime! Why Pettis Remains a Threat
Three years ago, Pettis seemed poised for superstardom. The former WEC and UFC lightweight champion landed sponsorship deals and finished opponents in spectacular fashion. He bought his mother a house and it was a dream come true. But the clock struck 12 on March 15, 2015, when Pettis lost his title in a beatdown against Rafael dos Anjos and it only got worse from there.
Pettis dropped three straight and missed weight in an interim championship fight and got finished for the first time in his career. With his back against the wall, Pettis returned to lightweight and dismantled tough veteran, Jim Miller. It was a rousing performance that reminded everyone of the glorious Anthony Pettis. With a critical main event tilt against fellow lightweight contender Dustin Poirier, Pettis needs to rise for Showtime!
Pettis just turned 30 this year. While that seems old considering his long pro MMA career that began when he was 20, Pettis still has plenty left in the tank.
The Duke Roufus prodigy has always been extremely durable and energetic. But most importantly, his skills haven't diminished one bit and are still relevant in today's UFC. He has not taken much damage in his career partly due to scarcely competing due to a myriad of injuries.
Wrestling remains Pettis's kryptonite but with today's matchmaking, Pettis can totally forego an elite wrestler to get to the title. Conor McGregor seemingly "ducked" high-level wrestlers like Frankie Edgar and Khabib Nurmagomedov in his run to the title.
Pettis doesn't have McGregor's popularity but the UFC still sees him as a valuable asset given how he only won one fight at featherweight before getting a title shot.
The beauty in MMA is its short-term relevance. Despite only winning half his fights in the last three years, Pettis only needs a highlight win to re-establish himself as a true championship threat.
Pettis vs the Lightweight Division's Top Talents
A win over Poirier this Saturday may not instantly vault Pettis to the title contention but he'll be a lot closer than other fighters outside of the top-five.
The UFC protects its assets and is tailored to making the most exciting fights possible. If Pettis can finish Poirier, who has some wrestling chops, expect him to call out a champion: either lightweight champ Conor McGregor or interim champ Tony Ferguson.
While many fans will vehemently disagree with Pettis "jumping the line", many will also be excited at the thought of him matching up with either McGregor or Ferguson.
At worst, Pettis gets a top-six opponent like the winner of Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje. A rematch against Edson Barboza is also possible. He is one of only two strikers to beat Pettis. But Pettis needs to get past Poirier, who is a measuring stick that separates the contenders from the pretenders.
Bet on UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs Pettis
UFC Fight Night is this Saturday, November 11 live from Norfolk, Virginia. Pettis is currently -130 while the comeback on Poirier is +100 at SportsInteraction. Fans can sign up and avail of a signup bonus while also checking other online sportsbooks to get the best odds.
When betting UFC, betting a fighter straight isn't the only option. Betting the over/under on round totals is another strategy as well as prop betting: side bets that could have a higher payout depending on the conditions.
As a highly unpredictable sport, the UFC can yield lucrative opportunities for those who do their homework and are gutsy enough to follow their instincts.
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