Anthony Pettis has designs on recapturing past glory.
Pettis will return to the scene of his greatest success -- the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight division -- when he takes on Jim Miller at UFC 213 this Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It comes on the heels of a two-fight detour to 145 pounds that saw “Showtime” submit Charles Oliveira with a guillotine choke in August before missing weight and succumbing to strikes from Max Holloway in a showdown for the interim featherweight championship at UFC 206 less than four months later. Once revered as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, Pettis has endured a precipitous fall since 2015, going 1-4 over a five-fight span that included losses to Holloway, Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez and Rafael dos Anjos.
As Pettis prepares to meet Miller, here are five things you might not know about the Milwaukee native:
1. His name has been etched into the history books.
Pettis is one of nine men who have captured the UFC lightweight championship. Alvarez, dos Anos, Jens Pulver, Sean Sherk, B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar, Benson Henderson and Conor McGregor are the others. At 560 days, his reign ranks as the third-longest in the organization’s history behind only Penn (812 days) and Edgar (687 days).
2. He has cashed in on his talents.
The 30-year-old Duke Roufus protégé has laid claim to seven post-fight performance bonuses during his run in the UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting. The total haul for those seven bonuses: $245,000.
3. His reputation as a fast starter was established early on in his career.
Pettis stopped each of his first five opponents -- Tom Erspamer, Lonny Amdahl, Michael Skinner, George Barrazza and Mike Lambrecht -- inside one round and did so in less than eight minutes combined.
4. Success inside the cage has led to opportunities outside the cage.
The Roufusport star in 2015 became the first mixed martial artist to appear on the Wheaties box. Other athletes who have graced the cover include Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1935), Roy Campanella (1952), Michael Jordan (1988), Babe Ruth (1992), Jackie Robinson (1996), Peyton Manning (2004), Bill Russell (2007) and Stephen Curry (2015). Muhammad Ali was given the honor twice, first in 1999 and again in 2012.
5. He prefers to keep the judges out of the equation.
Pettis has gone the distance eight times in his career and owns a 3-5 mark in those bouts, his victories over Henderson, Jeremy Stephens and Sherron Leggett offset by losses to Barboza, Alvarez, dos Anjos, Clay Guida and Bart Palaszewski.