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More than seven years after their first encounter in the cage, they are set to release the sequel.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight titleholder Anthony Pettis will rematch Donald Cerrone—this time at 170 pounds—in the featured UFC 249 prelim on Saturday at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. “Showtime” stopped Cerrone with a brutal body kick 2:35 into the first round of their UFC on Fox 6 pairing in 2013.
Pettis enters the Octagon on the heels of back-to-back losses. The Roufusport standout last competed at UFC 246 on Jan. 18, when he suffered his eighth defeat in 12 appearances and submitted to a rear-naked choke from Diego Ferreira. Still, Pettis’ pedigree and knack for sudden violence make him a must-see attraction. Victories over Benson Henderson (twice), Stephen Thompson, Michael Chiesa, Charles Oliveira and Gilbert Melendez buoy his resume.
Cerrone may be nearing the end of a remarkable career. The onetime Greg Jackson disciple finds himself on a three-fight losing streak after failed meetings with Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor. Cerrone boasts 27 finishes among his 36 professional victories, having left Edson Barboza, Jim Miller, Matt Brown, Mike Perry and Alexander Hernandez in his destructive wake.
As Pettis and Cerrone barrel toward their rematch, a look at some of the numbers that have come to define them:
33: Years of age for Pettis. He was born in Milwaukee on Jan. 27, 1987.
18: Pettis wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission, accounting for 82 percent of his career total. He has stopped 12 opponents inside one round.
4: Sub-minute finishes on the Pettis resume, highlighted by a 12-second victory over Lonny Amdahl at a Gladiators Cage Fighting event on Aug. 17, 2007.
560: Days spent as UFC lightweight champion. Pettis captured the 155-pound crown with his armbar submission of Henderson at UFC 164, successfully defended it by throttling Melendez at UFC 181 and relinquished it in a five-round unanimous decision loss to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185. “Showtime” remains one of only 10 men who have held the undisputed lightweight title, along with Henderson, dos Anjos, McGregor, Jens Pulver, Sean Sherk, B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar, Eddie Alvarez and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
11: Post-fight bonuses banked by Pettis during stints in World Extreme Cagefighting and the UFC. He has been awarded “Fight of the Night” three times, “Knockout of the Night” three times, “Performance of the Night” three times and “Submission of the Night” twice. The total haul: $445,000.
37: Years of age for Cerrone. He was born in Denver on March 29, 1983.
17: Cerrone wins by submission, accounting for nearly half of his career total. His methods: eight by triangle choke, five by rear-naked choke and four by armbar.
20: Knockdowns landed by Cerrone inside the Octagon, most on the UFC’s all-time list.
76: Seconds needed to cut down Melvin Guillard with a head kick and follow-up punches at UFC 150 on Aug. 11, 2012. It remains the fastest finish of Cerrone’s 51-fight career.
5: Promotions in which Cerrone has competed as a professional mixed martial artist. In addition to his 23-11 record in the UFC, “Cowboy” went 6-3 in the WEC, 5-0 in Ring of Fire, 1-0 in American Championship Fighting and 1-0 in Greatest Common Multiple.