The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 246 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.
Anthony Pettis will return to the division where he once reigned at UFC 246.
“Showtime” will square off against Diego Ferreira in a lightweight bout on the pay-per-view main card on January 18 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ferreira is currently on a five-bout winning streak in the Octagon.
“It’s exciting for me because it’s time to fight,” Pettis told UFC News. “Like honestly, I was waiting for an opponent. I was ready right after the Diaz fight. I told the UFC I wanted to go, they kept giving me some like hinters, who could have been, they fell through and he was ready, that’s what it is.”
Pettis is coming off a two-bout stint at 170 pounds. Most recently, he dropped a unanimous verdict to Nate Diaz at UFC 241 this past August. The former UFC and WEC 155-pound champion had to do a little soul searching after that contest, but now he’s in a good place heading into his matchup with Ferreira.
“I don’t make excuses,” Pettis said “Diaz fought his ass off, great fight. I hit him with some big shots, he took them.
“I did get a little down after the Diaz fight, like, ‘What the heck’s next,’ and, ‘What the heck is happening,’ and I just went back to having fun. I’m blessed. I’m blessed to come in here and do this job, and it’s not like I get paid more to be on the main event or co-main from these guys, so for me, it’s like, whoever’s next is next.”
Pettis began his brief stint at welterweight with a highlight-reel knockout of former No. 1 contender Stephen Thompson. The Roufusport stalwart even had a two-bout stint at 145 pounds in 2016, where he came up short in a bid for the interim featherweight crown against Max Holloway at UFC 206.
Pettis claims that it took him some time to recover from cutting to 145 pounds, and that competing at 170 — with no cut — over the past year was integral to that process.
“I get the ‘Wonderboy’ fight, I call him out, we move up to 170, my body feels amazing, no weight cut,” Pettis said. “So a whole year of no weight cut in 2019 and this is going to be my first time going back to ’55, but my body from going down to 145 never recovered. I tried to cut down to ’55 but I was hurting because of that ’45-pound weight cut. I just gave my body some rest. I look and feel the best I’ve ever looked, honestly, and I know everybody says that every time, but this is one of those times where I feel it. I needed rest from cutting weight. It hurt me that one time.”