Immediately after UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo beat Frankie Edgar at UFC 156, Anthony Pettis contacted UFC president Dana White to say he wanted a shot at Aldo. Pettis is a lightweight who knocked out Donald Cerrone two weeks ago. Now, Pettis is getting his shot at the featherweight belt. USA Today reports that Pettis will face Aldo on Aug. 3.
"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."
Ricardo Lamas, who knocked out Pettis' teammate Erik Koch two weeks ago, had been promised the next shot at the featherweight belt. Pettis, a lightweight for his entire career, had been promised the next shot at the lightweight belt after champion Benson Henderson faces Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.
[Kevin Iole: Frankie Edgar should drop down another weight class]
On Monday, Pettis used his Twitter account to say he was tired of waiting.
I'm not stoping my quest for the lightweight belt jus stuck waiting so y not cut a lil weight and take that belt 2... 2013 is my year!!!
— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) February 4, 2013
And now he will get what he wants. While there's no doubt Pettis-Aldo will be an exciting bout, Lamas was granted the next title shot, and did nothing to lose his shot except not send a text to White. He can commiserate with Johny Hendricks, the welterweight who earned a title shot but then was passed over for Nick Diaz.
Let this be a lesson to every fighter who wants a chance at the belt: the squeaky wheel gets the oil and a shot to be a champion. If you've heard that you're the no. 1 contender, don't stop campaigning until that bout agreement is signed. Text White. Do interviews. Use Twitter to continually call out the champion. It may have a pro wrestling-flavor, but it's clearly what the UFC wants.
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