COMMENTARY | The last WEC lightweight champion, Anthony "Showtime" Pettis, will get his first shot at UFC gold when he squares up against featherweight champ Jose Aldo on Aug. 3.
The two will headline the UFC 163 fight card at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro; a bout that has the potential for some serious fireworks.
After all, Aldo and Pettis are two of the most entertaining -- and technically competent -- strikers in the UFC, and there's a decent chance a majority of their title bout will be fought standing.
Not surprisingly, Pettis feels really good about his chances, even though he'll be in enemy territory when he challenges the Brazilian for the UFC featherweight title.
"I don't think it's going to be a problem," Anthony stated. "I don't mind it at all. I think I have fans in Brazil also, so it should be fun."
On paper, the Aldo vs. Pettis matchup is as close as it gets, and it'll probably come down to who wants in more come fight time. Showtime doesn't expect it to go the distance.
"One of us is going to finish," Pettis added. "Both of us come hard. He dies out in the later rounds but I'm coming hard right away. I'm not trying to get him tired or coast him out. We're both going to come in there and going to strike."
If things go well for Pettis against Aldo, he'll love the opportunity to move up to the 155-pound division to challenge Benson Henderson for the title.
Because he already beat Henderson once, and he feels he can do it again.
"I want to fight Ben again," Pettis explained. "I beat him once, but that was a long time ago. People forgot about it already."
Pettis doesn't seem particularly impressed with Henderson's accomplishments inside the Octagon, even hinting "Smooth" might have fooled judges into giving him a decision or two.
"In between rounds, he's hyping everybody up looking like he's ready to go," Pettis explained. "When it actually comes down to it, he's barely landing hard punches; he's barely landing any kicks."
Given how entertaining Pettis' 2010 tilt against Henderson was (Showtime captured the WEC lightweight title with a decision victory), many MMA fans would love to see the two go at it again. However, If UFC president Dana White has his way, Pettis won't get his shot at the lightweight champ -- if he defeats Jose Aldo at UFC 163 -- until he defends the belt a few times.
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