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LAS VEGAS – Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is a free agent – but he’s not rushing to make a decision on his next move.
Saturday at UFC Fight Night 183, Pettis (24-10 MMA, 11-9 UFC) rallied to defeat Alex Morono via unanimous decision (29-28, 28-28, 29-28) in what was the final fight of his UFC deal. After his victory, Pettis elected not to make any immediate decisions on his fighting future.
“I don’t know,” Pettis told MMA Junkie at the UFC Fight Night 183 post-fight news conference. “I think that was the risk of taking this fight and not re-signing (a) UFC contract. Usually, I re-sign my UFC contract (with) three fights to go or two fights to go. This time, I’m like, ‘I’m 33 years old. I’ve been in this (game). This is my 11th-and-a-half year with this company, man. I’ve been with this company for a long time.’
“I love this place. I grew up under these lights. They made me who I am, but at this point, I’m just going to take my time, go to Christmas, have my New Year’s and then see what happens at the beginning of 2020 – and see what happens in 2021.”
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Pettis entered UFC Fight Night 183 having lost two of his previous three fights. Despite UFC president Dana White’s recent revelation the promotion will sever ties with approximately 60 members of its roster in the coming weeks, Pettis said he never considered his job at risk.
“Nah, not really,” Pettis said. “If I were to have let that get to my head, then I would’ve fought a different fight out there. … I don’t think my job was at stake. I’ve earned the right to be fighting where I’m at. I can fight with the best of them. I beat the guy in the main event of this card, ‘Wonderboy.’ He’s a great fighter.
“So I just feel like it’s me finding my groove outside the Octagon is what’s going to get me these fights and let me keep going. My goal right now is to get a win streak going. This is my first win streak in a long time.”
UFC Fight Night 183 took place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The event streamed on ESPN+.