Anthony Pettis (pictured) was gifted a crack at the UFC featherweight title – albeit an interim one – after posting just one win in the division since dropping three straight at lightweight that prompted his decision to shed 10 pounds.
Instead of seizing the opportunity, Pettis flopped on his face before Saturday’s UFC 206 title tilt with Max Holloway even started. Pettis came in a whopping three pounds heavy at Friday’s weigh-ins, eliminating him from donning the interim belt even if he beats the red hot Hawaiian. Holloway, however, will be crowned the UFC’s new interim featherweight king if he beats the heavier Pettis.
As expected, UFC president Dana White was none too pleased with today’s unexpected development.
“I’m not happy, but listen, it happens,” White said Friday on TSN SportsCentre. “Believe me when I tell you, Anthony Pettis wanted to make weight. He had been working for months for this day. He came in, when he landed here in Toronto, he was 10 pounds (over), so he should’ve made the weight. What that tells you is he’s too old and he’s too big to make that weight, is my opinion. So, we’ll see where we go from here.”
Pettis, who turns 30 at the end of January, will forfeit 20 percent of his show purse to Holloway for the weight cut blunder.
The big question now is, what will White do if Pettis beats Holloway in Saturday’s main event? The initial plan was for the victor to face featherweight champion Jose Aldo in a title unification bout in 2017. Pettis’ future is a lot more murky now, and he has nobody to blame but himself.
“If Pettis wins, I’ve got to decide if I want him to fight for the 145-pound (belt),” White said. “I don’t know if he can make the weight.”
This marked Pettis’ second featherweight fight after dropping from lightweight, where nearly all of his professional bouts have taken place. He weighed 146 pounds when he submitted Charles Oliveira in August at UFC on FOX 21 in a non-title affair.