Anthony Pettis won his fight with Jeremy Stephens at UFC 136, but he didn't win over too many new fans. Despite fighting a smart and safe fight, winning through the use primarily of wrestling, many fans were left wondering where the explosive and dynamic fighter who won the last ever WEC lightweight championship bout went. It's possible that Pettis just wanted to get back in the win column after losing a bout with Clay Guida in his UFC debut.
The Guida loss took Pettis out of his then position as the number one challenger to the UFC lightweight championship. As a result Pettis finds himself on the outside looking in with the near future arrival of Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and the UFC on Fox bout between top contenders Guida and Ben Henderson.
That isn't discouraging Anthony though, as he tells Larry Pepe of Pro MMA Radio that he wants to fight a top five fighter before the year ends:
I'd love to get back in there by the end of the year. That'd be ideal. There's match ups going on right now and it doesn't seem too promising. But I'll be healthy and get ready and if anybody gets hurt or injured, I'll be ready.
A solid strategy for Pettis as big wins and being on the UFC's good side are the quickest paths to a shot at the title.