Image via UFC
Former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis survived a tough challenge from Jeremy Stephens at UFC 136 and eked out a victory, his first in the UFC. And now it seems that he wants to fight another lightweight who picked up a win at UFC 136, albeit in much more impressive fashion - Joe Lauzon. Pettis did an interview with Cage Fanatic a couple of days ago and issued the challenge:
"I don't know who my next opponent is, but I'm going for that title shot, that title shot run, so anybody who's a top five guy, I'm ready for them. Joe Lauzon beat Melvin Guillard, I think that would be a great fight for me."
Lauzon, who's no stranger to being challenged by fighters after getting called out by Guillard initially, quickly accepted in an interview with the Boston Herald:
"I think it would be an exciting fight," Lauzon told the Herald today. "It doesn't matter to me who I fight. Whoever the UFC says they want me to fight, I'll fight. If they want it to be Anthony Pettis, I'll fight Pettis. It doesn't really matter to me that much. I'm up for whoever."
Not exactly the strongest acceptance statement ever, but pretty diplomatic at least. He also commented on why he thinks he's become a subject of callouts lately:
"I must have (ticked) off someone," Lauzon said. "I'm not sure why people are calling me out, but I'm fine with it. I have to be doing something right if everybody wants to fight me. I definitely don't think it's a bad thing. It's awesome getting called out by guys like that, that are doing really well."
Pettis vs. Lauzon might seem like solid matchmaking on the surface with both fighters coming off wins, but I'm not so sure. I think, despite the Lauzon win over Guillard, that Pettis is a step above Lauzon on the UFC's internal rankings ladder and that Showtime will get a guy like Jim Miller or Sean Sherk next. And Lauzon facing the winner of Dennis Siver vs. Donald Cerrone, or maybe even Evan Dunham, makes more sense to me. In the end it will come down to what Joe Silva thinks though and if he matches these two up, I'd be tuning in for sure.