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Anthony Pettis will step into the cage against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo on August 3rd, and he said he asked for the bout because Aldo's 'a tougher fight' than lightweight champion Ben Henderson.
The UFC featherweight division has gone through a busy last few days. First, champion Jose Aldo successfully defended his title against former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar at UFC 156. Then at the post-fight presser, UFC president Dana White received a text from lightweight Anthony Pettis, expressing his desire to drop to 145 and fight Aldo next. Two days later, the fight was made. Pettis was a guest on UFC Tonight on Fuel TV last night, and gave his thoughts on why he asked for the fight:
"For me, it's been something I've been thinking about for a while. I can make the weight easily. The reason I haven't done it before is Erik Koch, a teammate of mine who was right up there for a title shot. I didn't want to cross paths with him so I pushed that back a little bit. But after being at the fights, I thought it was the right idea to call out Aldo. He's at the top of the division. For me, it's just wanting to fight the best."
He also said that he believed Aldo was actually a tougher opponent than current lightweight champion Ben Henderson:
"To me, Aldo's a tougher fight. That's why I asked for it. He's one of those guys going through his opponents like crazy. He just beat the last 155-pound champ. I think Aldo's the tougher challenge for me. I beat Ben Henderson once, and I think I'm going to be doing it again soon. But right now, I think Aldo's the guy that's on the radar."
Will he choose to stay at 145 if he doesn't win the fight? Or even if he does?
"I'm not sure yet. I've got to cross those bridges when I get there, but my goal is to become the 155-pound champ."
Six months is a long time to wait for the matchup, but Pettis said "as long as they train smart", they'll both step into the cage on August 3rd ready to fight. I'm curious about where it will take place and what platform it will air on, but it has the potential to be one of the best fights of 2013 no matter what.