Former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis probably would have received a title shot at lightweight eventually. He had already been promised one before he made his UFC debut, but that didn't work. He rebounded from a loss to Clay Guida with three straight victories, the last two being first-round finishes of Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone. But he was passed up for a title shot again, this time because of the closure of Strikeforce and the arrival of Gilbert Melendez. He explained to the New York Post that this was one of the main reasons he went down to 145 to challenge Jose Aldo:
"A lot of things led to my cutting down to 145. I was tired of waiting for a 155 pound title shot."
Dana White has stated that if Pettis beats Aldo, he has to stick around and defend the featherweight belt. But Pettis states that he won't be staying at 145 for the rest of his career:
"It’s not a permanent weight cut (to featherweight)," Pettis admits. "But a striker like myself and Aldo, it doesn’t really matter what weight class it happens at. It’s going to be fireworks either way."
He also rightly pointed out that former WEC lightweights have been pretty good in the UFC thus far:
"All the WEC guys are rising to the top," he said. "If you look at UFC lightweights against WEC lightweights, our guys are usually winning."
I know I'm just a WEC fanboy, but I like that he still says "our guys". Finally, he talked about his preparation for the UFC 163 bout with Aldo in August:
"It’s impossible to find a training partner exactly like Jose Aldo, otherwise they would be champ too," Pettis said of his upcoming opponent. "But the same goes for me. I don’t think Aldo can find a training partner that could emulate my style."
Personally, I'm not bothered where Pettis competes. I think there are a ton of great fights for him in both weight classes and while we still have another three-plus months before Aldo/Pettis, it's one of the UFC fights I'm looking forward to most this summer.