UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis hasn't fought since the summer of 2013, doesn't have a single title defense to his name in either the WEC or UFC, and otherwise only has three wins against current top 10 lightweights. But those facts aside, Dana White went on Jim Rome's radio show on Friday and proclaimed Pettis as the sport's P4P king: (Quotes via MMA Junkie)
"Honestly, I think Pettis is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, if the kid can stay healthy," White said on "The Jim Rome Show" on CBS Sports Radio. "This kid is able to do things to people that other people can’t do. The famous run-off-the-cage kick, he bounces off the cage and hits people with knees.
"The thing is with him, he’s so powerful with his kicks, that once he kicks you he hurts you immediately. Human beings can’t take the kicks to the body that this kid throws."
If you haven't kept score (thankfully, someone on Twitter has!), this is the 6th time this year Dana White has changed his mind on who the best fighter in the world is.
Dana's P4P w/dates in 2014 01/17 - Renan Barao 01/25 - Weidman 05/12 - Jon Jones 05/23 - Renan Barao 06/05 - Jon Jones 12/05 - Pettis— Suzanne Davis (@SoozieCuzie) December 5, 2014
P4P addendum: 05/14 - "He's 'without a doubt' the No. 2 best P4P fighter in the world." 05/23 - "debating if he is No 1 P4P, for me, he is."— Suzanne Davis (@SoozieCuzie) December 6, 2014
Stretching it back to 2013, Dana had Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre atop his exclusive list. There really is no better way for a promoter to promote his champions than proclaiming everyone the best.
By the end of tonight it's quite feasible that Johny Hendricks is the new #1 P4P in the world if he wins and Pettis loses or fails to impress, but that will be short-lived when Jon Jones is the best fighter in the world the week of UFC 182. We can't rule out Anderson Silva re-establishing himself as the sport's best if he beats Nick Diaz on January 31st, and Conor McGregor has a real chance of achieving this well-earned status with a win against Dennis Siver on the 18th.