A major fight announcement has been made for an upcoming UFC PPV in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will face Brazilian striker Edson Barboza at UFC 197 on April 23rd. UFC Tonight confirmed the news on Wednesday.
BREAKING: Anthony Pettis vs. Edson Barboza set for lightweight bout on April 23rd at UFC 197. Location TBA.— UFC Tonight (@UFCTonight) February 18, 2016
Pettis (18-4) is on a two-fight losing streak, having lost his lightweight title to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185, then dropping a lackluster split decision to Eddie Alvarez last month at UFC Fight Night in Boston. It's virtually a must-win for Pettis if he has aspirations of re-gaining the title back. "Showtime" has been plagued by injuries, which is why he hasn't fought twice in a calendar year since 2013, which saw him stop Donald Cerrone and capture the LW belt by tapping out Ben Henderson.
Barboza (16-4) suffered a d'arce choke loss to Tony Ferguson in an absolutely enthralling FOTN contest at the TUF 22 Finale in Las Vegas. The 30-year-old, best known for his wheel kick KO vs. Terry Etim in 2012, bested Paul Felder by unanimous decision last July, but lost a decision to Michael Johnson last February. Barboza is one of the most entertaining fighters at 155, having racked up 6 Fight of the Night bonuses over the course of his 14-fight career inside the Octagon.
UFC 197 is headlined by a pair of championship bouts, as Daniel Cormier rematches Jon Jones for the light heavyweight belt, while Demetrious Johnson defends his flyweight title against Henry Cejudo in the co-main event.