Anthony Pettis began 2020 as a lightweight competitor and a submission loss to Carlos Diego Ferreira. He did, however, close out the year strong as a welterweight with a victory over Alex Morono at UFC Vegas 17 on Saturday.
For 2021, “Showtime” plans to drop back down to his home weight class, and the division he ruled over for two years. And for his first fight back at 155 pounds, the 33-year-old fighter wants to get back one of his losses.
“I think Tony makes sense. I think Tony Ferguson coming off his two losses — and he’s fighting tough dudes,” Pettis told the media during the post-fight presser. “That’s what I hate about this sport. Guys like, ‘Oh, Tony’s done.’ But he’s a dangerous dude. I think that’ll be a good fight for me to jump back into the lightweight mix. He’s still right up there.”
Pettis lost to “El Cucuy” via third-round doctor stoppage at UFC 229 two years ago. Without taking anything away from Ferguson’s victory, the former lightweight champion foresees the outcome changing now that he has a chance to have a full training camp.
“He got me early with those elbows. I think I’ll make some adjustments in there, and I actually have a full training camp for that,” he explained. “Not taking nothing away from him, but I took that fight on short notice, the weight cut was horrible, and I wasn’t mentally there in that process. I was just doing these 155 fights because I kind of had to. I didn’t want to.
“That’s the difference right now. I’m making decisions outside the Octagon that makes these fights go easier.”
After going undefeated for seven straight years, Ferguson is now on a two-fight skid. His first loss happened at the hands of Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 in May, followed by a decision loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 256 a week ago.