Following wins over this past weekend by Anthony Pettis and Ben Henderson, it appears that the two former WEC Champions are on the path to face each other again. But, in looking at the current contenders in the lightweight division and scoping Anthony Pettis's record so far in the UFC, it really looks as if Pettis does not deserve the next crack at the lightweight crown.
Yes, Pettis was promised a title shot when the WEC was absorbed into the UFC. Yes, Pettis did not receive the promised title shot after the draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. And yes, he opted not to wait for the winner, which was an honorable thing to do.
But that is where the line is drawn. By not waiting for his title shot, Pettis took on Clay Guida and lost in a lackluster performance. He kissed his title shot away with that loss.
So on the rebound, he defeated Jeremy Stephens, who is an exciting, powerful fighter, but not a top 15 and maybe not a top 20 opponent. He won by decision, using wrestling and opting to stay away from the striking that Stephens possessed.
He then this past weekend beat Joe Lauzon. Although it was a definitive win, it most definitely does not warrant Pettis a title shot. In his last fights, Pettis is 6-2. While this is a good record, his only notable victories, in my opinion were over Henderson and Lauzon (no disrespect to Stephens because I am a huge fan).
He has lost to now-featherweight Bart Palaszewski and the aforementioned Guida, who is a top 10 lightweight. If he was unable to beat Guida, I don't see how he is going to beat Henderson, who dominated Guida.
Pettis, for now, is still a prospect in my eyes. He is a future title contender in the UFC, but as of right now needs to polish his all-around skills. Guys like Jim Miller, Nate Diaz, Frankie Edgar and even Gray Maynard are closer to the title at this point. I believe that the winner of Miller/Diaz or an Edgar rematch are the best choices for the next title fight.