UFC 163: Bad Luck and Lack of Patience Costing Anthony Pettis Title Shots

Matt JuulContributor IIIJune 17, 2013

Jan 26, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA;  Anthony Pettis celebrates after defeating Donald Cerrone (not pictured) during UFC on FOX 6 at the United Center.  Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to UFC title shots, Anthony Pettis just can't seem to catch a break.

The WEC's last lightweight champion was slated to face featherweight king Jose Aldo later this summer before a knee injury forced "Showtime" out of the scheduled UFC 163 main event bout.

Losing out at a chance at UFC gold would be devastating to any fighter, but it's an especially hard pill to swallow for Pettis considering his previous issues with securing a shot at the lightweight strap.

While injuries and bad luck certainly deserve most of the blame, Pettis' lack of patience has also played a major role in his recent title shot struggles.

Regardless of whether he deserved the shot or not, "Showtime" took a huge risk by accepting this superfight with Aldo. Not only was he making a date with one of the best fighters in MMA today, a dangerous task in and of itself, but Pettis was also betting all of his chips on just this one bout.

If he had beaten Aldo, Pettis would likely have been forced to defend the featherweight title and stay at 145, a move that could come with consequences for his body since he has never had to stay at that weight before.

And if "Showtime" lost, then it would have been back to square one all over again.

But Pettis also had a third option—wait for a shot at the lightweight belt.

At the time, the former WEC champ was already being considered to face the winner of the Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez bout at UFC on Fox 7, but ultimately decided not to wait in order to challenge Aldo.

Now, that honor will go to TJ Grant, whom Pettis has no right to ask to replace, by the way, since he basically gave that title shot away.

In hindsight, it was a huge mistake by Pettis.

If he had just waited, not only would he have received a much-anticipated rematch with Henderson, but he would have also gotten a shot at the lightweight strap in his hometown of Milwaukee. "Showtime" vs. "Smooth" 2 would have been a huge seller and, in all likelihood, would have probably been a better matchup for Pettis.

And while I understand that "Showtime" didn't want to go through another lengthy wait like his first attempt at the 155-pound belt, the two title shots weren't even that far apart in dates; UFC 163 and UFC 164 are both happening in August.

Now that he's injured, he'll have to wait even longer for a chance at either weight class belt.

Even going back to 2011 during his first potential shot at UFC gold, Pettis opted to face Guida instead of waiting for then-champ Frankie Edgar to end his series with rival Gray Maynard.

Granted, it was a bit of a longer stint than this time around, but why not wait for the sure thing?

Barring any injuries, next time he's offered a shot at a title, I hope Pettis goes for the safer option instead of the quick shot at glory.


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