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Future of the Lightweight Division: Anthony Pettis
The light weight division is one of the most competitive divisions in MMA where a lot of fighters reside not only state side but also overseas.
I believe the future king of the light weight division is Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Fresh in our minds coming off of his 5 round war with Ben “Smooth” Henderson” which was one of the greatest fight I have ever seen in MMA. The fight was the main event at the WEC’s final event WEC 53 which was the last event before merging with the UFC.
Anthony “Showtime” Pettis was born January 27th, 1987, making him just 23 years old. He went pro in December 2007, and he holds a record of 13-1. His only loss was a split decision against Bart Palazewski at WEC 45 which many believe he won that fight. Anthony holds wins in the WEC over Mike Campbell, Danny Castillo, Alex Karalexis, Shane Roller, and the former champ Ben Henderson.
Having beaten Ben Henderson, Pettis now will fight the winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard, which take place at UFC 125. Either opponent I believe Pettis can beat. Pettis has the arguably the most versatile striking in the division, is very well versed Brazilian Jui Juitsu, and has fast hips making him very dangerous with his submission game. He also has showed solid wrestling taking down top notch wrestlers. Either opponent will play into his strengths. He will have the advantage on the feet against both. He will be just as fast as Edgar, and faster than Maynard. Neither opponent is known for finishing their opponents, which will be a mistake, giving Pettis every second in a 25 minute fight to get the win.
Being only 23 is what is really remarkable with Pettis, to be so young and show so much talent. He is the future of the light weight division. He will look to prove this when he attempts to unify the WEC and the UFC light weight titles. With the already influx of Japanese talent starting to come over the pond since the merger, Pettis no doubt will have all the opportunities to prove that he is the future of the light weight division, as well as the #1 light weight in the world.