Former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis will once again return to his old stomping grounds of 155-pounds as he makes a January 18th. division rebirth against the flying-high, Diego Ferreira. The news of the pairing was first reported by MMA Junkie’s, Farah Hannoun.
The longtime Roufusport product tested welterweight waters this year, enjoying some early success as he became the first man to finish Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson via strikes, before losing a rather one-sided unanimous decision to Nate Diaz at UFC 241, where he suffered a broken foot early in the first round. Brazilian contender Ferreira, has won five of his last Octagon walks, most recently claiming a unanimous decision victory against Mairbek Taisumov in September.
Pettis, the final WEC lightweight champion, held Octagon gold from 2013 to 2015, with poor spells of form, weight cutting woes and divisional changes resulting in a disappointing record of 4-7 in the five years since. The Milwaukee native is a talented striker, adept in both the taekwondo and kickboxing arts and also possesses a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, leading to eighteen career finishes. Against somebody of Ferreira’s grappling expertise, expect Pettis’ black belt credentials to be dully tested.
Only former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier and fellow grappling standout Beniel Dariush have found a way past Brazil’s Carlos Diego Ferreira in his almost six year Octagon stint, with eight other opponents finding themselves on the losing side of the equation. Grappling, particularly offensive grappling is the name of the game for Ferriera who holds a 3rd-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.