From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, Anthony Pettis left the WEC as the final WEC Lightweight Champion and entered the UFC only to promptly lose his debut. But “Showtime” is still a very entertaining fighter and a very interesting addition to an increasingly-crowded Lightweight division. There’s a lot of good opponents for Anthony Pettis in the UFC, and to prove that, here are my personal picks for the five fighters Anthony Pettis should face next.
5. Jim Miller
This fight depends on whether or not Jim Miller is able to beat Benson Henderson, because it’s assumed that the winner of that fight will probably get the next title shot once Frank Edgar and Gray Maynard fight for the third time. If Miller can’t win that bout, he’d be able to bounce right back into prime title contention by beating Pettis. Likewise, Pettis has much to gain if he were to beat someone who has quickly taken the UFC Lightweight division by storm.
4. Dennis Siver
It seemed as if Dennis Siver would be a Lightweight journeyman for most of his career, but recently he’s taken several large steps towards coming out of that shadow. And the best thing about that is that he hasn’t abandoned who he is or what he does in order to do that. Siver is a very entertaining striker that loves to keep fights standing and try to get the KO win. Siver’s high-level kickboxing would be an awesome foil for the crazy striking of Pettis.
3. Nate Diaz
Now this is a fight I can really sink my teeth into. Diaz will more than likely be dropping back down to Lightweight, and I think this match makes perfect sense. When he’s “on”, when the fight stays standing and Nate gets motivated, he shows flashes of one day becoming the great fighter that his brother, Nick Diaz, currently is. This is one of those fights where strikes would be flying a mile a minute. It’s “punches in bunches” versus all manner of crazy kicks, and it would definitely be an awesome fight.
Much like Dennis Siver, Guillard is stepping out of his journeyman role simply because he’s getting better, not because he’s changing who he is or what he does. Guillard still wants to punish and brutalize his opponents, he’d still rather knock a guy out than win by decision. Pettis is a very versatile striker, but could he measure up to one of the most-powerful strikers in the UFC’s Lightweight division? It’d certainly be interesting to find out.
And the number-one opponent I think Anthony Pettis should face next is…
1. Benson Henderson
I would love, absolutely love, to see this rematch. Their first fight was so close that it took one of the greatest strikes in the history of the sport to finally tip the fight in favor of “Showtime”. Ben Henderson looked like a man possessed when he made his UFC debut, and I think a rematch would be the best thing that could happen to both of these men depending on whether or not “Bendo” gets past Jim Miller.
And that’s what I think, fans and friends. But no matter who he ends up facing, I think Anthony Pettis still has a very bright future in store for him and will definitely bounce back from this loss.