Pettis Will Be Stepping Into Octagon For First Time In 15 Months

Published on December 1st, 2014 4:34 pm EST

Anthony "Showtime" Pettis is set to make his first Lightweight title defense when he steps into the Octagon against Gilbert Melendez at UFC 181 this Saturday. The fight is going to serve as the co-main event for a card that is headlined by Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler II.

For Anthony Pettis, this fight will be a chance to re-introduce himself to fans. After all, the last time that we saw Pettis in the Octagon was on August 31st, 2013, when he defeated Benson Henderson via first-round submission to claim the Lightweight title.

After that, Pettis was kept out of the Octagon due to a variety of different reasons.

Pettis' first title defense was supposed to come against TJ Grant at UFC on Fox 9 on December 14th, 2013. Grant was not able to get cleared for the fight and the title shot was given to Josh Thomson instead. Pettis, however, suffered a knee injury and was forced out of the fight.

After that, there were rumors of a Pettis/Aldo fight at either 145 or 155 pounds. Jose Aldo expressed an interest in the fight, though any interest was squashed after the UFC announced that Pettis would next be defending his title against Gilbert Melendez following a season coaching opposite of each other on the Ultimate Fighter. This kept Pettis out of the Octagon for another number of months as he filmed the show.

So, over 15 months after making his last appearance in the Octagon, Anthony "Showtime" Pettis will finally be attempting to make his first successful defense of the Lightweight title. Opposite him in the cage will be the always tough Gilbert Melendez, who earned his title shot with a thrilling unanimous decision victory over Diego Sanchez at UFC 166. Melendez will also be looking to shake off some rust as his last appearance in the Octagon was roughly 14 months ago.

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Anthony Pettis is one of the most dynamic fighters in the UFC and it will be nice to see him return. Let's hope that he can stay healthy going forward.


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