David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Late on Saturday night, Anthony Pettis sent a text message to Dana White asking to drop down to the featherweight division to challenge champion Jose Aldo. By Monday afternoon, he'd hadn't even received a response from White, but a few hours later, the match was all but a done deal.
Overnight, White told USA Today the match will happen.
According to the UFC president, it will take place on August 3, with venues in Brazil, Las Vegas, Chicago and Texas the leading contenders to host the event.
On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Pettis explained that he was tired of waiting for a chance to fight for the championship in the lightweight division, where he has been a contender since the WEC was absorbed into the UFC while he was its reigning champion.
He had been believed to be on deck to fight the winner of the upcoming tilt between lightweight champ Benson Henderson and challenger Gilbert Melendez, but with that fight not occurring until April 20, Pettis would have been a long wait, and that turned him off that idea, and on to another one.
"I want to fight for a belt, man," he said. "That's the intriguing part for me. It's another belt, and I don't think the weight cut would be impossible. I think it's something I could pretty easily do."
Pettis said he usually cuts only about two pounds to qualify for the 155-pound weight class, making the drop to 145 fairly simple.
Pettis (16-2) is coming off back-to-back knockout wins, over Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon, respectively. It is believed his dynamic striking style will combine with Aldo's power and speed to generate an action-packed bout.
Aldo (22-1) is the owner of a 15-fight win streak, including a perfect 4-0 run in the UFC. He originally captured the championship back in November 2009, when it was the WEC title. He's since held it for nearly 1,200 days, successfully defending it six times. During that time, he's already faced three former lightweights (Manny Gamburyan, Kenny Florian and Frankie Edgar) who moved down a division in hopes of gaining a championship there.
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