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Anthony Pettis headed back to 155 after ‘they literally had to pull me out of the sauna’ before UFC 206

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Anthony Pettis was once the UFC lightweight champion. And the next time we'll see him fight, it'll be at that weight again.

"Showtime" told Joe Rogan in the Octagon after his loss to Max Holloway that the cut down to 145 pounds was too much on him. He's heading back to 155.

"It's too much to make the cut," Pettis said. "I was dying from the weight cut. They literally had to pull me out the sauna. I depleted my body. It's too much to cut."

Pettis, 29, missed weight by three pounds Friday prior to UFC 206 in Toronto. Coming in at 148 cost Pettis a chance to win the UFC interim featherweight title. Holloway was still able to win the belt with a victory and did so via third-round TKO.

The weight cut this time around, Pettis said, was a killer and it likely affected him in the fight during a lackluster performance.

"I have to," Pettis said about going back to 155. "I can't make the 145 weight cut. It's too hard."

Pettis (19-6) dropped down to featherweight after three straight losses at lightweight. He beat Charles Oliveira by third-round submission at UFC on FOX 21 in August, but admitted earlier this week that he gassed during that bout, something that never happened to him at 155, where he was champ from August 2013 to March 2015.

"Showtime" also said he broke his hand in the fight against Holloway — very early on.

"The first punch," Pettis said. "The first punch I hit him, hit the top of his head, broke my hand. It's swollen right here. I gotta go deal with that sh*t. But Max Holloway is a beast, bro. Give the dude credit. He stood with me and he got the belt, man."

MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani confirmed with Pettis' team that he did break his right hand and he'll be having surgery on it this week.