The beleaguered card of UFC 206 took another big hit on Friday, as prospective featherweight title challenger Anthony Pettis missed weight by three pounds for his interim championship bout against Max Holloway.
A gaunt and exhausted Pettis tipped the scales at 148 pounds at UFC 206's early morning weigh-ins, rendering him unable to win the interim featherweight belt even if he defeats Holloway at Toronto's Air Canada Centre in Saturday's main event.
"I'm not happy, but listen, it happens," UFC president Dana White said Friday on TSN SportsCentre. "Believe me when I tell you, Anthony Pettis wanted to make weight. He's been working for months for this day. He came in, when he landed here in Toronto, he was 10 pounds (over), so he should've made the weight. What that tells you is he's too old and he's too big to make that weight, is my opinion. So we'll see where we go from here."
Pettis, 29, is the former UFC lightweight champion. "Showtime" dropped to the featherweight division in August after suffering a three-fight losing streak to Rafael dos Anjos, Eddie Alvarez, and Edson Barboza at 155 pounds. He debuted at featherweight with a submission win over Charles Oliveira at UFC on FOX 21, and weighed-in at 146 pounds for that bout.
Pettis and Holloway were initially scheduled to fight in a three-round, non-title match, however plans changed when UFC 206's original headliner, Daniel Cormier, withdrew due to injury. The UFC elected to strip Conor McGregor of his featherweight title, promote Jose Aldo as the new featherweight champion, and push Pettis and Holloway as the new UFC 206 main event with an interim belt on the line.
Since Holloway successfully made weight on Friday, he will still be allowed to fight for the interim belt. However, things will get far more complicated if Pettis emerges victorious.
"If Pettis wins, I've got to decide if I want him to fight for the 145-pound (title)," White said. "I don't know if he can make the weight."