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Anthony Pettis had to do some 'soul searching' after three-fight losing streak

Esther Lin

Anthony Pettis is back in the winning column.

The former UFC lightweight champion avoided going 0-4 in his most recent stint by submitting jiu-jitsu black belt Charles Oliveira in the co-main event of Saturday's UFC on FOX 21. This impressive victory over Oliveira comes at a new weight class – the featherweight division.

Having defeated the No. 6-ranked featherweight, Pettis is unsure where he will go next, as his whole focus leading up to his fight was about making the weight and fighting his opponent Oliveira, not on his future at featherweight.

"I didn't really know if I could make the weight to be honest," Pettis said in the post-fight conference. "I was like, '146, I've never seen it before'. But we made the weight. Now, I'll map it out, and figure out where I want to go. It just feels good to be back in the winning column."

With a victory under his belt over a top-ranked opponent, Pettis reflected back on the three-fight losing streak that had many fans wondering if he was done, and said he had to soul search and figure out what drove him to fight in the first place.

"I had a rough patch," Pettis said. "I mean [losing] three fights in a row, you know, I wasn't used to that. I had two losses my whole career, and going three back-to-back, I had to do some soul searching. I had to figure out what drives me, what makes me want to do this, and I went through a lot of stuff. I have to thank my family, my girlfriend, everyone that was around me that kept me focused and that made me keep pushing. I felt like we pushed through. We got a new division, a new goal: two-division champ. And that's what I'm set out to do."

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