The former lightweight champion entered his bout against Alex Morono on the final fight of his current UFC contract and ultimately won a unanimous decision after three hard-fought rounds. While Morono had some moments early on, Pettis was able to survive and then showcase his superior striking to get the win as the judges all scored the fight 29-28 in his favor.
Pettis has now won his last two fights in a row, although it appears his future will be back in his old stomping grounds at 155 pounds.
“Honestly I’m going back to 55,” Pettis said after the win. “My goal is at 155. Before I’m all said and done, I want to go back and get that belt.”
An early slip on a kick from Pettis in the first round allowed Morono to quickly seize on the opening as he took the fight to the ground and immediately jumped on the former champion’s back. Morono was methodical while looking to advance his position, latching onto the body triangle and then fishing for a submission.
Despite Morono’s best efforts, Pettis refused to go away as he continued to scramble until eventually making it back to his feet.
Once he was able to engage with his striking, Pettis began landing some thudding shots with Morono charging forward, which led to him eating a lot of punches. Pettis was just faster to pull the trigger in nearly every exchange as he kept Morono on the end of his punches without overextending himself to avoid a potential takedown attempt.
With five minutes remaining, Pettis actually suffered another slip but this time he was able to reverse Morono on the ground, which put him in a dominant position on top. Pettis didn’t take many chances but he did maintain control as Morono started running out of time to stage a comeback.
Just before the fight ended, Pettis uncorked a beautiful spinning heel kick that clipped Morono on the top of his head and put the Texas-based welterweight on wobbly legs. Morono was able to hold on until the final horn but Pettis did more than enough to secure the victory.
While Pettis gave no indication prior to the fight that he was looking to leave the UFC, he now puts himself in a strong position for negotiations after rattling of back-to-back wins in his past two fights. Pettis has been a threat at 170 pounds as well as 155 pounds, and based on his performance at UFC Vegas 17, there’s still plenty of fight left in him.