Former lightweight champion and number 13 ranked lightweight contender Anthony Pettis has had a rocky road ever since he lost the lightweight title to Rafael dos Anjos in March of 2015 at UFC 185. Since then his fans have seen him go on to lose five of his last seven fights with one coming from featherweight fight against current champion Max Holloway forcing him to move back to lightweight (along with the fact he did not manage to make weight for the bout).
Pettis did return as a lightweight against Jim Miller at UFC 213 where he won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), but in his most recent matchup against number eight ranked lightweight contender Dustin Poirier at UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Pettis he would lose the fight in a bloody brawl via TKO (rib injury) thus keeping him out of any running for a future title shot as well as any top-ranked opponents to help him climb back up the ladder.
With all that being said, it leaves us to wonder if the career of Anthony Pettis has come to an end or will he somehow make a comeback. Of course, there have been those fighters who have made great comebacks, but with Pettis, it really does not seem possible and here is why.
It begins with the outcome of his fight against Rafael dos Anjos when he lost the title via a slaughtering unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) at UFC 185 leaving fans and himself in complete utter shock. No one could ever have imagined a fighter like Pettis suffering a defeat like he did against dos Anjos. Could this bout have taken a toll on his body to where he no longer would be the same fighter ever again? It’s highly possible. Pettis did show magnificent signs of slowing down in fights against Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza, which continued into his fight against Max Holloway after his victory over Charles Oliveira. That was Pettis’ first victory since losing the title.
Even his chin and ground game are not what they use to be. Pettis does not take hits as tough as he once did and his ground game has almost all but vanished, which once again was revealed against Holloway and in his recent bout against Poirier.
Maybe the dos Anjos fight changed him completely or maybe the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) had something to do with it. Beforehand USADA had not highly enforced any drug testing for banned substances, so it was pretty easy to get away with taking almost any kind of PEDs (Performance Enchantment Drugs). But when they began to be more strict on the testing, in general, it caused many fighters to fail tests or stop taking any type of PEDs in order to keep from getting caught, which began to show very quick among many fighters.
Indeed, Pettis has never failed a drug test in his career and has not failed any even after USADA became more strict on the testing, but that does not mean he was never been on anything before. I mean, look at fighters like former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks, former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, Hector Lombard and former middleweight champion Anderson Silva who have been caught or have shown a great decrease in their performances leading fans and the entire UFC to question their careers to the top.
It now becomes more likely Pettis might have been on something too… Whatever the reason Pettis went from a champion down to a rookie is anybody’s thought, but from his recent performances and the future of the lightweight division, it’s highly possible, in my own opinion; that his career has or will come to an end very soon in the upcoming year or two.