Simmer down there, Champ. Defend your title once before calling out UFC's best
Pettis unleashed a series of lightning-fast body kicks that clearly hurt the champ, then showed he has high-level ground skills by trapping Henderson in an armbar and getting him to verbally submit. Just like that the UFC had a new lightweight champion.
It was an amazing performance, and there is no argument that Pettis is one of the most electric fighters in the UFC. He's good for the sport, really good for pay-per-view numbers and he just beat one of the UFC's most dominant champions.
Henderson was on an epic, undefeated two-year run that included wins over Mark Bocek, Jim Miller, Clay Guida, Frankie Edgar (2x), Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez. Pettis ended that and had already beat Henderson once before. Pettis is that good.
But here's where I run into a problem with Pettis. Right after beating Henderson, he told Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview that he was ready to take on Jose Aldo in a superfight, and they can pick which belt to fight for and do battle.
Call me crazy, but I think that you should defend the title you just won at least once before you call out a guy like Aldo, who has defended his title seven times and hasn't lost in eight years.
Pettis may have been caught up in the moment, but it's disrespectful to guys like Chad Mendes and Ric Lamas, who both deserve a shot at Aldo before he does.
Or how about a guy like TJ Grant at 155? Should he have to wait for his shot at a belt so Pettis can go back down to 145 and fight Aldo? No, he shouldn't. Don't fight for a title you don't plan to defend right away. Period.
Pettis of all fighters should understand the process of waiting in line and why he should not only fight Grant first at 155, but let guys like Lamas get their shot at Aldo.
If he really wanted a shot at Aldo and his belt, he should have went to featherweight and held his place in line after his injury. He didn't have to jump back to lightweight to fight Henderson. But he did, and he should honor that by fighting TJ Grant next, who would have fought Henderson if not for his own injury.
Can you find a fight fan that doesn't want to see Aldo vs. Pettis? Doubtful. It's a mouth-watering match-up. But that's not the point. The point is that there are viable contenders in both divisions that have taken all the necessary steps to put themselves in position for title fights. They shouldn't be discarded just because one guy decides he wants a superfight.
Pettis already did Grant dirty once, trying to get the Henderson fight after he got hurt and had to pull out of the Aug. 3 Aldo fight. So now Pettis wants to deny Grant again, as well as hop right back in line at 145? That's garbage. Respect the game, respect Grant and give him his shot. If you never wanted that, then you should have never stepped in to fight Henderson.
The argument I'm making here is all about respect. Respect for the fighters and what they put in to accomplish what they deserve. Guys like Lamas and Grant have paid their dues and then some. Aldo vs. Pettis can wait. R-E-S-P-E-C-T has much greater value than P-P-V. Maybe just not in Anthony Pettis' world.