You know that old saying, “Life isn’t fair.” Well, for Anthony Pettis this saying seems to hold significant truth behind it.
After all, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis was to be on the fast track for UFC stardom. After securing the WEC lightweight title from Ben Henderson in the most awesome fashion imaginable that did not involve a stoppage (see: matrix-style cage kick) Pettis was to be next in line for a shot at the UFC version of the title against the winner of incumbent UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar’s title defense against Gray Maynard back at UFC 125. Unfortunately, Pettis was forced to wait yet again as Edgar and Maynard battled to a disputed draw. With the UFC brass mandating an immediate rematch between Edgar and Maynard to definitely settle the score Pettis was again forced to sit on the sidelines. In a classic example of “Murphy’s Law” both Edgar and Maynard were knocked out of their rematch at UFC 130 with injuries.
During all of this Pettis waited with growing impatience. Eventually, the Milwaukee native and Duke Rufus trained martial artists settled on a “stay busy” fight. In boxing such a fight would have seen Pettis tackle on some tomato can of a fighter who would do nothing but make Pettis look good. Good thing the UFC is nothing like boxing. Instead of the proverbial “soft touch” awarded to many contenders in waiting, the UFC decided to give Pettis the unenviable task of battling Clay “The Carpenter” Guida at this Saturday’s The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale (Spike TV 9:00 PM EST).
While it’s clearly evident that Pettis is an athletic freak of nature and ultimately deserving of a shot at the shiny UFC strap, the fact that he is facing an unrelenting buzz saw of a fighter in Guida is more than a risky proposition. A victory for Guida effectively drops Pettis from his immediate title shot with the eventual winner of Edgar-Maynard III. A fact not lost on the young fight, or UFC President Dana White who admits that Pettis has it tough telling Fighters Only Magazine:
“[Pettis is] in a bad position. He's supposed to be the next in line. All this craziness happens. [Edgar and Maynard] both get hurt, and it gets pushed back again. The first one is a draw, then they get hurt, and it gets pushed back again. But this is one of those things that happens in a sport like this.”
“I respect [Pettis] for stepping up and taking on a tough guy like Guida, and he'll probably have to fight again before he gets a shot at one of those guys. Sucks for him. It's a shi--y position for him to be in.”
Yeah, I would say “shi—y position” is a bit of an understatement there White. But, then again, what do you do if you’re Pettis? Wait it out and hope that you’re not too rusty to mix it up in your UFC debut against the lightweight champion? Of course not, that would be insane. So Pettis has no other option but to test his mettle against a vastly superior cast of lightweights on the UFC roster. Sucks for Pettis, but sometimes these are the breaks. After all, life isn’t fair.