Former UFC Lightweight Anthony Pettis returns to the octagon at the main event of UFC Fight Night 120 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center at Norfolk, Virginia on November 11th, 2017. The 13th ranked Pettis will face 8th ranked lightweight Dustin Poirier in an attempt to climb back to the top of the 155-pound weight class he used to rule.
Fall From The Top
Pettis’ fall from the top is well documented. After yielding the UFC lightweight title to Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 185, Pettis lost back to back bouts to Edson Barboza and Eddie Alvarez, forcing him to make a surprise move down to the featherweight division. But after missing weight during an interim featherweight title bout (which he lost badly) against Max Holloway at UFC 206, Pettis decided to return to his natural weight class.
Showtime’s 155-pound return against Jim Miller at UFC 216 last July was successful. Not only did he break out of his slump, he looked like the Anthony Pettis of old in that fight. But Pettis’ recent struggles have pulled him down outside the Top 10 in the rankings. He asked for Poirier in August and with the “Diamond” obliging, the UFC booked the fight right away.
Dustin Poirier is coming off a controversial fight at UFC 211 against another former lightweight champion in Eddie Alvarez. That bout ended in a no-contest after Alvarez landed several illegal knees on Poirier. Prior to that fight, Poirier won five of six fights, losing only to Michael Johnson during that stretch.
Poirier has always been one of the gatekeepers of the division. If he can pick up a win though against a former champion like Pettis, his stock will surely soar. Diamond has been fighting in the UFC since 2011 but has never fought for the title. A win over Pettis should put him in striking distance of that long awaited title shot.
Odds and Prediction
Showtime Pettis is the favorite in this bout at -125 while Poirier is the underdog at +105. This is going to be a fun fight between two fighters who can finish the fight on the feet as well as on the ground. Both are excellent strikers who can produce knockouts in the stand up game and come up with creative submission moves on the canvass. Having said that, this fight is likely not going to the scorecards.
Both fighters are evenly matched up but Pettis is more athletic and may have the advantage here because of his creativity. Showtime looked great in his last fight and he seems to have broken out of his slump. Poirier is no easy picking but Pettis should win this fight with his speed and unpredictability.
We’re picking Anthony Pettis to win this fight by stoppage due to strikes.