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You’ve got to understand Anthony “Showtime” Pettis‘ frustration. After winning the final WEC Lighweight Championship by defeating current UFC Lightweight Champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson back at WEC 53, many believed he would be on the short list of contenders to face then UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar. When Edgar fought to a draw with Gray Maynard less than a month after WEC 53, Pettis’ title hopes would be put on the backburner. A UD loss via dry humping and shoulder-strikes to Clay Guida at the TUF 13 Finale in June of 2011 would all but completely derail those championship aspirations.
Cut to February of 2012. After defeating Maynard via fourth round TKO in their rematch, Edgar would face off against arguably his toughest challenge to date, former WEC champion Ben Henderson, who was riding a four fight win streak since losing to Pettis. The event was UFC 144, and kicking off the main card would be an intriguing match-up between Pettis and Joe Lauzon. “Showtime” would live up to his nickname, steamrolling Lauzon with a head kick knockout in just under two minutes, and Henderson would clearly defeat Edgar by unanimous decision. Though Pettis had only scored two straight in the octagon, Dana was damn near forcing Edgar to drop to 145 and face Jose Aldo, so it seemed as if we were destined for Pettis/Henderson II.
But then, it happened. Out of nowhere, Edgar was granted a rematch with Henderson, and Pettis once again found himself screwed out of yet another title shot, against a man he had beaten in a title fight nonetheless. So perhaps the recent comments made by “Showtime’s” manager are not without merit. Here’s what Ariel Helwani said during an episode of UFC tonight after speaking with Pettis’ manager: