Can Showtime bounce back in the Lightweight Division?
On July 8, the UFC will feature its Pay Per View Event UFC 213. UFC 213 will feature two championship fights and a possible title contender fight between Allistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum, with the opener being Anthony “Showtime” Pettis vs Jim Miller. It wasn’t too long ago that the former Lightweight Champion Pettis was featured in the Main Event of a Pay Per View. However, Pettis is in a interesting point in his career, needing to pick up a win in the UFC Lightweight Division. In his way is Jim Miller, a veteran and tough fighter looking to derail Pettis from climbing up the ranks.
Once considered one of the best pound for pound fighters in the UFC, Pettis has become lost in the shuffle. Pettis lost his UFC Lightweight Championship back in 2015 against Rafael Dos Anjos, in a fight Pettis was completely dominated. Pettis would lose two more fights in the Lightweight Division against Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza, which Pettis would decide to try to change weight class and dropped to the UFC Featherweight Division. In Pettis first fight in the Featherweight Division, Pettis would defeat Charles Oliveira by Submission in a tough fight. The weight cut proved to be challenging, as Pettis would miss weight and lose in the Interim UFC Featherweight Championship fight against Max Holloway by TKO. Now 30 years old, Pettis is still in his prime and is looking make his return to the Lightweight Division.
Miller has been fighting in the UFC since 2008 and at age 33 is still at the top of his game. Although currently Miller isn’t ranked in the Lightweight Division, Miller can still get it done and has won 3 of his last 4 fights. Miller lost his last fight by Majority Decision against Dustin Poirier at UFC 208, but the fight was still a gritty fight and would win Fight of the Night. Being a well rounded fighter on the feet with his striking and on the ground with his jujitsu, Miller is the perfect test for Pettis return to the Lightweight Division.
The opener for UFC 213 is a interesting fight in an already stacked Lightweight Division. Pettis fight against Miller, will help determine if Pettis can still get it done at the highest level in the Lightweight Division. If Pettis can get by Miller, Pettis can get back on track and aim for a future title fight. For Miller, a win would help get him ranked in the Lightweight Division and open more opportunities. Both fighters are going into UFC 213 looking to take a big step forward in the Lightweight Division, however one of them will have to reevaluate their future moving forward in their MMA career.
written by Tyriece Simon
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