Anthony Pettis

Anthony Paul Pettis (born January 27, 1987) is an American professional mixed martial artist. He is currently signed to the Professional Fighters League.[5] Pettis formerly fought in the Welterweight, Lightweight, and Featherweight divisions of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He is a former UFC Lightweight Champion. Pettis was also the final WEC Lightweight Champion prior to the promotion being merged into the UFC. Pettis also holds the distinction of being the only man to hold a KO win over Stephen Thompson.

Anthony Pettis
USO Spring 2016 Entertainment Tour (cropped).jpg
Anthony Pettis in 2016
BornAnthony Paul Pettis
(1987-01-27) January 27, 1987 (age 35)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)
DivisionWelterweight (170 lbs) (2008, 2019–2020)
Lightweight (155 lbs) (2007–2016, 2017–2018, 2020, 2021–present)
Featherweight (145 lbs) (2016)
Reach72+12 in (184 cm)[1]
Fighting out ofMilwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
TrainerDuke Roufus
Rank3rd dan black belt in Taekwondo[3]
Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Daniel Wanderley[4]
Years active2007–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout11
By submission8
By decision6
By knockout2
By submission2
By decision8
Amateur record
By knockout1
Other information
Notable relativesSergio Pettis (brother)
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Early lifeEdit

Pettis was born on January 27, 1987, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Annette (née Garcia) and Eugene Pettis Jr. He grew up in the south side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, along with his older brother, Reynaldo Pettis and younger brother, Sergio Pettis, who fights in the flyweight division.[6]

Pettis is of Puerto Rican and Mexican ancestry. His grandfather, Eugenio Pérez, anglicized the family name from Pérez to Pettis to avoid discrimination. Pettis attended Dominican High School.[7][8]

He started training in taekwondo and boxing at the age of 5. In college he also started wrestling. When he went to train mixed martial arts at Roufusport at the age of 18, he already had a 3rd degree black belt in taekwondo. He later trained in capoeira.[9][10]

On November 12, 2003, Pettis' father was stabbed to death by a robber at a friend's house.[11]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Anthony Pettis made his professional MMA debut in December 2007. He compiled a record of 8–0 in all fights being held by Adam Sandoval and Duke Roufus before debuting with the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), winning the Gladiator Fighting Series Lightweight Championship. His last fight before joining the WEC was a short notice welterweight bout.[12]

Pettis also has a professional kickboxing background. In MMA, Pettis is known[by whom?] for his smooth and technical fighting style, as well as his athletic feats and wide range of techniques.

Pettis is coached by kickboxer and MMA trainer Duke Roufus and is a member of Roufusport where he trains with fighters Alan Belcher, Erik Koch, Ben Rothwell, Ben Askren, and Danny Downes.[13]

Before joining the WEC, Pettis went to The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom tryouts but did not make it to the show.[14]

World Extreme CagefightingEdit


Pettis was expected to make his promotional debut against Anthony Njokuani on April 5, 2009, at WEC 40. However, Pettis pulled out of the fight with a hand injury and was replaced by Bart Palaszewski.[15]

Pettis made his WEC debut at WEC 41, where he defeated Mike Campbell via first-round triangle choke.

He was then expected to fight Rob McCullough at WEC 44 on November 18, but was pulled off the card with an undisclosed injury.[16]

Pettis suffered his first professional loss on December 19 at WEC 45, dropping a split decision to Bart Palaszewski.[17]


Pettis at the WEC 53 weigh-ins

Pettis rebounded from the loss with a head-kick KO victory over Danny Castillo on March 6 at WEC 47, earning Knockout of the Night honors.[18] Training for the fight, as well as Pettis's family life, were both documented on an episode of the MTV show World of Jenks.[6]

Pettis suffered almost no damage in the bout with Castillo and made a quick return at WEC 48 against Alex Karalexis.[19] He won the fight via submission in the second round.

Pettis faced Shane Roller on August 18 at WEC 50.[20] Pettis surprised many by taking down Roller multiple times and frustrating him with fast-paced scrambles. Pettis displayed diversity in his striking with two Capoeira kicks, the martelo and the aú batido.[21][22][23] After several submission attempts, Pettis secured a fight-ending triangle choke in the closing seconds of the fight, earning a Submission of the Night bonus.

His last WEC fight came against Benson Henderson on December 16 at WEC 53 for the WEC Lightweight Championship.[24] The fight was closely contested throughout, providing back and forth action, both standing and on the ground. In the fifth round Pettis ran up the cage, jumped off the cage, then landed a switch kick while airborne. Sports reporters later named this the Showtime Kick.[25][26] Pettis won the fight via unanimous decision (48–47, 49–46, 48–47) to become the final WEC Lightweight Champion. The fight was also awarded as Fight of the Night which won Henderson and Pettis an extra $10,000.[27]

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit


In October 2010, World Extreme Cagefighting merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As part of the merger, a majority of the WEC fighters were transferred to the UFC.[28]

Pettis was expected to face the winner of Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, which took place at UFC 125.[29] However, the bout was declared a draw, and Edgar–Maynard 3 was scheduled for UFC 130, but both fighters sustained injuries before the fight, which was postponed.[30]


Instead of waiting for the winner of Edgar/Maynard 3, Pettis faced Clay Guida on June 4 at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale.[31] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[32][33]

Pettis next faced Jeremy Stephens on October 8 at UFC 136. Pettis won the closely contested bout via unanimous decision.[34]


Pettis faced Joe Lauzon on February 25 at UFC 144.[35] He won the fight via knockout in round one.[36] His performance earned Knockout of the Night honors.[37]


After spending the majority of 2012 recovering from a litany of injuries,[38][39][40] Pettis faced Donald Cerrone on January 26, 2013, at UFC on Fox 6.[41] He won the fight via TKO in round one.[42] The performance also earned Pettis Knockout of the Night honors.[43] After the victory, Dana White said he was "sold" on Pettis and admitted that after Benson Henderson against Gilbert Melendez on UFC on Fox 7, Pettis was to be the next to fight for the lightweight title.[44]

On February 5, it was announced that Pettis would not wait for a title shot at lightweight, and would instead be dropping down to 145 pounds to challenge featherweight champion, José Aldo on August 3 at UFC 163.[45] However, on June 14, Dana White announced that Pettis had pulled out of the Aldo bout with a serious knee injury, and that Aldo would instead defend the title against Chan Sung Jung.[46]

A few weeks later after a quick recovery, it was announced on July 12 that Pettis would replace TJ Grant in a rematch for the UFC Lightweight Championship against Benson Henderson on August 31 at UFC 164.[47] Pettis defeated Henderson via armbar submission in the first round to claim the UFC Lightweight Title. The win also earned Pettis his first Submission of the Night bonus award in the UFC.[48]

Pettis was expected to make his first title defense against T. J. Grant on December 14 at UFC on Fox 9.[49] However, Grant revealed in mid-September that he had yet to be medically cleared after suffering a concussion in training and would not be eligible to compete on December 14.[50] Pettis was then expected to face Josh Thomson at the event.[51] However, the bout was canceled in mid-November after Pettis pulled out of the bout citing a knee injury.[52]


Pettis was selected to serve as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 20, opposite Gilbert Melendez and the two would face each other at UFC 181 on December 6, 2014.[53] Pettis won the fight via guillotine choke in the second round, becoming the first man to finish Melendez.[54] He also earned a Performance of the Night bonus award.[55]


Pettis faced Rafael dos Anjos on March 14 at UFC 185.[56] He lost the bout and the championship by unanimous decision.[57][58]

Pettis was expected to face Myles Jury on July 25, 2015, at UFC on Fox 16.[59] However, Pettis pulled out of the bout citing another injury and was replaced by Edson Barboza.[60]


Pettis faced Eddie Alvarez on January 17, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 81.[61] He lost the back-and-forth bout via split decision.[62]

Pettis faced Edson Barboza on April 23, 2016, at UFC 197.[63] Pettis lost the fight via unanimous decision.[64]

On the heels of a three-fight losing streak, Pettis announced in June 2016 his intention to drop to featherweight for his next fight.[65] Pettis fought Charles Oliveira in his featherweight debut on August 27, 2016, at UFC on Fox 21.[66] After another back-and-forth fight which saw Oliveira take his back multiple times, Pettis submitted Oliveira via guillotine choke in the 3rd round.[67]

Pettis faced Max Holloway for the interim UFC Featherweight Championship on December 10, 2016, at UFC 206.[68] At the weigh-ins, Pettis came in at 148 pounds, three pounds over the featherweight limit of 145 lbs. for a championship fight. As a result, in the event that Pettis were to win the fight with Holloway, he would be ineligible for the UFC championship. Pettis was also fined 20% of his purse, which went to Holloway and the bout proceeded at a catchweight. Pettis was the first fighter to miss weight for a UFC championship bout since Travis Lutter at UFC 67 in February 2007.[69][70] He lost the fight via TKO in the third round.[71]


Pettis faced Jim Miller in a lightweight bout on July 8, 2017, at UFC 213.[72] He won the fight by unanimous decision.[73]

Pettis faced Dustin Poirier on November 11, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 120.[74] Pettis lost the fight via TKO after submitting due to a rib injury suffered from a body triangle applied by Poirier.[75] This fight also won him the Fight of the Night bonus award.[76]


Pettis was expected to face Michael Chiesa on April 7, 2018, at UFC 223,[77] but the bout was canceled two days before the event after Chiesa was injured in an incident in which Conor McGregor hurled a dolly through the window of the bus Chiesa was in. The shards of the shattered window cut Chiesa, who was deemed unfit to fight by the athletic commission.[78]

On April 6, 2018, UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway was declared medically unfit by the New York State Athletic Commission and was pulled from his main event fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Pettis accepted the opportunity to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 for the lightweight championship on a day's notice with the hope of getting $1,000,000 for the fight. The UFC declined to pay him this much money and the deal fell through.[79]

The bout with Chiesa was rescheduled to UFC 226.[80] At weight-ins, Chiesa weighed in at 157.5 pounds, 1.5 pounds over the non-title lightweight limit of 156 pounds. As a result, the fight proceeded catchweight bout with Chiesa forfeiting 30% of his purse to Pettis.[81] Pettis won the fight via triangle armbar submission in the second round.[82] This fight earned him the Performance of the Night award.[83]

Pettis faced Tony Ferguson on October 6, 2018, at UFC 229.[84] After a back-and-forth fight, Pettis knocked down Ferguson in round two, but subsequently broke his hand in the process, going on to lose by corner stoppage due to his injury before the third round.[85] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[86]


On January 19, 2019, it was announced that Pettis would be returning to Welterweight for the first time since 2008 to face Stephen Thompson. This fight served as the headliner of UFC on ESPN+ 6 on March 23, 2019.[87] Thompson outstruck Pettis for most of the bout, however Pettis won the fight via knockout late round two, becoming the first man to knockout Thompson in his MMA and kickboxing careers.[88] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[89]

Pettis faced Nate Diaz on August 17, 2019 at UFC 241.[90] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[91]


Pettis faced Carlos Diego Ferreira in a lightweight bout on January 18, 2020 at UFC 246.[92] He lost the fight via rear-naked choke submission in the second round.[93]

Pettis faced Donald Cerrone in a rematch on May 9, 2020 at UFC 249.[94] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[95]

Pettis faced Alex Morono at UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal on December 19, 2020.[96] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[97] With this being the last remaining bout on Pettis' UFC contract, Pettis announced on December 22 that he was choosing not to accept a new offer from the UFC and would be testing the free agent market.[98]

Professional Fighters LeagueEdit

2021 SeasonEdit

Just one day after announcing he would be testing free agency, Pettis announced on December 23, 2020, that he has signed a multi-fight deal with the Professional Fighters League, and he would be competing as a lightweight in the 2021 season.[5]

Pettis made his PFL debut against Clay Collard on April 23, 2021 at PFL 1.[99] He lost the bout via unanimous decision.[100]

Pettis was scheduled to face Alexander Martinez at PFL 4 on June 10, 2021.[101] However, Pettis withdrew due to illness and Martinez faced Natan Schulte. Schulte's opponent Raush Manfio, faced Pettis at PFL 6 on June 25, 2021.[102] Pettis lost the close bout via split decision.[103]

2022 SeasonEdit

Pettis was scheduled to face Myles Price on April 23, 2022 at PFL 1.[104] It was later announced that the bout would be rescheduled for PFL 3.[105] Pettis submitted Price in the first round via triangle choke.[106]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Along with business partners Duke Roufus and Scott Joffe, Pettis owns the Roufusport MMA Academy and the Showtime Sports Bar in Milwaukee.[117][118]

Pettis along with Jon Jones, Urijah Faber, Joseph Benavidez, Mark Muñoz, Chad Mendes, and Scott Jorgensen starred in a Form Athletics (now owned by K-Swiss) commercial.[119]

On December 2, 2013, Pettis received a Certificate of Achievement by the Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker.[120]

On June 30, 2014, it was announced that Pettis signed a sponsorship deal with Reebok.[121]

In the fall of 2014, Pettis was voted to be the first UFC champion to appear on the cover of General Mills' Wheaties box wearing his belt. The box appeared in stores in early 2015.[122] However, when the box came out Anthony Pettis had already lost his belt to dos Anjos.[123]

Pettis and his partner have a daughter named Itzcali Sol Pettis.[124] She was born in June 2021.[125]


Pettis appeared on episode 4 of World of Jenks, where documentary maker Andrew Jenks lived with Pettis for a week before his fight against Danny Castillo at WEC 47.[6] The episode gave an inside look into Pettis' fight preparations as well as giving insights into his family life.[6]

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
37 matches 25 wins 12 losses
By knockout 11 2
By submission 8 2
By decision 6 8
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 25–12 Myles Price Submission (triangle choke) PFL 3 May 6, 2022 1 4:17 Arlington, Texas, United States
Loss 24–12 Raush Manfio Decision (split) PFL 6 June 25, 2021 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 24–11 Clay Collard Decision (unanimous) PFL 1 April 23, 2021 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Return to Lightweight.
Win 24–10 Alex Morono Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal December 19, 2020 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 23–10 Donald Cerrone Decision (unanimous) UFC 249 May 9, 2020 3 5:00 Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Loss 22–10 Carlos Diego Ferreira Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 246 January 18, 2020 2 1:46 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Lightweight bout.
Loss 22–9 Nate Diaz Decision (unanimous) UFC 241 August 17, 2019 3 5:00 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 22–8 Stephen Thompson KO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Pettis March 23, 2019 2 4:55 Nashville, Tennessee, United States Return to Welterweight. Performance of the Night.
Loss 21–8 Tony Ferguson TKO (corner stoppage) UFC 229 October 6, 2018 2 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 21–7 Michael Chiesa Submission (triangle armbar) UFC 226 July 7, 2018 2 0:52 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Catchweight (157.5 lb) bout; Chiesa missed weight. Performance of the Night.
Loss 20–7 Dustin Poirier Submission (body triangle) UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Pettis November 11, 2017 3 2:08 Norfolk, Virginia, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 20–6 Jim Miller Decision (unanimous) UFC 213 July 8, 2017 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Return to Lightweight.
Loss 19–6 Max Holloway TKO (body kick and punches) UFC 206 December 10, 2016 3 4:50 Toronto, Ontario, Canada For the interim UFC Featherweight Championship; Pettis missed weight (148 lb) and was ineligible to win the title.
Win 19–5 Charles Oliveira Submission (guillotine choke) UFC on Fox: Maia vs. Condit August 27, 2016 3 1:49 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Featherweight debut.
Loss 18–5 Edson Barboza Decision (unanimous) UFC 197 April 23, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 18–4 Eddie Alvarez Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz January 17, 2016 3 5:00 Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Loss 18–3 Rafael dos Anjos Decision (unanimous) UFC 185 March 14, 2015 5 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States Lost the UFC Lightweight Championship.
Win 18–2 Gilbert Melendez Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 181 December 6, 2014 2 1:53 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Lightweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 17–2 Benson Henderson Submission (armbar) UFC 164 August 31, 2013 1 4:31 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States Won the UFC Lightweight Championship. Submission of the Night.
Win 16–2 Donald Cerrone KO (body kick) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson January 26, 2013 1 2:35 Chicago, Illinois, United States Knockout of the Night.
Win 15–2 Joe Lauzon KO (head kick and punches) UFC 144 February 26, 2012 1 1:21 Saitama, Japan Knockout of the Night.
Win 14–2 Jeremy Stephens Decision (split) UFC 136 October 8, 2011 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States
Loss 13–2 Clay Guida Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos Finale June 4, 2011 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 13–1 Benson Henderson Decision (unanimous) WEC 53 December 16, 2010 5 5:00 Glendale, Arizona, United States Won the WEC Lightweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 12–1 Shane Roller Submission (triangle choke) WEC 50 August 18, 2010 3 4:51 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Submission of the Night.
Win 11–1 Alex Karalexis Submission (triangle choke) WEC 48 April 24, 2010 2 1:35 Sacramento, California, United States
Win 10–1 Danny Castillo KO (head kick and punches) WEC 47 March 6, 2010 1 2:27 Columbus, Ohio, United States Knockout of the Night.
Loss 9–1 Bart Palaszewski Decision (split) WEC 45 December 19, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–0 Mike Campbell Submission (triangle choke) WEC 41 June 7, 2009 1 1:49 Sacramento, California, United States Return to Lightweight.
Win 8–0 Gabe Walbridge TKO (punches) GFS: Season's Beatings December 13, 2008 1 0:56 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States Welterweight debut.
Win 7–0 Jay Ellis TKO (submission to punches) GFS 55 October 4, 2008 1 1:12 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States Defended the GFS Lightweight Championship.
Win 6–0 Sherron Leggett Decision (split) GFS: Fight Club June 21, 2008 3 5:00 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States Won the GFS Lightweight Championship.
Win 5–0 Mike Lambrecht KO (head kick) GFS: Knockout Kings March 29, 2008 1 1:49 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Win 4–0 George Barrazza TKO (body kick and punches) GFS: The Warriors February 16, 2008 1 2:31 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Win 3–0 Michael Skinner TKO (submission to punches) GFS: Seasons Beatings December 1, 2007 1 0:36 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Win 2–0 Lonny Amdahl TKO (injury) GFS: Rumble in the Cage August 17, 2007 1 0:12 Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States
Win 1–0 Tom Erspamer TKO (punches) GFS: Super Brawl January 27, 2007 1 0:24 Wisconsin, United States


See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by 7th WEC Lightweight Champion
December 16, 2010
WEC Lightweight division
was dissolved into the UFC
Preceded by 6th UFC Lightweight Champion
August 31, 2013 – March 14, 2015
Succeeded by