After three straight wins over a trio of the UFC's toughest and most durable lightweights, including a first-round TKO of Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 6 last night, former WEC champion Anthony Pettis is content to wait for a shot at the UFC lightweight belt if a crack at it is set in stone for him.
"If it's a guaranteed title shot, I'm waiting," Pettis said at the event's post-fight press conference. "That's what my goals are. It's one of my goals this year. If it's next, I'm going to wait, get better and get what's mine."
Pettis has been guaranteed a UFC title shot once before. As the last reigning WEC lightweight champion, Pettis was slated to meet the winner of a January 2011 title fight between then champion Frankie Edgar and rival Gray Maynard.
That fight ended in a draw. An immediate rubber match was called, but the meeting was postponed until October due to injuries suffered by both fighters. Instead of waiting on the sidelines, Pettis opted to fight Clay Guida that June and lost a three-round decision. It's a mistake he likely does not want to make again.
But when asked if Pettis should indeed wait for his shot, UFC president Dana White was non-committal.
"Let's see how this plays out," White said. "To make this decision tonight... I've seen it go both ways so who knows. Right now the Melendez fight is pretty set but he should be next. I can't say enough good things about the kid. That was incredible tonight."
Dana opens up on Rampage ordeal
As Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was leaving United Center and skipping out on the post-fight press conference following his unanimous decision loss to Glover Teixeira, he shouted at White as he left an arena that the UFC was holding a show at, likely for the last time.
"He just walked out and said 'you're going to miss me'. I said, 'I miss you already buddy,'" said White." I honestly think that if Glover was fighting anybody else, he would have knocked them out in the first round tonight. Rampage's biggest problem is that he doesn't always train. He doesn't always stay in shape. If he took this sport 100% seriously, God knows what he would be able to accomplish. But he doesn't."
White went on to explain the confusion behind "Rampage" and his remarks about the treatment he received from the UFC in the weeks and months leading up to the final fight on his contract with the promotion.
"Through this whole thing and all the talk and everything, I have remained the same to him, like nothing was going on right up until tonight," White said. "If I was worried about him, I wouldn't have put him on the biggest platform we have in FOX.
"He's always acting like there's something dirty going on. We haven't done anything dirty. I went to his locker room and wished him good luck before his fight. I told him he had a good fight afterwards. He was treated tonight the way he has always been treated. We didn't treat him the way he says we did."
The loss to Teixeira was Jackson's third straight, and is the only instance in his career in which he has lost multiple fights in a row. When asked whether or not he would consider re-signing Jackson if issues were worked out down the road, White's response was brief.
"I don't know," he said.
White on the FOX broadcast difficulties: "We had a problem tonight with the fiber optics. We dropped audio at the beginning of the show and we had to move the FOX guys, Chael and all them, from the desk to the arena. But it happens, its production."
White on the Eddie Alvarez situation: "Pay him the money he would have made in the UFC. They are claiming that FOX and Spike are the same. That's so not true. They are so far apart. For them to say that any pay-per-views are equal is ridiculous. I hate to bad mouth TNA because the lady that runs it, Dixie, is such a nice lady but they couldn't do anything on PPV coming off Spike. They [Bellator] said Spike does PPV's. No, they didn't. We did. Viacom has been saying 'we built the UFC'. No, you did not. We'll see if you did."
Demetrious Johnson on being warned about illegal knees during his title defense against John Dodson: "It didn't affect me at all in the fight. It's really hard when you have somebody down and in a headlock, and then you try to get knees off and all they have to do is put a hand down and bring it up. I think they should make a rule.
"John McCarthy [referee] did a good job of being like 'Okay, now you either have to go up or get down'. After the first call, John was like 'Hey, watch it' and I was like 'my bad'. Then after that, when it happened the second time, John said that you can't be playing this limbo game."
Ricardo Lamas on his next bout: "There's a fight happening next week and I'd love to get the winner of Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar."
TJ Grant on his future after a career-defining win against Matt Wiman: "I'm going to leave it up to the UFC. I'm sure Joe Silva is going to come up with a good opponent for me. Winning four in a row definitely gets my name out there. I was totally happy with my performance tonight.
I'm just looking to take the next step. Top 10, that's where I want to be. I want to keep moving closer and closer. I'm realistic. I know there's a lot of tough guys out there. One guy that I think would be really exciting is Jim Miller. Ultimately, that's up to the UFC."
White on Strikeforce fighters coming over to the UFC: "I'm excited that they are all finally coming over. They deserve it after the last year they had to go through. Every one of them. We're going to make it up to them for the shitty year they had last year."
White on Josh Barnett's rising interest in coming to the UFC: "That's awesome. I'm glad to hear about it. I've got a pretty good feeling he'll be in the UFC."
White on visiting with Chris Weidman: "Weidman and his manager sat down and said we want Anderson Silva. He said 'I'm going to beat him. I'm going to be the next world champion.' I said 'I'll call you in the next few weeks and get this thing figured out.' So we'll see."
White on the UFC's scouting trip to Mexico: "It was good. A lot of guys showed up and it was very successful. The guys that we sent down there were very happy with what they saw. Kind of like how Brazil blew up, Mexico is taking a lot longer than I thought, but its coming."
The UFC issued $50,000 bonuses for “Fight of the Night” (Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson), “Knockout of the Night” (Anthony Pettis) and “Submission of the Night” (Ryan Bader)… Bader’s 50 second submission of seasoned veteran Vladimir Matyushenko was deemed the fastest submission in UFC light heavyweight history… The premier episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 17” aired followed local news broadcasts on FOX last night on the east coast.