Former WEC and UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis announced he will be testing the waters of free agency after fighting out the last bout on his UFC contract this past weekend.
Pettis, who fought under the UFC banner for almost a decade, defeated top names during his tenure with the promotion, such as Benson Henderson, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Gilbert Melendez, Charles Oliveira, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, Michael Chiesa, and Jeremy Stephens.
“Showtime” defeated Alex Morono at welterweight by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 183 on the weekend and his future with the UFC was a storyline going into that bout.
As it turns out, that would be Pettis’ last fight with the promotion for now as the Milwaukee announced on social media yesterday. His statement read:
“Almost 12 years with this company and so many amazing memories. From winning my first world title at 23 years old to becoming the UFC world champion at 26 in my hometown. From being on MTV to the cover of the Wheaties box, I am forever grateful for everything I have experienced and accomplished with this company!
“Dana [White] – thank you for everything you have done for me. I was just a kid from the south side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a big dream. You helped me turn that dream into a reality. Thank you!
“Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, Reed Harris, Sean Shelby, Dave Sholler, and Burt Watson, you have helped me and impacted my life and career in countless ways. I will be forever thankful. Everyone at the PI, you helped take my game to the next level! Everyone that works behind the scenes, I am so grateful for your tireless work, especially on the road, you have no idea how much you are appreciated. Thank you!
“Last and most importantly the UFC fans… thank you! You gave me energy in every fight. I hope I have been able to you that anything is possible. I am excited about my future in this sport. I promise I am not done.”
The fighting future of Pettis seems to lie with either Bellator MMA or Professional Fighters League, though that is unclear at the time of writing.
Pettis’ younger brother Sergio left the UFC in 2019 to join the Bellator bantamweight roster.