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Anthony Pettis targets lightweight return, eyes rematch with Tony Ferguson

If Anthony Pettis’ future is with the UFC, he wants to run things back with Tony Ferguson.

Pettis (24-10 MMA, 11-9 UFC) defeated Alex Morono this past weekend at UFC Fight Night 183, to put together his first winning streak in over six years. However, the fight also marked the final bout on his current UFC contract.

Pettis, who’s been with the UFC for almost a decade, won’t rush his decision on whether or not he re-signs with the promotion, but knows that he wants to drop back down to his original home at lightweight, where he once held titles for both the UFC and WEC earlier in his career.

If he is to stay with the UFC, Pettis at the top of his list is Ferguson (25-5 MMA, 15-3 UFC), who he wants to avenge his loss to after they engaged in a “Fight of the Night” war over two years ago at UFC 229.

“I think Tony makes sense,” Ferguson told MMA Junkie at the UFC Fight Night 183 post-fight news conference. “I think Tony Ferguson (is) coming off his two losses and he’s fighting tough dudes. That’s what I hate about this sport, guys are like ‘Oh, Tony’s done.’ He’s a dangerous dude, but I think that would be a good fight for me to jump back into the lightweight mix, and he’s still right up there.”

Pettis found great success early in their first meeting when he dropped and rocked Ferguson. But, in the middle of the ground scrambles, Ferguson was able to badly cut Pettis with an elbow. The two went back and forth in an action-packed round, where Ferguson ended up scoring the TKO win at the end of Round 2 after Pettis’ corner stopped the fight.

If the two do get the chance to run things back, Pettis is confident things would go differently.

“He got me early with those elbows,” Pettis said. “I think I’ll make some adjustments in there and actually have a full training camp for that. Not taking nothing from him, but I took that fight on a short notice, the weight cut was horrible, and I just wasn’t mentally there in that process. I was just like doing these 155 fights because I kinda had to. I didn’t want to and that’s the difference right now. I’m making the decisions outside the octagon to make these fights go easier.”

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