Anthony Pettis joins Conor McGregor sweepstakes with KO win

Updated March 25, 2019 - 2:50 pm

Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis joined an exclusive group with his highlight-reel knockout of Stephen Thompson on the UFC Fight Night 148 card on Saturday night in Nashville, Tennessee.

He also may have secured his entry for the most lucrative sweepstakes in the sport.

Conor McGregor offered a social media post to acknowledge Pettis joining himself and Kenny Florian as the only three fighters in UFC history to win a fight at featherweight, lightweight and welterweight.

“Welcome to the club and congratulations,” McGregor wrote. “Now who (expletive) wants it?”

McGregor is referring to the wide pool of candidates vying for the massive payday and career boost that comes with stepping in the cage with the sport’s most popular star.

Pettis is now apparently on the list.

”Conor McGregor just put a tweet out, so that’s a fun fight,” Pettis said at the post-fight news conference. “Another guy that I love his style. I think that’d be a fun fight. So if he wants to do it, let’s do it. I’m not afraid to fight anybody.”

Pettis said he’s not going to sit around and wait for a decision, though.

“I don’t follow Conor McGregor,” he said. “I think he’s an amazing fighter, I think he’s done some amazing stuff for the sport, but I’m not gonna wait for him. If it’s not him, it’s the next guy in line.”

Pettis was making his debut at 170 pounds and said that was the most logical weight for a potential fight against McGregor.

Barber remains undefeated

Rising star Maycee Barber overcame a difficult first round to score a knockout of JJ Aldrich in a women’s flyweight bout on Saturday night, then faced more questions about the inevitable comparisons to former bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey.

“In a way I guess people could look at it like, ‘Oh, she’s undefeated, she’s got (something) like Ronda did,’ but I’m a completely different person than Ronda and that’s no disrespect to her,” the 20-year-old said. “She’s a phenomenal athlete, phenomenal fighter. She had an amazing career. But I feel like I want to take my career a little bit different.”

Barber said one big difference is how she plans to deal with a setback in the cage if it should happen.

“If I ever do get a loss — which I’m going to continue to fight so that I never get one, but if I ever do, I hope that I can come back a little bit differently than she did,” Barber said. “But we’ll see. I’m hoping to not take that loss.”

Barber said she wants to fight on major cards going forward, targeting the International Fight Week show in Las Vegas in July.

“I feel like I’m going to start making the card big, though,” she added. “So it doesn’t matter we put me on. It’s going to be a big card.”

Moraes-Cejudo targeted

UFC president Dana White said Saturday he has a plan for how to settle the top of the bantamweight division after T.J. Dillashaw relinquished his belt last week in the wake of an adverse result from a drug test.

White said he will book a fight between Marlon Moraes and flyweight champ Henry Cejudo for the belt.

“They both want that fight really bad, seems like a good fight to make with the whole Dillashaw thing now,” White said.


The UFC’s second main card on ESPN will take place on Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Justin Gaethje will fight Edson Barboza in the main event of the card at Wells Fargo Center, which will air live at 4 p.m.

More MMA: Follow at and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

Covering The Cage Videos
Greg Hardy, former NFL star, on MMA knockout
The former NFL star needed just 17 seconds to score a knockout on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series (Adam Hill/Review-Journal)
Marlon Moraes says Henry Cejudo will regret stepping up to bantamweight - VIDEO
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is coming up to the bantamweight division to battle Marlon Moraes for the vacant belt on June 8 at UFC 238. Moraes said Cejudo will regret going after a second title in a new division and added that he thinks his path will cross with former champion TJ Dillashaw in the future.
Paige VanZant details her arm injury, when she can return - VIDEO
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant was briefly linked to fight at UFC 236, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken arm. As a guest on the RJ Ringside Podcast, she detailed the injury and also spoke about joining the M-1 Global booth as a color commentator.
UFC 236 Press Conference Highlights
UFC 236 will feature a pair of interim title fights. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will face lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will collide in the co-main event. UFC 236 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Apr. 13.
Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt at UFC 235 - VIDEO
Jon Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight belt when he earned a decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman crowned new champ at UFC 235 — VIDEO
Kamaru Usman became the first African-born fighter to claim a UFC belt when he defeated Tyron Woodley to become the promotion's new welterweight champion.
UFC 235 Official Weigh-in Results - VIDEO
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2 stepped on the scale prior for the official fight card weigh-ins. All four fighters competing in the title bouts slated for the event made weight.
UFC's Jones says he has no shame after recent drug test results are released - VIDEO
Though recent drug test results still show trace amounts of Turinabol in his system, UFC light heayvweight champion Jon Jones says he has no shame and is hiding nothing as he prepares for his UFC 235 title bout against Anthony Smith.
Anthony Smith stays level-headed prior to UFC 235 title fight - VIDEO
Despite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones being in the spotlight for drug test discrepancies and other outside the cage struggles, Anthony Smith says he is tuning out the noise and remaining focused on the challenge of beating the reigning champion in the cage.
UFC 235 Media Day Highlights
Highlights and staredowns from the top three fights on the UFC 235 fight card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2.
UFC 235 press conference highlights
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman have a heated exchange and Ben Askren enjoys his time on the stage by interacting with UFC president Dana White.
UFC president Dana White talks UFC 235 and more
UFC president Dana White joined Heidi Fang and Adam Hill to discuss the UFC 235 card set for Las Vegas on Mar. 2 at the T-Mobile Arena and also spoke on Colby Covington and Khabib Nurmagomedov's and Conor McGregor's disciplinary measures given by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Full version available on Facebook at Review-Journal Sports
Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman Have Heated Exchange At UFC 235 Presser - VIDEO
UFC 235 opened with Jon Jones returning after his meeting at the Nevada Athletic commission, Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman arguing on stage and Ben Askren making his UFC debut.
NAC Chairman says it's time to tone down MMA smack talk ahead of fights
After announcing the fines and suspensions given to Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for their involvement in a melee at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman Anthony Marnell said it may be time to address "mouthy fighters" smack talk and conduct leading up to a fight.
Jones, NAC Chairman issue statements following Jones' licensing approval for UFC 235
The Nevada Athletic Commission issued UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones a conditional one-fight license to compete at UFC 235 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on Mar. 2. Jones had to reapply for a license in Nevada after failing a drug test which led to UFC 232 being moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, California.
Home Front Page Footer Listing