Who's next for Pettis? Jose Aldo or TJ Grant?

Written by Fight! Australia   


Anthony 'Showtime' Pettis is the newly crowned UFC lightweight champion after dethroning Benson Henderson at UFC 164. After his upset submission win, Pettis seems destined to face off against one of two men in his next bout - featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo, or current lightweight top contender TJ Grant.

After calling out Aldo shortly after winning the belt, Pettis revealed he was keen on the idea fighting the Brazilian at either featherweight or lightweight.

"Jose Aldo - we have got some unfinished business, your belt or mine?" said Pettis during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.

The fight was originally booked for UFC 163 before Pettis suffered a knee injury, which saw the 'Korean Zombie' Chan Sung Jung take his spot in title fight.

Aldo came out firing in his response to the callout as well as claims he had dodged the fight with Pettis, stating that the fight had been put on hold due to unfulfilled promises from UFC president Dana White.

"I can fight Cain Velasquez (UFC heavyweight champion) if they want. It's not up to me, I'm not the matchmaker. I want to fight, I'm here to fight. I train everyday to destroy whoever they put in front of me. I'm not scared of anyone. They have two arms and two legs, and I will do my best and win," said Aldo to Brazilian media.

"They forced us to do something and (my manager) wants something in return. I agree with everything he says, and I can fight anyone. Sometimes Dana says things that you better not pay attention to. (Dana) knows he promised us things and he knows he has to give them to us, so that's why he says those things. We'll see what happens."

Perhaps the forgotten man in the title picture is TJ Grant, the fighter who was originally slated to fight for Henderson's belt at UFC 164 before pulling out with injury.

Weighing in on the topic of matchmaking, Grant told MMA Fighting that he believed he should be next to fight for the lightweight title despite admitting the idea of a Pettis/Aldo bout was 'exciting'.

"I just won my last fight in two minutes. I knocked (Gray Maynard) out. I knocked the guy out before that (Matt Wiman). I feel like I've earned it. I feel like I'm the guy," said Grant.

"I've been in the UFC a long time. I've never really gotten the push that I feel like I need but I've also built a lot of experience in fighting and haven't been in the spotlight, which is nice too. But I'm ready to be there and I'm ready to go out there. Give me the opportunity man. I feel like I've earned it."

The UFC is yet to announce any matchups following UFC 164.

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Photo by Paul Thatcher.

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