Pettis says that Holloway is even less than a match for him than McGregor.
I see Max as a younger version of myself; raw, natural talent and he definitely wants it bad. But I got the skill set to beat the guy with the striking and I got the power and size on him. The only other striker he fought of my caliber is Conor McGregor, and you saw how that went down. I feel like I have way more tools than Conor McGregor. Conor McGregor has a big left hand and some decent kicks. I have submissions, wrestling, I have everything; I’m the complete package. Now I have the size, so it’s a great weight class for me.
On The MMA Hour Helwani criticises the UFC’s handling of the removal of McGregor’s belt.
They botched it. They botched it epically. They botched it because if you’re going to go ahead and strip Conor, then Holloway /Pettis needs to be for the real belt, and you say to Jose Aldo that you’re getting the first crack at the champion of this interim title, you’ve been talking about retirement, you’ve been talking about not fighting again, you’ve been talking about throwing fights, we don’t know the state of your career is, so we’re making Holloway/Pettis the real championship fight, because we just stripped the biggest draw and the biggest star of his belt. It’s a disservice to Holloway and Pettis, who are going to have an amazing fight in a couple of weeks, it’s a disservice to Jose Aldo, and it’s a disservice to Conor McGregor.
Helwani reports that the UFC wants Pettis to fight Holloway for the interim 145 pound title in December in Toronto. This would be the main card fight after the Daniel Cornier-Anthony Johnson fight was cancelled due to injury. This means that the organisation will strip McGregor of his featherweight belt, reinstating it to Jose Aldo.
Pettis calls out McGregor and says he wants both his belts.
If he stays fighting, I’m coming for the 145 pound strap AND that 155 pound strap.
Pettis says McGregor should be able to go after two belts, considering he was trying the same.
I wanted to do it so I can’t say he shouldn’t be able to do it…I was trying to do that when I was champ. I called out Jose Aldo right after I won the belt at lightweight, it was supposed to happen, it didn’t happen for reasons. I think right now, Conor he’s doing his thing. He’s a guy that’s winning fights, he’s knocking guys out, he’s fighting guys like Nate Diaz but he’s winning fights, what can you say…When I won the belt, the first thing I said was ‘Jose Aldo we have unfinished business.’ That was my plan way back when I was the champ. He’s selling the tickets, he’s selling the fights, he’s winning the fights and people want to watch him fight.
He is hoping for a fight with Aldo:
If Jose Aldo wants it, I’m ready to go. I think he’s more frustrated than actually trying to retire. I don’t think he’s going to retire where he’s at right now. He obviously wants that (Conor) fight back, Conor’s busy, I’m there. I think that’s the fight that makes sense for him. If Jose Aldo’s retired, give me Max Holloway. If Max Holloway don’t want to fight, give me Nate Diaz. I don’t care. I’m here to fight.
Aldo says he prays every night for a chance at a McGregor rematch, but will settle for a fight with Pettis.
Every night I ask god ‘Please give me another chance. Let me get into the octagon against him. I know it will be different this time’…[However] If [a fight with McGregor] doesn’t end up happening, I do rather a fight against [Anthony] Pettis. I think nowadays…I learned a few things with [the UFC]. There’s more than just the ranking, like there is a ranking order for title-shots. No. I have to tend to the business side too. I think a fight against Pettis will sell a lot more than one against Holloway.
The pair were supposed to meet for Aldo’s featherweight crown at UFC 163 in August of 2013, but Pettis withdrew with a knee injury.
Pettis will fight Dos Anjos for the UFC lightweight championship in UFC 185, to take place at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.