Anthony Pettis leaves the UFC after 12 years with the promotion

There will be no more ‘Showtime’ in UFC as Anthony Pettis leaves the promotion to become a free agent.

Pettis began his professional MMA career at World Extreme Cagefighting. It was at WEC 53, almost 10 years ago, that the MMA world was left their jaws wide open as they saw the ‘Showtime Kick‘ for the first time.

Pettis jumped off the wall to land a near-perfect kick on Benson Henderson. The fight saw Pettis win by unanimous decision and become the WEC lightweight champion at the age of just 23.

After the WEC merged with UFC in 2010, Pettis began his UFC career in great style. After losing to Clay Guida in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter, Pettis won his next 5 fights in the promotion.

Two out of those 5 fights saw Pettis leave the arena with the UFC lightweight championship belt.

Pettis had his first shot at the title at UFC 164 in August 2013, when he again faced Benson Henderson. Pettis went on to beat him via submission for the belt.

Anthony Pettis leaves UFC after 12 years.
Anthony Pettis prepares for the start of his lightweight bout against Carlos Diego Ferreira during UFC 246. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

In his next fight, he became the first man to finish Gilbert Melendez as he successfully defended his belt at UFC 181.

Anthony Pettis decides to leave UFC on the back of two wins

The 33-year-old has probably picked the right time to leave UFC, on the back of two wins. Pettis, whose MMA record stands at 24-10-0, is just retiring from UFC, not MMA.

He is now a free agent and says that he is excited to see what the future holds from him. The recent wins again Donald Cerrone and Alex Morono has also seen his stock go up.

UFC even placed him on the prelim card instead of the main card, which might have indicated to Showtime that UFC does not see him as the same fighter anymore.

However, Pettis had only positive words to say for UFC and its president Dana White, who ‘helped him turn his dream into a reality’.

Last but not the least, Pettis thanked his fans, who flocked Showtime’s tweet to thank him for the memories.

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