Anthony Pettis will be moving up in weight to take on Stephen Thompson on March 23.
Pettis went on social media saying he was interested in moving up to welterweight. And, he wanted to take a former title challenger in Thompson. Well, that fight is indeed happening according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
Stephen Thompson vs. Anthony Pettis at 170 pounds is verbally agreed to for the March 23 fight night event, which is expected to be in Nashville. Fight isn’t signed just yet but expected to be finalized shortly. Story coming to ESPN in a bit.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 15, 2019
“Stephen Thompson vs. Anthony Pettis at 170 pounds is verbally agreed to for the March 23 fight night event. Which, is expected to be in Nashville. Fight isn’t signed yet but expected to be finalized shortly,” Helwani tweeted.
Pettis most recently fought at UFC 229 in which he took on the former lightweight interim champion, Tony Ferguson. The fight was an absolute war in which Ferguson ended up winning the fight by corner stoppage due to Pettis having a broken hand. Previously, Pettis defeated Michael Chiesa at UFC 226 by submission.
This will be Pettis who is a former UFC lightweight champion’s first fight at welterweight.
Meanwhile, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson will be making his long-awaited return to the Octagon. Thompson last fought in May against Darren Till in which he headlined the card in Liverpool. Ultimately, it was a very close fight but Till narrowly squeaked out a decision win, in which many believe Thompson won the fight.
Before the Till fight, Thompson defeated Jorge Masvidal and fought to a majority draw and then lost to Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title. Many believe, like the Till fight, Thompson defeated Woodley, however in the judge’s eyes, that is not the case.
It is rather surprising that Thompson took the fight as in a recent interview with Fightful Thompson was shocked that Pettis called him out. However, in that said interview he does believe he would easily defeat Pettis,
“I think I’m just going to go out there and crush him, I think I’d finish him in the first round, to be honest with you, I really do. I think I’d go out there and put it on him, I think its gonna be a first-round finish,” Thompson said.
Thompson can now try and make that a reality on March 23.