Anthony Pettis is parting ways with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The former lightweight champion announced on social media Tuesday that he is a free agent after fulfilling the last fight on his most recent UFC deal. Pettis also issued a lengthy statement thanking UFC staff and fans. That statement is as follows:
Almost 12 years with this company and so many amazing memories. From winning my first world title at 23 years old to becoming the UFC world champion at 26 in my hometown. From being on MTV to the cover of the Wheaties box, I am forever grateful for everything I have experienced and accomplished with this company!!!
Dana – thank you for everything you have done for me. I was just a kid from the south side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a big dream. You helped me turn thta dream into a reality. THANK YOU!!!
Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, Reed Harris, Sean Shelby, Dave Sholler, and Burt Watson, you have helped me and impacted my life and career in countless ways. I will be forever thankful. Everyone at the PI, you helped take my game to the next level! Everyone that works behind the scenes, I am so grateful for your tireless work, especially on the road, you have no idea how much you are appreciated. Thank YOU!!!
Last and most importantly the UFC fans … thank you!!! You gave me energy in every fight. I hope I have been able to you that ANYTHING is possible. I am excited about my future in this sport. I promise I am not done.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all,
“Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis”
Pettis completed his promotional contract with a unanimous decision victory over Alex Morono at UFC Fight Night 183 on Dec. 19. The Roufusport standout went 10-9 in the organization, capturing the 155-pound belt with a first-round submission of Benson Henderson at UFC 164. He defended the belt once with a win over Gilbert Melendez before relinquishing the title to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185. Prior to his UFC stint, Pettis was the final lightweight champion of the World Extreme Cagefighting organization.
Pettis’ next destination is unknown, but his younger brother, Sergio Pettis, currently competes in Bellator MMA’s bantamweight division.