Pettis, who has fought previously at featherweight and lightweight, says the move to welterweight isn’t a one-off opportunity.
“It’s definitely not a one-off,” Pettis said to MMA Junkie. “This is just me trying out that division. I’ve been inactive in my career. This is a point where I want to be active. I don’t want to sit around and wait for the right fight at 155. If a 170 opportunity presents itself, I’ll find out right now if that’s what I want to do.”
The former lightweight champion will enter the bout unranked at welterweight, while Thompson sits at #4 in the UFC Welterweight Division rankings.
Outside of fighting Thompson in Nashville, another thing that Pettis is looking for is more big fight opportunities.
“I want big fights,” Pettis said. “I want (Jose) Aldo. I want everybody that I should have fought a long time ago. I’m not waiting for anything this year. I’m just going out and having fun. I’m getting these wins. Last time I had a great time, but I didn’t get the win. This one here, I’m focused on the win. I need this win, and it needs to be impressive. Against a guy like ‘Wonderboy,’ it’s already impressive.”
UFC Fight Night Nashville takes place on Saturday, March 23 from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee with Stephen Thompson and Anthony Pettis headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on ESPN+.