Anthony Pettis vs. Michael Chiesa Targeted for UFC 223

Anthony Pettis UFC 226 Michael Chiesa
Credit: Mike Sloan/

Anthony Pettis will look to get things back on track against Michael Chiesa this April.

Struggling former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will continue his attempt to get things back on track at UFC 223. ESPN was first to report that the UFC is pairing Pettis with fellow lightweight Michael Chiesa at the event, which takes place this April. Pettis and Chiesa have verbally agreed to the bout, according to the ESPN report from Brett Okamoto.

Pettis (20-7) last appeared at UFC Norfolk, where he was submitted in the third round by Dustin Poirier via body triangle in their main event fight. The submission came with a fractured rib for Pettis, who has lost five of his last seven. That stretch started with Rafael dos Anjos capturing a unanimous decision to claim the 155lb title from ‘Showtime.’ Since then, he has dropped bouts to Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza, Max Holloway (in an ill-fated experiment at featherweight), and Poirier. Charles Oliveira and Jim Miller represent the two wins in that stretch.

Michael Chiesa (14-3) was last seen being submitted in controversial fashion by Kevin Lee at UFC Fight Night 112. Prior to that, Chiesa had been on a three fight win streak, with victories over Mitch Clarke, Jim Miller, and Beneil Dariush. Overall, Chiesa is 7-3 in his UFC career to date.

UFC 223 takes place April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson faces undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event, though the status of the title on the line remains unclear. Dana White trumpeted that the winner of the bout would be the UFC lightweight champion, omitting the word “interim” at the UFC 25th Anniversary Press Conference earlier this month. However, the promotion has yet to confirm that current undisputed lightweight champion Conor McGregor will be stripped of his title.

In the UFC 223 co-main event, Rose Namajunas puts her strawweight title on the line in an immediate rematch against former champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk.