Anthony Pettis is returning to the division he once reigned over.
The former UFC lightweight champion will take on Diego Ferreira on Jan. 18, ESPN confirmed with sources Monday night. The bout was first reported by MMA Junkie.
Pettis vs. Ferreira will be contested at lightweight (155 pounds). Pettis had moved up to welterweight (170) for his two bouts in 2019. The UFC's Jan. 18 card could be billed as UFC 246 in Las Vegas, though that is contingent on the return of Conor McGregor as the headliner of that event.
Pettis (22-9) fell to Nate Diaz in his last bout, a unanimous decision defeat at UFC 241 in August. The Milwaukee native won his return to welterweight by beating Stephen Thompson by second-round knockout at UFC Nashville in March. Pettis, 32, held the UFC title from 2013 to 2015. He has gone 5-6 since his title reign, though against top competition.
Ferreira (16-2) has won five straight and has rounded into form at Fortis MMA in Dallas. The Brazilian fighter defeated Mairbek Taisumov at UFC 242 in September to earn this opportunity against Pettis, the biggest name he has fought up until this point. Ferreira, 34, sports a 7-2 record in five years with the UFC.
Also on the Jan. 18 card, top prospect Maycee Barber, Pettis' teammate, will take on veteran Roxanne Modafferi in a women's flyweight bout, and up-and-coming lightweight Nasrat Haqparast meets Drew Dober.