Anthony Pettis Respects Donald Cerrone's Skills but Not Much Else About Him
The personal animosity between lightweight contenders Anthony Pettis and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone shows no sign of abating, with Pettis telling Fight Hub TV that he respects his upcoming opponent’s skills, but little else about him.
That may be because Cerrone had the temerity to call out the former WEC lightweight champion all the way back in August, shortly before his fight against Melvin Guillard.
In an interview with Lowkick (H/T Bloody Elbow), Cerrone made it clear he’d rather fight “Pettis’ b**** ass” his former training partner Guillard, accusing Pettis of hiding behind his shoulder injury.
At the time, those comments caught Pettis off-guard, considering he’d been ruled out of action for some time. But that fight made perfect sense, soon the two were openly gunning for each other, and UFC matchmakers quickly obliged.
As top-five lightweights, both are gate keepers for each other in their chases for a title shot, but Pettis did not appreciate Cerrone’s tactics in calling him out.
“The way he went about it…If he wants to fight me say you want to fight me, you don’t have to talk s*** about me, y’know?” said Pettis (via Fight Hub TV).
Back in 2011 when the UFC merged the WEC with its own promotion, Pettis, as reigning WEC champion, was considered a sure bet for a unified title fight. He’d won the WEC belt after a stunning performance against Benson Henderson, check-marked with the now-famous Matrix-style kick off the cage.
But while Henderson went on to capture the UFC lightweight championship from Frank Edgar, with three dominant performances behind him, Pettis fell at the first hurdle, losing to Clay Guida in his UFC debut.
When asked by Fight Hub TV about Henderson’s fortunes compared to his, Pettis said the lightweight champion looks a different fighter than the WEC days. He also said, that the Guida loss severely damaged his title aspirations which he’s slowly clawing back.
“I’ve been waiting for the title shot for a long time, but I don’t see that happening,” said Pettis. “Once you’re in the spot, you don’t get chances come around for a long time. I learnt that lesson the hard way. Title shots don’t come up that fast.”
He might not have to wait as long as he thinks.
Henderson is expected to face Nate Diaz in a championship match next week at UFC on Fox 5 in Seattle. After that match, there are no obvious contenders in a heavily stacked division, and, win or lose, Henderson will likely be eager to want to avenge his embarrassing loss to Pettis in 2010.
That puts Pettis one, possibly two matches away from the belt himself. But first, he has to face Cerrone.
Cerrone lost to current contender Diaz last year, and like Pettis has since put together impressive back-to-back wins, with each fighter scoring a head-kick knockout in his last match.
Pettis says his shoulder injury is now completely healed and is expected to face Cowboy at UFC on Fox 6 on January 26, 2013, in Chicago.
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