Anthony Pettis is one of the most talented and electrifying fighters in the sport today.
Pettis (13-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is widely known for “The Showtime Kick” which helped him capture the WEC lightweight championship and made him a household name.
While his UFC debut didn’t go quite as planned, as he dropped a decision to Clay Guida, Pettis returns to action opposite Jeremy Stephens (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) at UFC 136, and he’s coming to put his name back in title contention.
“I’m extremely excited,” Pettis recently told Bleacher Report. “My last outing in the UFC wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I got to kinda go in there and just reinvent my name. I want to get in there and remind people that I am a number one contender. I’m going to be champion, it’s only a matter of time.”
Pettis will attempt to regain the momentum he owned heading into his organizational debut when he faces Stephens on Spike TV.
The Roufusport trained lightweight intends to duplicate the success he had following his first career loss in the WEC and he plans on avoiding the judges at all costs.
“Yeah, the first loss it was only second fight in the WEC, so I wasn’t Anthony Pettis, I was just a young kid trying to make it in the MMA world,” Pettis said. “So, for me that first fight I knew I had to prove myself and prove to myself and everybody that I’m a talented fighter and that I’m going to be here for a long time. So, after that first loss it was just getting back to the drawing board and getting ready for what’s coming next.
“Both of my losses are decisions, I hate losing that way so it’s just one of things I gotta get myself winning these fights and not letting them go to the judges. Not saying I didn’t lose the fights, it sucks to lose in a decision manner, I’d rather get knocked out or submitted and know I lost than go to the judges. So, for me it’s one of those things I have to get better at and finish fights. No more letting it go to the judges.”
While no fighter enjoys losing, the loss provided Pettis with the opportunity to return to training without a mass amount of attention following his every move.
In preparation for the heavy handed Stephens, Pettis focused on improving his overall skillset under the tutelage of head coach Duke Roufus and jiu-jitsu world champion Jo Z at his home gym of Roufusport in Wisconsin.
“I’ve been getting better everywhere,” Pettis said. “I mean like a lot of people said I didn’t have any takedown defense at the Guida fight, but like I said it was just a wrong game plan for me, I was going in there to knock the guy out when I should’ve picked him apart and do what I do best and I got taken down a lot.
“So, I didn’t go back and say ‘Oh my God, I gotta work on my takedown defense.’ I have good takedown defense, I have decent wrestling, I can definitely be better, I can be better everywhere. So, I just focused on getting better everywhere, everyday and I got better guys challenging me now in the gym and teammates that are pushing me.”
That being said, Pettis has taken the necessary steps to ensure that he claims victory on October 8 and he plans on displaying the hard work he’s put in during training.
“I got great coaches,” Pettis said. “I got a black belt from Brazil Jo Z, he’s a world champion in the Brown and Black belt division. Just the background I came from, I learn very fast and I started as a standup fighter but like you said I got more submissions than knockouts.
“This fight coming in, I’m just looking to finish the fight wherever it goes. It doesn’t matter if he wants to stand and try to trade with me or if he takes me down. I’m just looking to finish fights, no more just letting it go to the judges or me getting complacent in there.”