While the victory still keeps him around the lightweight title picture, the former WEC lightweight champion is not satisfied with his recent performance.
"I'm happy that I got the victory, but for me it was like a mental loss because I know I can perform much better than that," Pettis told FightersOnly.co.uk.
Pettis, while he is renowned for his dynamic striking ability, did not utilize his wrestling, which he believed was the key factor to beating Stephens. After being controlled and out-wrestled by Guida, "Showtime" said that he realizes the importance of being more well-rounded in mixed martial arts, saying he wants to prove that he has more tools than just his striking to show for.
Obviously, it's a valuable lesson that he will have to learn from and improve on.
"When you go to the UFC, it's not all about 'Showtime' kicking or knocking everybody out. Get people down, hold them down, and you win fights,” he said.
Pettis is now 1-1 inside the Octagon and is likely two fights away before entering title contention.