“I think fights like what he went through against [Rafael] Dos Anjos force a fighter to be honest with himself. It forces him to find his heart and to be honest. We fighters can lie and say whatever we want, but we know if we gave up. Guys won’t admit it, but they know if they gave up on themselves as some point. A fight like that is a gut check. You either come back twice as strong or you realize you ain’t s*** and that when the going gets tough you kind of bow out. You come to understand that’s type of person you are.
I’m going to be coming at him the same exact way and I always put the people I’m fighting in terrible positions. That’s just something he’s going to have to deal with because there is no way around it. So he can either get comfortable with it, or he’s going to buckle under the pressure. He’s going to have to make that choice some time in his training camp that he can embrace the idea of getting comfortable in a bad situation or he can just quit because we are going to fight in there.
…I heard him say in an interview recently that he wasn’t impressed with my last two fights. That’s ironic because there isn’t a person on Earth who was impressed with his last fight. At least I had a couple people come up to me and say they were impressed with the way I dealt with the adversity of having my orbital broken and was still able to bounce back from that. At least a few people were impressed, but I haven’t heard a single person say they were impressed with Anthony Pettis’ last title defense. He got punched in the face and kind of quit on himself. The way I see this fight shaping up, and knowing what I can do, I think the same thing is going to happen again.”
-Eddie Alvarez questions the heart of his January opponent Anthony Pettis in an interview with Duane Finley for UFC.com.
Penick’s Analysis: Pettis will have something to say about it come January, but it’s clear the decisive loss to dos Anjos has left the former Champ open to nothing but negativity. Alvarez edged out a close fight with Gilbert Melendez that wasn’t the clearest, and lost to Donald Cerrone in his debut, but he has less to prove in this fight than does Pettis. The former Champion has had a couple of setback losses that don’t look good, but he bounced back well from the Clay Guida loss and he’ll try to do the same from the dos Anjos loss against Alvarez. If he fails to be effective in that fight, Alvarez may prove his statements here true.