Former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis fights this Sunday for the first time since losing that title to Rafael dos Anjos in March. On Friday, Pettis said he failed to take dos Anjos seriously into that fight in March, and he paid the price for it.
“My mindset was wrong,” Pettis said at open workouts (via MMAJunkie.com). “I was looking past RDA, and I set up the whole year of 2015 before it even started. I was like, ‘I’m going to fight RDA. I’m going to fight in March, June, July – I’m going to line them all up.’ I lost track of the guy in front of me who was a killer, and the results showed.
“I’m finally back. This is my time. I’m hungry again, I’m motivated, and I just want this more than anybody… My whole career has been chasing titles, the WEC days, the UFC days. I know that once I get [the belt back] things will happen differently. I tried to baby myself, hire all these extra staff members, but why? I like having that pressure on myself and training myself and make sure I’m the one who gets up and busts my but in the morning.”
Pettis faces Eddie Alvarez on Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 81 card from Boston, and he’s expecting to put on a show to get back into a fight for that title.
“Eddie Alvarez is one of them guys who like to take damage, so if he tries to wrestle me, we’ll defend with the wrestling, but I’m looking for the knockout. I don’t want a submission. I don’t want a three-round fight. I don’t want no judges. I want to go out there and dominate this guy and make my case for a title shot”
Penick’s Analysis: Pettis needs a major performance in this fight. He wants that rematch with dos Anjos, and despite how the first fight went there are adjustments to be made for him to be more competitive and to potentially win that fight. He’s shown with his wins over Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez, among others, that he’s among the elite in this field, and a win over Alvarez would be further evidence of that. If he can pull that off, he’ll put himself in a good position for the rest of 2016.
[Photo (c) Joe Camporeale via USA Today Sports]
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