Anthony Pettis will look to collect his second straight win after he was successful in his return to Lightweight in his last outing, defeating Jim Miller at UFC 213 after a brief run at Featherweight (recap). “Showtime” — who came up short against Max Holloway for the interim 145-pound strap in only his second fight in the division — admits losing three straight at Lightweight was a “scary” moment for him after ruling the weight class in 2013.
Still, Pettis always took on all comers, and losing to the cream of the crop is nothing to hang his head low over.
“Everybody I’ve fought has been at the top of the division,” he said in a recent interview with UFC.com. “If you look at my losses, Max Holloway is the champion and everybody else is right there in contention … next in line or was the champion. They’re not giving me weak guys.
“Everybody that fights me comes with their ‘A’ game,” he added. “Nobody shows up to fight Anthony Pettis and they’re barely taking me seriously. Everybody knows this is their chance to go to the next level in their career. You beat me and you’re right there and so I have to be at the other end of that, win these fights and put myself in that position.”
Now that he’s back in the win column, a more mature Pettis says defeating a wily veteran like Miller will give him the boost he needs to keep pushing forward. To hear Pettis tell it, he doesn’t need to “hate” his opponents or try to stir up things prior to the fight to get him going.
“I didn’t need to mug (Jim Miller),” he explained. “I didn’t need to square off and be mean. I didn’t need to have the hate in my heart to fight him – I just knew I was better than the guy, had more skill and I was going to go showcase my skill and that’s how I feel with this fight, too.
“I don’t need to hate Dustin,” he added. “I don’t need to mug him at the weigh-ins, get myself all amped up. I’ve done this too many times. I’ve been to the top of the top of the WEC and the top of the top of the UFC, so for me, it’s about getting better each fight and staying true to who I am.”
With newfound confidence, “Showtime” will look to score a finish over Dustin Poirier when they headline UFC Fight Night 120 this weekend (Sat., Nov. 7, 2017) in Norfolk, Virginia.
“I had a great camp for the Jim camp and this camp, I’m feeling even better than ever and now that I’ve got that win under my belt, I feel like this time I’m going to go out there and look for the finish.”
Anyone expect the Pettis of old to show up in Norfolk?