Since winning the UFC lightweight championship in August, Anthony Pettis has strapped a bulls-eye on his back.
From far and wide the potential suitors have come out the woodwork to take on the fighter aptly nicknamed “Showtime.”
Josh Thomson (20-5) will get first crack at Pettis (17-2) on Dec. 14 at UFC on FOX 9 in Sacramento, Cali.
Pettis was a guest on the BJPENN.COM radio show and talked about Thomson, his confidence and much more. Listen to the complete interview HERE:
On Taking the fight with Josh Thomson so fast.
“I wanted to stay busy. My body is feeling good. I felt like that I am ready to go. My biggest thing is staying active.”
Brawling like Melendez vs. Sanchez
“That’s not my fight. You’ll never see Anthony Pettis in a fight like that. I’m too intelligent, too skilled, and too versatile to be standing with someone toe-to-toe. It was pretty entertaining, though, and the fans love it … it’s just not really my style. Melendez is a great fighter and I’m sure we’re going to fight in the future. It was a very entertaining fight with Diego and Melendez but like I said, it’s not my style. You’re never going to see me in a match like that. Too much skill and talent to be caught up in a brawling match … I’m not saying I won’t get into an exchange, that’s just not my style to get hit like that. If you watch my fights, I’ve gotten hit once or twice out of my whole career. It’s not that I can’t take it, it’s just that I don’t need to get hit. Why get hit in the face when I can hit you before you hit me? I’m not afraid to get into an exchange but I have an intelligent fight style and I think Josh is going to have a problem with it and anybody in the 155, 145 is going to have a problem with my fight style.”
On Melendez declaring himself the ‘uncrowned champ’
“I can’t wait to get through Josh Thomson and fight Gilbert Melendez. The fans know what’s up. The real fans that saw his fight with Henderson and saw my fight with Henderson, they know who the champ is. It took me four minutes to finish him and he couldn’t finish him in 25 (minutes).”
Aldo going after Pettis
“I love it. I have people talking and it’s a good thing. You have all of these potentially great fights and my name is a part of all of them. When I’m doing my job right, the fans want to see me fight. Jose Aldo is a great fighter. I’ve never had any beef with Jose Aldo it’s just that he is one of the best in the world and I’m one of the best in the world and let’s find who the best is.”
Where His Confidence Comes From
“Everything I’ve done in my life and the things that I’ve been through, the amount of time that I spend in the gym, the sacrifices I make to be where I’m at, I better be confident. I better be thinking that I’m the best in the world or why am I even doing this job. I can do other jobs and make decent money without sacrificing my body.”
Backing it up
“I’m not a big talker. I don’t talk much about my opponents. I respect every It takes a certain type of person to be a professional MMA fighter and not only a professional but at the highest level. Some people can mistake my confidence for cockiness but they walk hand in hand. For me, I perform. That’s what I like to do. I like to go out there and show that I’m better than these guys and prove that I’m better than these guys because I dream it every night. I go to sleep dreaming this. This is all I ever wanted to be, a UFC champ and I don’t plan on letting that thing go anytime soon.”
“I’m actually very proud of my brother making it to the UFC. It’s something we’ve been training for ever since we started this thing, he was like 13 then and now he’s 20-years-old and making his UFC debut next month, the 20th anniversary show. It’s kinda ironic that the UFC has been around for 20 years, he just turned 20 last month. It’s an amazing feeling. I’m very proud … I think it’s a little bit of everything. Me and Sergio grew up in a rough neighborhood but we had a strong mom. She put us in Tae Kwon Do. She was a single parent paying for Tae Kwon Do lessons and paying for us to go to private schools. She sacrificed a lot for us to be where we’re at … There are a lot of things involved in making Sergio and Anthony Pettis.”
First title defense
“The most dangerous thing about Josh right now is that he doesn’t have a lot of buzz around his name. When you’re fighting somebody with a lot of buzz, say you get a Jose Aldo, everyone is going to be saying that this is going to be an amazing fight. With this fight, everyone thinks it’s going to be an amazing fight but I’m not getting the effect of people saying you have a tough fight coming up. Most people are saying that ‘you aren’t going to have any problem with Josh Thomson. You’re going to walk right through him.’ I hate that. I hate it when people tell me that stuff because I don’t even think that way. It’s going to be the toughest fight of my life. It’s my first title defense and I better have a better performance than winning the title. There’s a lot of pressure on my end to have a good performance and a guy like Josh Thomson , he’s great everywhere; a great striker, great on the ground, a good wrestling, he doesn’t really have any holes in his game. He’s coming off a knockout of Nate Diaz so he has some confidence coming into the fight also. He’s 35-years-old, it’s his last chance at a title shot, he’s coming with everything he has and I better be ready for it.”
Grind it like Guida?
“He didn’t beat me up, he didn’t submit me, he didn’t knock me out. He laid on top of me for 15 minutes. If that’s what they plan on doing, they better be ready to avoid submissions, avoid getting knocked out. Clay Guida definitely woke me up and let me realize that I have to add some more elements to my game. Being athletic and being big and dangerous just isn’t enough. You have to be intelligent out there. You have to understand the point system, you have to understand everything.”