UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis isn’t afraid to admit when something is bothering him. Pettis has fallen under harsh criticism for being ‘injury prone’ and as a result not fighting enough. This wasn’t a huge issue necessarily until Pettis won the lightweight championship from Benson Henderson, now that he’s the champion not only does he have a target on his back in the cage, but he has one out of the cage as well. He explains on The MMA Hour:
“Where I grew up if someone talks any type of mess you handle it a certain way, and that’s what I’m used to,”
“As the champ things are a little different now,” acknowledged Pettis, who is currently shooting the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter out in Las Vegas. “I’m trying to keep my composure and not get into situations.”
“It does get under my skin at times,” Pettis said. “Except when Ben Henderson is the one doing it, because I beat him twice. That’s what was supposed to happen. The UFC’s job is to make challengers, not champions. If the champion is dominant, everybody is watching him because they want to see him lose it at some point. Its interesting how the whole thing works.
“I can’t sit back and chuckle it off,” Pettis continued. “It gets under my skin.”
With a flashy aresnal of kicks off the cage and Capoeira style kicks Pettis fully embodies the “high risk high reward” cliche.
“My fighting style is crazy, but at the same time I’ve been martial arts since I was five years old. I’ve been fighting the same way since I was five,” Pettis said. “The training camps aren’t the issue. I used to think it was the training camps I toned it back in training camps. It was just one kick he threw, an inside kick he was aiming to the shin, I didn’t check it right, it was the right amount of impact, and the right angle .. it’s weird to me. I’m not going to go in and change anything up, if I change anything up maybe I won’t have the right performance.”
“I’m in training camp now, out here in Vegas, sparring, rolling, doing things normal again,” Pettis. “I gave the injury the right amount of time off, and I’m ready to be back in the Octagon. The TUF thing I something I couldn’t say no to. It’s one of those things that, it boosts my star power, I use it as the opportunity to train at other places.”
Anthony Pettis is currently coaching opposite Gilbert Melendez on TUF 20, the two coaches will meet on December 6th when Pettis puts his lightweight championship on the line.