Anthony Pettis believes more fighters should test free agency: “As fighters, you’re supposed to take care of yourself”

Anthony Pettis, PFL

PFL lightweight star Anthony Pettis believes fighters should be more open to fighting outside the UFC.

‘Showtime’ is set to return to action this Friday against Stevie Ray at PFL 7. The bout is set to be the semifinals of the lightweight tournament. The winner will advance to face the winner of Olivier Aubin-Mercier, and Alex Martinez for one million dollars.

The bout against ‘Braveheart’ is set to be the 35-year-old’s fifth under the PFL umbrella. He signed with the promotion in 2020, after nine years in the UFC. During his time in the promotion, he scored massive wins and earned the lightweight title in 2013.

The decision to walk away from the UFC wasn’t an easy decision for Anthony Pettis. However, testing free agency was the best decision for himself, and he believes others should. Pettis reflected on his UFC departure in an interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani.

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The lightweight star discussed how he believes fighters should look out for themselves more. Pettis also opined that many athletes are addicted to the fame that the UFC brings them. Due to that, many don’t look elsewhere, despite their lackluster pay.

Anthony Pettis, Nate Diaz

“I’ve got fighters that will say no to more money just to get on The Contender Series. You can’t really do anything,” he said. “You’re like, ‘Dude, this is guaranteed money – you can still build yourself and build your career – if that’s what makes sense for your career, then go to that.’ But I think eventually, once the general public stops pushing that on fighters, then we’ll see fighters making different decisions.” (h/t MMAFighting)

Anthony Pettis continued, “…I think the fame that comes with fighting in the UFC, these fighters are addicted to that. They want that more than the guarantee. They’re like, I’m willing to risk not getting paid a certain amount to get the fame that comes with it and the recognition that comes with fighting on a UFC fight card… But as fighters, you’re supposed to take care of yourself. Most guys don’t get to fight as long as I got to fight.”

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