Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is set to debut in the welterweight division tomorrow night, as he’s scheduled to battle Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the main event of UFC Nashville on ESPN+.
If Pettis can spring the upset on Wonderboy, it will open the door to dozens of exciting matchups in the stacked UFC welterweight division. One matchup that seems to be off the table for Pettis, however, is a pairing with fellow Roufusport talent Ben Askren.
Pettis says he’ll save himself the embarrassment of fighting the undefeated wrestling specialist. He’s done plenty of rounds with Askren in the gym, and knows just how tough he is.
“I would never fight Ben Askren, I’d save myself the embarrassment,” Pettis said (via MMA Junkie). “That dude is a (expletive) monster. (He’s) the type of guy that, you can never count him out.
“I spinning-back kicked him one time, right in the chin, I could tell he was hurt, he double legs me, gets on top, and just starts grinding me out. He’s one of them tough, deep-down guys. He’s really good.”
For Anthony Pettis, tomorrow night’s UFC Nashville scrap with the former welterweight title challenger Wonderboy marks the opportunity for a fresh start in a new division.
In his last fight, which occurred in the lightweight division, he was defeated by Tony Ferguson — although he gave the streaking lightweight contender a better fight than any of his other recent opponents.
While Pettis weighed in at 171 pounds this morning, he’s fought as light as the featherweight division in the past. Who do you want to see him fight if he gets by Wonderboy this weekend?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/22/2019.