At UFC 229, everyone is focusing on the main event. Current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will be taking on former two-division champion Conor McGregor. The fight is talked about as the biggest in UFC history, and rightfully so.
However, the co-main event between Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis has a storyline of its own. Ferguson is the former interim lightweight champion who was supposed to take on Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, before withdrawing due to injury. While Pettis is the former UFC lightweight champion.
At UFC 229, many think this will be Pettis’ hard test yet as he takes on Ferguson, who is riding a 10-fight winning streak and has won 16 of his last 17. However, even with the stats backing him up and a record of 23-3, Pettis doesn’t seem too impressed by Ferguson.
“Who has he fought? Who did he win the belt against?” Pettis told reporters in a UFC 229 media scrum. “Even Khabib, who did he win the belt against? So we’re in a weird spot. Look at the last 10 fights. There’s some great wins, but again, he hasn’t fought the best in the division yet.”
Pettis is ready to take on Ferguson in just a few days and finally show Ferguson what fighting a true top contender is like. The fight is an important one as the winner of the fight could be next-in-line for the title shot, but the way the lightweight division is, no one truly knows.
“Who knows man,” Pettis added. “It’s not about the rankings anymore, it’s about popularity. If I go out there and land the Showtime Kick, I’m getting the title shot. It all depends on who the fans want to see fight.”
However, even with the fight being so important, the former champion doesn’t seem too worried about trying to take the fight to the ground. On the ground, Pettis has shown the ability to submit people, but against Ferguson, he has just one goal.
“I’m going to go out there to fight this guy,” Pettis added. “I’m not going to defend takedowns, I’m not going to try holding him against the cage, I’m not going to try fighting off my back. I’m going to fight this guy and knock him out wherever we go.
“You guys know me, man. I come to fight and he comes to fight. It’s a great recipe for a great fight.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/3/2018