Written by: J. Johnson
After losing what was once his [the UFC Lightweight Championship], Anthony Pettis has been away from the octagon from some time. Getting himself back into the mindset of re-capturing the UFC Lightweight Championship, but his first step is to face Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 81. Even though some fans thought Pettis would never get back in the octagon this early in the year it seems the former Lightweight Champion takes the nickname “Showtime” to a new level this time around as he’s already looking past defeating Alvarez.
Yesterday during an interview with MMAFighting.com, Pettis was asked how his state of mind and where his focus was at for this Sunday’s fight with the always hard-hitting Ariel Helwani.
Helwani asked Pettis, “…it’s almost like people forgot about you in a weird way.” Pettis wold inclines to agree for the fact that other fighters have come up to make a name for themselves, “…there’re so many fights, many fighters making names for themselves. This Sunday once I make my name again, people are gonna be talking about Pettis.” Some may say that the over-confident fighter is way over his head, but looking at his dominance until he was defeated Dos Anjos, Pettis was definitely proving why he was the relentless champion he speaks about. It does kind of feel weird seeing Pettis walking without the title, but with the dedication and mindset he has; something Conor McGregor has done throughout 2015 Pettis is definitely ready for the fight against Eddie Alvarez. Pettis wants to get a knock over Alvarez this Sunday, but it remains to be seen.
Check out the entire interview here.
UFC: Anthony Pettis/Eddie Alvarez (Preview)
Key Wins: Benson Henderson (UFC 164, WEC 53), Gilbert Melendez (UFC 181), Donald Cerrone (UFC on FOX 6)
Key Losses: Rafael dos Anjos (UFC 185), Clay Guida (TUF 13 Finale)
Keys to Victory: Pettis is perhaps the most dangerous kicker in the sport, capable of finishing with a single accurate kick to the body or head. In addition to his excellent and opportunistic Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Pettis is a highly creative fighter.
Key Wins: Michael Chandler (Bellator 106), Gilbert Melendez (UFC 188), Shinya Aoki (Bellator 66), Pat Curran (Bellator 39)
Key Losses: Donald Cerrone (UFC 178), Michael Chandler (Bellator 58)
Keys to Victory: One of the finest boxers in the sport, Alvarez is quite fluid with his combinations and movement. Though he’s not often forced to rely upon his other skills, Alvarez is also a very talented wrestler and grappler.
This is a spectacular matchup of two men desperate to earn a shot at Octagon gold.
With incredible talent and a unique style, Pettis was on the path to becoming an all-time great and star all at once. Unfortunately for “Showtime,” the oft-overlooked Rafael dos Anjos announced his own greatness by mauling the Tae Kwon Doe fighter.
Luckily, Pettis is still near the top of the division, and a victory here could earn him a title eliminator bout. Before long, he could be in a position to regain all that was lost. However, a second consecutive loss here would be devastating and show that Pettis has serious issues with his game.
This is a similarly vital bout for Alvarez. If he comes up short here, Alvarez has lost two of his three UFC fights. Alvarez has been fighting top contenders, true, but UFC paid top-dollar to lure a fighter away from a rival promotion who could compete for the title. With a loss here, that doesn’t seem likely.
On the other hand, a victory would be huge for Alvarez. On the whole, Pettis has been pretty spectacular inside the Octagon, and defeating him would raise Alvarez’s stock greatly and put him in the position to earn a title shot in the near future.
Source(s): MMAFighting.com & UFC