Anthony Pettis will as soon as once more attempt to reinvent himself in a distinct weight class later this night (Sat., Mar. 23, 2019) at UFC on ESPN+ 6 reside on ESPN+ from inside Bridgestone Enviornment in Nashville, Tennessee, when he squares off with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in a welterweight primary occasion.
The previous UFC light-weight champion has been all around the map over the previous few years. An unfortunate run at 155 kilos compelled “Showtime” to briefly transfer right down to featherweight and problem Max Holloway for the interim title. After that loss to “Blessed,” Pettis moved again as much as light-weight the place he turned in a 2-2 document, dropping to prime contenders Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson.
Now, with Pettis’ again in opposition to the proverbial wall, he’ll attempt to return to his profitable methods at 170 kilos. The 32-year-old fighter has but to step inside the cage as a welterweight, however his weight minimize for UFC Nashville has been night time and day in comparison with his earlier trek right down to 145 kilos.
“At 45, I used to be actually, actually dangerous,” Pettis instructed MMA Combating. “I solely did it for the title. I assumed, if I could possibly be champ in one other division, let’s do it. However that was actually tough on my physique, man. It most likely took me a pair months earlier than I might even like digest my meals proper. After I ate, I simply felt like I used to be in a relentless constipated state. I couldn’t like digest my meals. It simply held every little thing. I used to be simply trying fats, trying chubby. I’m not often a fats dude. I feel that weight minimize simply damage my physique.”
Whereas most individuals would assume that Pettis is best fitted to the light-weight ranks, that’s not essentially the case. Pettis’ head coach, Duke Roufus, is already not a fan of massive weight cuts, so when “Showtime” got here to him with the concept of transferring as much as welterweight the choice was made fairly simply.
“I already know the talent stage is there,” Pettis stated. “I simply gotta get that vitality again to the place it’s speculated to be at. I feel the load minimize has lots to do with it. I instructed Duke I needed to combat at 170, we appeared on the roster. ‘Wonderboy’ made sense. Ranked No. four on the planet. If I’m gonna strive it, I’d as properly do it proper.”
Despite the fact that Pettis has confirmed to be among the best strikers in MMA through the years, he could also be biting off greater than he can chew in opposition to “Wonderboy.” Thompson has not solely fought for a title on the welterweight stage, however he’s used to getting previous larger and stronger foe with misleading pace and vary management.
Luckily for Pettis, he appears like he’s already been uncovered to every little thing Thompson would possibly throw at him.
“I simply really feel like there’s not a lot he can do to me,” Pettis stated. “The aspect kicks, the spherical kicks, I’ve seen that so many occasions. He’s gonna throw straight punches and attempt to get my head to lean again for the normal spherical kick. It’s offspeed, that’s why it throws all these kickboxers off. Nobody throws these sort of kicks in sparring, as a result of it’s kickboxers often sparring with us.”
Pettis revealed that his transfer to welterweight isn’t a everlasting profession change, however one which wanted to occur given the opponent and alternative at hand. That’s the sort of fighter UFC likes to work with and it provides “Showtime” the prospect to regain appreciable momentum heading into 2019.
“I bought prepared for a combat this camp,” Pettis stated. “I didn’t prepare for a weight minimize. The outcomes will present.”
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