This Saturday at UFC 213, former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will make his highly anticipated return to the Octagon when he takes on fellow UFC veteran Jim Miller.
Ahead of the fight, Anthony Pettis knows he’s likely in a must-win situation after going just 1-4 over the course of his last 5 fights, with his most recent loss being a 3rd round TKO to Max Holloway at UFC 206. He spoke to MMAJunkie to explain what he did differently this camp, in order to prepare himself for the fight:
“I HONESTLY WENT AWAY FROM THE WRESTLING,” PETTIS TOLD MMAJUNKIE RADIO AHEAD OF THE PAY-PER-VIEW LIGHTWEIGHT AFFAIR, WHICH OPENS THE MAIN CARD AT LAS VEGAS’ T-MOBILE ARENA. “I JUST WENT AND FOCUSED ON WHAT I WAS GOOD AT: STRIKING. A LOT OF STRIKING THIS CAMP. A LOT OF JIU-JITSU. I THINK THE WRESTLING IS ALWAYS THERE. BUT I’D JUST PUT THAT IN MY HEAD, THAT I HAD TO GET BETTER AT IT, TO GET BETTER AT IT.
“I WAS JUST TOO FOCUSED ON WRESTLING, AND THAT TOOK AWAY FROM ALL THE OTHER PARTS OF MY GAME.”
For Pettis, he hopes to return to the lightweight division, and pick up his first win at 155 pounds since his UFC 181 win over Gilbert Melendez in 2014, which saw Pettis defend his lightweight title for the first time.
The way ‘Showtime’ sees it, the time is now for him to make a mark on the UFC’s lightweight division:
“I THINK WITH (LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMP) CONOR MCGREGOR DOING THE FLOYD MAYWEATHER FIGHT, IT KIND OF THROWS THE DIVISION UP,” PETTIS SAID. “SO THERE’S ROOM FOR GUYS TO CHANGE THAT LANDSCAPE. BUT, AT THIS POINT AROUND, THIS IS MY FIRST FIGHT BACK AT 155. I’VE JUST GOT TO GO MAKE A STATEMENT. (I’VE) GOT TO MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO WATCH ME FIGHT AGAIN.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/6/2017.