After the dust settled on yesterday’s UFC 164 weigh-ins, Lightweight title challenger Anthony “Showtime” Pettis met up with Fox Sports to discuss the biggest fight of his life, which will take place at BMO Bradley Harris Center in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisc., this evening.
Pettis, who, on the strength of his now-legendary “Showtime Kick,” edged a decision over rival Benson “Smooth” Henderson in the final WEC bout ever fought at 2010’s WEC 53. While that has become his defining moment, at least in the media, Pettis insists that there’s so much more to his skills:
“I’m definitely proud of it. It was one of the moves, that the time I threw it, the last round of a title fight, I mean it was an amazing kick. Definitely won me the fight, and now I get to prove that it’s not all that I’m about. I have so much more skills, I’ve worked on so much more stuff, and I want to showcase that tomorrow night.”
Indeed Pettis has many more weapons in his arsenal, and he’s proved that with his impressive knockouts of Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon. While Henderson has evolved into an undefeated champion, Pettis believes that he has the mental advantage over “Smooth”:
“I know I’m in his head. I mean, he’s watching this just like I’m watching this, he sees the kick I’ve thrown a million times. It wasn’t just the kick either, I think where he likes to stay at a range, I own that range. He doesn’t like to get hit a lot; he doesn’t like to get in them exchanges. His biggest thing is gonna be the takedown, so if I can stop the takedowns, keep my range, I should have this fight.”
Pettis knows that Henderson will be looking to drag this fight to the ground and make it an ugly fight that negates Pettis’ striking expertise. He’ll have the full roaring support of his hometown crowd behind him, which should be a huge help. To combat Henderson’s wrestling, Pettis said he brought in someone to help him:
“One name. Ben Askren.”
Will Pettis’ attitude and preparation lead to a new champion from Milwaukee later on tonight?
Outer Photo: David Banks for USA Today Sports Images