Anthony Pettis: I’m Not A Fan of Ben Henderson’s Style


While many may think that UFC lightweight title challenger Anthony Pettis got lucky to slide into a championship bout with Benson Henderson at UFC 164, it is indeed a bout that has been almost three years in the making. Since his defeat of Henderson in late 2010, the line of events transpired has been a bit strange for Pettis.

His title shot was lost when Frankie Edgar became embroiled in a drawn-out rivalry with Gray Maynard throughout all of 2011, but that seems like ages ago now. A loss to Clay Guida also derailed his hype train for a moment, but he has rebounded nicely with some good finishes amidst a slew of nagging injuries. But now all the talk and speculation will come to close, as soon there will be nothing left to do for the two rivals but to fight.

And that’s music to Pettis’ ears, who admitted to MMA Junkie that even he was unsure of whether he would have his coveted title shot:

“I was just in this funk that I couldn’t get out of. I questioned everything. I questioned my career choice, if I’m ever going to be a champion, if I’m supposed to be a champion. It was just like, every time I’m supposed to get a title shot something happens and I don’t get it.”

It has been a strange ride for Pettis, but ultimately all that matters is that he is where he is right now, and he has a chance to climb to the top of the mountain. Henderson, on the other hand, has created a smooth ride throughout his UFC tenure, remaining undefeated by defeating all seven of his foes via decision.

While it’s definitely a winning strategy, many have begun to deride Henderson for his lack of finishes, and at times, excitement. Not surprisingly, the always-flashy Pettis is among those detractors. He believes that Henderson is using the rulebook to eek out wins in all of his close contests:

“I’m not a fan of that style. I wouldn’t even try doing that. That’s just manipulating the rules of the game to keep your title. If you’re truly the best, I mean, look at Anderson Silva. He got knocked out in his last fight, but I think he’s truly the best because he’s finished some top guys, and he does it impressively. He’s not trying to grind it out and stay on top of you to win the rounds. He’s out there fighting fights. That’s what I respect, and that’s who I want to be.”

Some strong words from the title challenger, who has never been one to grind out a boring decision. His opponent, on the other hand, has been involved in many close contests that some feel could have gone either way, yet he somehow keeps winning. On the flipside, Henderson is ridiculously tough to finish, seemingly impervious to being knocked out or submitted.

We can bet that Anthony Pettis will try to do just that on August 31st in his hometown of Milwaukee. Will he be the one to pry the belt from ‘Smooth’s’ iron grip?

Outer Photo: USA Today Sports Images

  • Well I'm not a fan of that cookie duster chin hair VAG' strip you got there, pretty boy.

    • A christian good boy vs PRetty boy who shall win!??

    • lmao Cage, I didnt see that one coming hahaha, how about his earing?

    • im not also a fan of ben henderson, he is just here to win to really giving people a good show, all he do is take down opponents. Very bad for the ppv.

  • When Pettis tried to steal that title shot it was a low blow. After that I lost alot of respect for this guy. There should be a gentlemens agreement in place not to act that way.

    I'll be backing Hendo in this fight 100%

    • A closed mouth doesn't get fed. Really tell me that you want to see T.J. over Pettis
      getting the title shot. I always want to see the most exciting fight not necessarily the next guy in line.

      • Everything you say is correct, my point is the fight was already booked and he was still trying to fuk him

        • Yes, you're absolutely right…. but you know what this is the FIGHT business… you want something you FIGHT for it! If it's within grasp you f*cking take it! As matter of fact, that applies for any other job. If you've been working for a company for a minute and feel like you deserve a promotion but the promotion is promised to one of your co-workers. Wouldn't you make a case for it? cause i sure as f*ck would. I'd be steppin' into my boss office like, listen Motherf*cker… I deserve that promotion! F*ck him!! I'm a better employee than him, I produce better results. If you want to get sh*t done, bet on ME!! As an employer i would respect that sh*t! and so does the UFC. That's why the majority of the fighters do exactly that these days. Chael showed the the blueprint and everyone that cares about making a good living during this small window of opportunity in combat sport, would follow right in his footsteps. F*ck being a gentleman, it's a competitive sport and if we're gonna compete to feed our families, you best believe i'll be the one taking home that meal!

          That's all i have to say about that! Lol…

          • love your response experience…..!

            If you and I ever apply for the same job I'm screwed !

  • All MMA fighters need to remember that wrestling in part of the "mixed" thing in MMA.
    Guida was the first to make him dislike that style.

  • Is this Pettis baiting Bendo to stand with him?

  • I am glad Pettis recognizes Andersons Exceptional talent.

  • I dunno how Benson has so many fans with his non finishing split decision style of fighting. Pettis isn't just a fighter, hes an entertainer and guys like him and Anderson are why I watch.

    • Benson may get decisions but he gets exciting decisions and is a balls to the walls fighter all the time and it's incredible to see him survive so many full in submissions. Frankie gets decisions all the time too but he's exciting too in my opinion. It doesn't matter if you finish all the time just that you put on a show all the time.

      • Yeah, Ben isn't boring. He don't finish fights but the guys not boring. He'll stand & bang if need be.