Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will continue his crusade for another title shot at UFC Fight Night 81, as he takes on ex-Bellator boss Eddie Alvarez in the co-main event. ‘Showtime’ hasn’t really had much to say about ‘The Silent Assassin’ though, and recently re-engaged in beef with his old foe Rafael dos Anjos.
The two traded barbs through hilarious cereal box trolls over social media this past week, and now dos Anjos is once again the target of Pettis’ attention. At a recent fan Q&A session, as quoted by ESPN.com, ‘Showtime’ implied dos Anjos is not clean:
“If the right [Cerrone] shows up and the testing is good, I think [Cerrone] could be champ. I’m never going to be that guy who goes out and says I lost because he’s on this or that, but you look at the fight and you look at how he physically looks, it speaks for itself,” Pettis said. “I’m not trying to go out and say this guy is cheating, but we’ll find out now that we have real testing. We’ll see if this guy makes 155 and how he looks.”
‘RDA’ battered Pettis at UFC 185 and, although he passed the post fight drug test, there was much speculation about the lack of pre fight dope testing. dos Anjos showed up in prime form and destroyed the now ex-champ for five rounds without seeming to tire throughout. Pettis’ hard feelings become even more obvious through his next statement:
“He passed the test in Texas, so right now he’s innocent,” Pettis said. “But hopefully we’ll find out again, especially in his next fight. The new guy [UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky] is on it. He’s looking at where the rumors are.”
Is it sour grapes from losing to the better man in Texas that night, or does ‘Showtime’ make a relevant point here? ‘Cowboy’ recently blasted dos Anjos as a steroid cheat, but to date there is no solid evidence to speak of. Moving to the subject of his next big fights, Pettis says that bouts with Jose Aldo or Conor McGregor are on his mind:
“I was the champ. I’ve proven before that I’m the best at 155 [lightweight],” Pettis said. “I have a small window where I feel like I’m about to hit my prime. I still want those big fights. Honestly, the guys at 155 — I want to fight [dos Anjos] again, but [Cerrone]? I already beat him. The Russian [Nurmagomedov] is working his way up, but he’s not exciting.
“Fighting Aldo or McGregor is exciting. Fans will pay to see that.”
Finally Pettis reveals that he’ll no longer attend pro fighter training a Roufus Sport, instead nominating to undertake the main part of his camps at the new facility opened with his brother Sergio:
“I stopped training with the team,” Pettis said. “It’s not anything personal against those guys, but I’m doing my own thing. I’m building a camp and bringing in select people to spar. I hire them and make sure they’re there for me.
“I’m looking at [Bellator lightweight] Michael Chandler as a training partner. He has fought Alvarez a bunch of times, so I think he brings a good amount to this camp. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it. If I have to drop $7,000 into one sparring partner, but it saves me from losing seven months of my career due to injury where I’m possibly making hundreds of thousands, it’s worth it.”
Will we ever see Anthony Pettis live up to the hype that once surrounded him constantly, or is he destined to be the guy that always got injured?
Certainly the news of switching up camps is very intriguing, and a win against Eddie Alvarez in Boston could certainly set ‘Showtime’ up for some marquee fights.