Hey guys, new exclusive feature published this morning on Pettis at FOX Sports.
UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (17-2) is known for his high-flying and devastating style of fighting. He's run off four straight wins, and won the world title in his last bout, via first round submission.
However, there were times over the past year and a half where the Milwaukee native wondered if he would ever be the same "Showtime" again. After beating Benson Henderson for the UFC 155 pound title in his home town back in Aug. 2013, Pettis suffered a series of knee injuries that kept him out of training for half a year.
Pettis finally makes his first title defense this Saturday in Las Vegas, in the co-main event of UFC 181 against Gilbert Melendez (22-3), but while he was in the midst of his injury, the 27 year-old says that he doubted himself.
"Yeah, for sure," he tells FOX Sports.
"The week after surgery, you question everything. You go from being an elite athlete, in the best shape of your life to not even being able to walk to the bathroom on your own. It's a totally different mindset, and I had to go through a process of calming down.
"You blame yourself, you blame luck. But what it all comes down to is that injuries happen. Bodies are not made to kick and punch. I had never had knee injuries in my entire life, and then I have two injuries, both knees. It was bad luck."
Once Pettis had sat out for his doctor-prescribed amount of time, he got back into the gym and began to get his confidence back. "The psychological part outweighs the physical difficulty of being injured," he details.