All things considered, Anthony Pettis barely got to experience a pro MMA career outside the Zuffa umbrella before signing with the Professional Fighters League in 2021. The former WEC & UFC lightweight champion spent just two years fighting on the regional MMA circuit, entirely with the now-defunct Gladiators Cage Fighting promotion, before getting signed to World Extreme Cagefighting back in 2009.
For more than a decade following, Pettis would be a staple of the WEC and UFC, competing at least once a year every year for the (eventually merged) sister promotions—up until his 2020 departure from the world’s largest mixed martial arts organization.
But, if Pettis had quickly risen to stardom and title contention in the past, his landing in the PFL was not so soft. Pettis suffered back to back losses, to Clay Collard and Raush Manfio, in his debut year with his new fighting home—failing to make the playoffs in the process. In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, the long time Roufusport talent talked about the struggles with adapting to PFL’s unique ‘season’ format.
“It’s totally different from anything I’ve ever experienced,” Pettis said. “For my UFC and WEC career, all my other fights, I would have the fight, have a hard training camp and then have as much time off as I needed to recover and have another fight. This format, that’s not the case.
“I fight June 24, and I fight again August 5. That’s like six weeks between fights. You’ve got to take that into consideration. Like I can’t go have a war on June 24 and be 100 percent for Aug. 5. So you’ve got to take care of your body. You’ve got to make sure you’re approaching these fights the smartest way possible as opposed to going out there and have a war and be entertaining. I’m always entertaining, but I’m not forcing the entertainment aspect of it. I’m focused on the win and getting these points.”
‘Showtime’ added that, especially late in his career, he appreciates the ability to “stay busy” with the PFL. There’s the potential that he could compete as much as four times in a single year if he can make it all the way to the playoff finals. But lots of fights can mean lots of travel. To combat that difficulty, this year the 35-year-old has taken the extra step of moving his whole camp out to Las Vegas.
“I think last year with the COVID protocols, we had to leave three weeks before the fight. We were stuck in a bubble for three weeks, in between both fights, it just felt like a lot of time away. I was bouncing back and forth between Milwaukee and Vegas for my training camps back then, and now I’m 100 percent out here in Vegas. I bring my team out here. I feel a lot more comfortable in this format of training now.”
The 2022 season is already off to a better start for Pettis, with a first round submission victory over Myles Price at PFL 3 back on May 6th. Pettis is next scheduled to face fellow Octagon veteran Stevie Ray at PFL 5 on June 24th. A victory there will ensure his entry into the playoff rounds and a chance at PFL’s $1 million tournament prize.
He’s fighting a compatriot of mine tonight.
Imo it’s a better card than tomorrow UFC one
Nah man lol. Arman vs Gamrot is better then anything on that card
Carla and Rose would excel there.
Maximum self preservation in fights
Bellator 282 is overall a better card than the UFC one, but the UFC card has the single best fight of the weekend.
PFL is 3rd.
<better → worse>
Bellator 282 → UFC FN → PFL → BKFC
The UFC has the best single fight with its Main Event this weekend but the PFL does have some quality HW’s fighting which the other cards can’t say themselves.
Bruno and Renan Ferreira both have KO/Finish Ratios over 90%.
Those are probably the 2 scariest fighters of the weekend on all the cards.
Sometimes it is more fun to watch good HW Finishers over WMMA or LW fighters going the distance.
HW is my least favorite division. I think it’s highly overrated.
I don’t disagree finishes are nice, but I also enjoy a highly contested technical fight as well. I suppose the latter is why I find HW overrated.
Yeah it is all preference and I do enjoy watching it all and HW just like LHW right now is highly overrated as you said.
But The HW Champion is THE Champion. The rest are just division belts with all due respect. When HWs are unskilled or sloppy it is not fun to watch. It sucks. But when they are Elite it is the greatest spectacle in combat to me and you get the bonus of knowing you are actually watching the best of the best and not just the best with a caveat.
The UFC, Pride, K1, etc… were all built off Elite HWs fighting it out and it was so exciting. And when it is all about who is the actual best… there were no WMMA fighters or Lighter Weight fighters.
So tell me
U don’t like watching HW’s
But did u find this all HW Main Card UFC 146 (all finishes) card exiting…
Stop watching Invicta u homo
I’m just biased tonight because my friend is Fighting Pettis in the PFL…
Damn straight I’m watching Arman tomorrow
Perfect example Boyd. That was a Fantastic Main Card and the only ALL HW UFC Main Card I can recall in the Modern Era. Anyone that doesn’t like to watch that is watching the wrong sport.
They were Elite, the best UFC had to offer, and they went 5 for 5 in finishes.
Those aren’t the Garbage Sloppy HWs we see all too much now that make people have this idea that HWs aren’t fun to watch. It’s BS.
The Elite HW are the Best of the Best.
Great film and Best of the Best 2 was pretty damn good also
Fuck ya bro.
And Julia Roberts will always be known to me as Eric Robert’s sister lol
I’m most excited about the Wade fight!