Fourteen months ago, Anthony Pettis (Pictured) became an overnight sensation when he posterized Benson Henderson with his “Showtime kick” to capture the WEC lightweight crown. The 25-year-old was slated to parlay the sensational strike into a UFC title fight, but various factors prevented the championship affair from coming to fruition.
The immediate rematch that was arranged between UFC 155-pound king Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard was out of Pettis’ control, but he takes full responsibility for the lopsided unanimous decision loss he posted against Clay Guida in his big league debut.
Pettis has professed last year was the worst of his young career, but he’s looking to bounce back in resounding fashion in 2012. His ascent back towards the top of the totem pole resumes tomorrow against a formidable opponent, and he claims to have a little something special up his sleeve for the shootout.
“A guy like Joe Lauzon, I think I’m going to open up a lot,” Pettis told Sherdog. “First round he’s always dangerous, but in the second and third – even in the Sam Stout fight and a lot of other fights – he kind of gasses and doesn’t come as hard as he did in the first round, so look out for something new this fight.
“No matter how I do it, whether it’s a ‘Showtime kick’ or I’ve got to take this guy and beat him down and beat him up for three rounds, it’s winning fights. That’s what’s going to get me back to title contention and my title shot.”
UFC 144 takes place inside Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.