It seems like many moons ago that Anthony Pettis unleashed the front kick heard ‘round the world to capture the WEC title. Although his six-month hiatus has been no fault of his own, much has changed within MMA’s 155-pound landscape since becoming the “UFC lightweight top contender.”
In a perfect world, Pettis would have rode the massive wave of hoopla he established with his highlight reel strike by immediately unifying the lightweight crown against the victor of the New Year’s Day scrap between UFC champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.
Unfortunately for “Showtime,” things quickly became slow time as Edgar vs. Maynard III was instantly served up following their highly controversial draw at UFC 125. Then, both fighters suffered injuries just weeks before the curtain was drawn on UFC 130 and their trilogy was pushed back.
Despite all the uncontrollable setbacks leading up to his UFC debut, Pettis believes his stock is just as hot now as it was last December when he laid out Ben Henderson and permanently closed the lights on the WEC.
“No, I feel right on point,” Pettis told 5thRound when asked if his sabbatical negatively affected his career. “I did want to take some time off, I fought five times last year. I told everybody I wanted to take a couple months off to let my body get back to regular.
“That gave me time to get better everywhere, I think I’m a better fighter than I’ve ever been and it’s gonna show in the cage on Saturday.”
The UFC certainly didn’t do the 24-year-old any favors in his big league debut. Pettis goes up against a relentless Clay Guida at “The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale,” a grind-it-out kind of wrestler that could easily spell out a unanimous decision loss for one of the world’s most dynamic assassins.
Pettis has far more exciting plans in store.
“I’ve never been finished in the Octagon at all,” Pettis matter-of-factly told us. “Honestly, I’m gonna do everything in my power so that [a decision loss] never happens. I’ve lost one decision once in my career and I’ll never let it happen again.
“I will be in the cage before I know it. I’m so excited, I just can’t wait to fight.”
‘TUF 13 Finale’ takes place this Saturday inside the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lights, camera, action!