Anthony Pettis – “No More Mr. Nice Guy, I’m Going to Get My Title Shot”

January 15, 2013
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Anthony Pettis at WEC 48Anthony Pettis had to hear the news like everyone else recently that former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez would get the next crack at Benson Henderson and the UFC lightweight title.

Since defeating Henderson in the final WEC fight to close out 2010, Pettis has been waiting for a shot at the belt, only to have delays, rematches and now other opponents step in the way of him receiving his long awaited crack at the title.

Now just days away from his fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC on Fox 6 in Chicago, Pettis is done waiting around for the title shot to be given to him. He’s ready to take what’s his and it starts with his next fight.

“Me and Duke (Roufus) just had this discussion last night. You hear all the stories and I have friends texting me that Eddie Alvarez is going to get a title shot, or (Gilbert Melendez) is going to get a title shot. I mean, I’m to the point where I’ve just got to prove it,” Pettis told MMAWeekly Radio recently.

“Line them up and I’m going to knock them down until I get that title shot. That’s the ultimate goal, but right now it’s winning fights. I need to focus on this next opponent in front of me and win these fights until they can’t deny me the shot.”

Pettis was supposed to get a shot at the UFC lightweight title when he first got to the promotion after having beat Henderson in the WEC, but when Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard fought to a draw, their rematch pushed him back in line.

The former WEC champion then lost a close decision to Clay Guida before he reeled off two more wins, including a head kick knockout of Joe Lauzon at UFC 144. The stage seemed set for Pettis to then get his crack at the title after Benson Henderson won the belt on that same card, putting the two together for what most thought was an inevitable rematch.

Unfortunately, the UFC decided to give former champion Frankie Edgar an immediate rematch so again Pettis went on the shelf awaiting his chance to fight for the belt.

Now Pettis will face Cerrone at UFC on Fox 6 while Henderson gears up to face Melendez three months from now at UFC on Fox 7, and again the former champion waits on the sidelines for the title shot.

The heart of the problem according to Pettis isn’t that a more worthy contender is getting the shot. He believes the two fighters that have faced the toughest competition over the last couple of years are fighting at UFC on Fox 6.

“If you look at all the guys you mentioned and the competition they’re fighting, me and Cowboy are the guys that have been fighting the hardest competition. I mean, we’re in the UFC with the best of the best; we’re in the trenches,” said Pettis.

“You’ve got the two best guys in the UFC. I feel like me and Cowboy are right at the top, and the winner of this fight should be next in line for a title shot.”

Traditionally, Pettis has let his fighting style speak for itself and he leaves trash talk and demands to other fighters. Now he’s ready to tell the world that it’s his time and the title shot should be his, but he’ll gladly back it up with his performance at UFC on Fox 6.

“No more Mr. Nice Guy. I sat there and tried to play that role, ‘oh the title shot’s going to come I’m going to sit and wait for it.’ I’m taking it this time. I’m going for it. I’m going to take this title shot,” Pettis stated.

“I’m going to get my title shot; I’m going to get the respect I deserve.”

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all of your UFC on Fox 6 news and fight coverage.

  • unbeknownst

    Pettis is good. But like he said, he just sat and waited for a title shot to be given to him.

    I think he has an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. He’s been in the UFC for 2 years and has only fought 3 times going 2-1.

    He thinks that he’s still the WEC LW champ. Sorry buddy, Guida took that from you, and Henderson took it back from Guida and unified it already when he fought Edgar.

    If Pettis can beat Cerrone, he still needs to beat one more guy to earn a title shot. In a perfect world that would be against Alvarez.

    But just don’t sit around six months waiting for the call.

    • Joey

      You are wrong on a few different levels.

      He didnt wait for a title shot to be given to him. He was promised a title shot when WEC got absorbed into the UFC.

      The rematch between Maynard and Edgar occured so he opted to take another fight INSTEAD of waiting around. He was then layed and prayed upon by Clay Guida for three rounds. Not to mention he was much more active from the bottom on that fight anyways.

      Also the WEC championship died once Pettis beat Henderson on their last PPV.

      Then he went and a knocked out the ultra tough Joe Lauzon in the first round.

      Then he took a fight with one of the toughest guys in the LW division in, Donald Cerrone. If he wins, not only is he entitled to the shot that he was promised all along but he will have done more to show he deserves than any other “champion” from another promotion.

      • nunyadamnbusiness

        Good ol lay and pray!! Man humpers need only apply for title shots! Alvarez! What a joke! Aldo would destroy him! Lol…nevermind Bendo!

        • hamm

          I think Aldo would beat Ben too. Not destroy but beat

      • Ron Couden

        Pettis has one quality decision win. Since joining the UFC he has not beaten a Top 10 lightweight. He’s 2-1 in the UFC, and he deserves a shot over a guy that was 13-2 in Strikeforce/Pride? Need I remind you, Melendez has beaten everyone thrown at him including Clay Guida. He also avenged both of his losses. Nobody is proven to be a better fighter than Melendez right now. I personally think Bendo is better, but Melendez deserves this fight way more than Pettis.

        • Joey

          One quality decision win eh?

          Did you forget his headkick knockout win over a very tough Joe Lauzon? That alone is more impressive than any win Gilbert has had over the last 5 years.

          Did you also forget he owns a victory over …..wait for it….THE CHAMPION? and that was only 2 years ago.

          Gilbert Melendez beat Clay Guida in 2006. Clay has gotten much better over recent years. In 2006/2007 Clay also lost to: Yusuke Endo, Din Thomas, Tyson Griffin and Roger Huerta. Not exactly that impressive of a statistic.

          Gilbert has beaten everyone thrown at him, this is true. But when you get thrown Josh Thompson three times (one of which he lost) in 8 fights, that’s hardly an accomplishment when compared to own a victory over the current champion.

          Your reasoning behind why Gilbert deserves the shot is pretty unfounded TBH

          • Milos Rackovic

            Joey has a point over u guys stop arguing any fool knows how **** strikeforce fighters are

          • Ron Couden

            Dude, you need to stop blowing Pettis. Your arguments are all pointless, and every person with MMA knowledge says you are wrong. Melendez earned the fight, Pettis didn’t, and it’s coming to fruition. Gray Maynard deserves a shot more than Pettis.

          • shakejunt

            yep, every single person

          • http://twitter.com/JakeSimmons2000 Jake Simmons

            Yeah come on man…. Get his penis out of your mouth.

          • Tired of the Uninformed

            Melendez hasn’t beaten ANY top 10 LW so what the hell are you talking about? Seriously? Name one.

          • Ron Couden

            Shinya Aoki

          • Joey

            So because I have stated facts on why he deserves the title shot over Melendez, I am “blowing” him?

            Maybe you should sound less ignorant and blind to the fact that the shot Melendez is getting is unwarranted.

            Saying hes making the fight because its a champion vs. champion fight is fine, but it still doesnt mean the chance at the title is more deserved than a guy that just beat the champ two years ago.

        • yossgold

          Really? Well, if you’re taking that route, when exactly was Menlendez’ last quality win? Because Pettis has beaten the current seemingly-unbeatable UFC champ and Joe Lauzon who is DEFINITELY a top 10 UFC lightweight.

          Melendez gets the shot because he’s SF champion and CONSIDERED top 5 p4p lightweight (I use ‘considered’ because I don’t agree with it at all). But come man, look at his record. Where are the quality wins? Josh Thomson (barely scraped an undeserving split decision)? Jorge Masvidal (Lauzon beats him 10 time out of 10)? Shinya Aoki (isn’t even top 20 in the UFC)? Michael Chandler has more quality wins than him (The Eddie Alvarez win is one more quality win than Gilbert has).

          Don’t go there buddy … Melendez has been crushing cans for years and still has to prove his worth. I’m not saying that he’s a dud, I’m just saying that quality wins isn’t the best route to go if you want to favor him over Pettis for the title shot. I’d go with the “Champ vs. Champ”, “The fight the fans want to see” and the “Pettis lost to Guida” defense on this one.

          • Ron Couden

            Like Melendez, Aoki has always been in the Top 10. I do not believe Lauzon has ever been a Top 10 fighter. He losses every other fight, and Guillard is his only impressive win.

      • yossgold

        Once you lose to Guida, all title shot promises go out the window until you earn them back.

        The only reason he was still talked about as a possible shot after the Lauzon KO was because it was beautiful and he has a win over Bendo.

    • http://twitter.com/JakeSimmons2000 Jake Simmons

      I agree for the most part. Alvarez, if resolves his Bellator issue soon, should fight the Corrine/pettis winner for the shot after Melendez. Then everybody’s happy. Except pettis. He thinks he should just get that shot now. And he might, especially if he finishes Cerrone in spectacular fashion, or Melendez gets injured.

  • King_DG

    I don’t think this guy deserves a title shot, first of all he lost to Clay Guida, won a SPLIT decision from Jeremy Stephens and then he knocked out a dude that’s not even a top 10 lightweight. This guy needs to decisively beat cowboy otherwise he needs to win one more after that one to get a title shot.

    • kbroesq

      Anyone who thinks the Stephens fight was a split decision is probably reading it off Wikipedia instead of watching it. That call was a travesty. He lost to Guida in his first UFC fight because Guida shut him down. Arguably, he can apply what he learned to a fight with Henderson, considering Guida (other than maybe Edgar) got about as close as anyone to beating Henderson.

      By far the dumbest thing you said was to criticize what his win over Lauzon means. I’ll be the first to admit that Lauzon has lost a couple of fights to guys he should have beat, but he beat Guillard when Guillard was about to get a title shot, he just beat Varner in one of the best fights of the year, and he lost a close fight to Miller, who is also one of the best. I don’t look at top ten lists, but if Lauzon isn’t on it, then that’s ridiculous.

      Lauzon loses fights because he takes chances for the fans – look how many bonuses the guy has. It sucks to see people not appreciate that and criticize the guy.

      • hmph

        wow, for you to say anyone is dumb is crazy. Do you watch fights? Because varner beat guillard. Miller finishe guillard. lauzon is not top 10. the only reason pettis won against vendor was a flashy kick. pettis lost to guidance. pettis barely beat Stephens. perfidy is overrated and full of himself. cerrone will win. your retarded.

        • Joey

          First off he never called anyone dumb. He called something the person said dumb.

          If he would have called you dumb though that would have been deserved.

          Pettis won to vendor?
          Pettis lost to guidance????
          Perfidy is overrated????????

          What do any of these even mean???

          and then you go on to call him retarded after just saying its crazy for him to call someone dumb, which he never even said.

          The irony in your paragraph is palpable.

          • kbroesq

            Ahh, thank you. I’m also not getting the comment:

            “Do you watch fights? Because varner beat guillard. Miller finishe (apparently this is French for finish) guillard. lauzon is not top 10″

            I don’t even see how this is relevant to anything I said, unless he’s engaging in “MMA Math,” which I could easily turn around on him.

          • http://twitter.com/JakeSimmons2000 Jake Simmons

            I think this thread is finishe

        • datdudechrisISBACK!!!!!!

          whos vendor????

        • kbroesq

          HAHA, what an idiot! I would respond, but your own comment does it all. Thanks. By the way, it’s ‘you’re’, not ‘your.’ Learn to write, dumb ass, and maybe people will take your comments seriously.

          • hmph

            I didn’t realize this was grammar school douche. grow up and understand people type short or incorrectly spelled words to save time. wow what an ass I bet you feel good about yourself seeing as though anyone not being ignorant can make out the reply. its called autocorrect.

        • Ron Couden

          Who hasn’t beat Guillard & Lauzon? They are nothing more than stepping stones before you get in the top 10. Pettis hasn’t done squat in the UFC.

      • King_DG

        hey you got it all wrong, I am a big lauzon fan, the dude comes to fight and puts on a fight of the night performance everytime, but who has he really beat? 1-5 in his last five fights Guillard? Curt Warburton? Gabe Ruediger? whenever he takes a step up in competition, he gets beat. He can’t hang with any of the top 10 lightweights, that is the reason why I believe that win over Lauzon doesn’t warrant a title shot. However I do believe that if he smashes cerrone decisively, then no one can say he doesn’t deserve one.

    • nunyadamnbusiness

      You obviously dont watch mma.

    • uncle

      I agree if he destroy Cerrone then UFC should put
      him against Melendez the winner gets a title shot

    • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

      The guy only has 2 losses. And holds a victory over the current champion. How does he not deserve a shot? Who else really does? Although a win over either Edgar/Miller/Manayrd would have given him a better chance at a title shot.

      • King_DG

        yes that is true he did hold a victory over the current champion a little over 2 years ago, but since then Benson is bigger, stronger and more skilled. I believe Benson will rag doll Pettis to a one sided decision. I’m sure he will get a title shot if he smashes cerrone, but in my opinion, I think the UFC did a good job matching Melendez with Benson as Melendez is the current strikeforce champ and is on a good winning streak.

        • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

          Petis/Melendez makes a solid contender and a nice fight. Who do you think should be next in the mix for a title shot right now? I still feel Miller and Maynard are up there.

  • kbroesq

    Tough break for Pettis, but I think this route will be better for him in the long run. He didn’t wait out the title fight, and he lost to Guida, but I respect that. Now he knows that someone can do that to him, and he’s probably trained much harder for it. He beat Stephens (in one of the worst-called split decisions I’ve ever seen), and then highlight reeled KO’d Lauzon, who has been making top guys look bad.

  • Maddawgmar

    Bottom line, he took a fight that was a no win situation. Kudos for taking the fight, mass respect. But when you got humped for three rounds by Guida, you lost your title shot. Then eeking out a win over Stephens (which I still think Stephens won), and then a KO of Lauzon. This does not entitle you to a shot. Gil has been ranked number 2 LW for a long time, by experts (don’t care fans say). He deserves the shot. Eddie, maybe he should win a fight before, but just to get him to the UFC will get a shot before you. I say winner of Cerrone/Pettis faces Alvarez (if he gets to sign) winner get champ. Whoever it is.

    • http://twitter.com/JakeSimmons2000 Jake Simmons

      I agree, and if Alvarez still has issues, then make the winner fight Maynard for the title shot after Melendez.

  • Bowtie Anthony

    Cerrone win by submission

  • Jason Decipher

    UFC lightweight division has to be the toughest. All these fighters have to keep winning & impressively to be stand out. Talk is cheap & so are records OUTSIDE UFC nuff said

  • George Sperry

    The reason Melendez gets the next shot is because he is completely over-rated and would lose to any of the top 5 LW in the UFC. In order to get the most bang for the buck, Champion vs Champion, they have to give him the fight for his first UFC fight.
    No mystery here.

  • yossgold

    I don’t know what he’s crying about … it’s no one’s fault that he lost to Guida and was injured for almost a year.

    A loss to Guida (especially as one-sided as it was) is enough to send a guy down a few pegs and now he needs to work his way back up. Beat some dudes and you’ll get your shot. Neither Cerrone nor Lauzon were ever #1 or #2 contenders so wins over them don’t catapult you to a title shot.

    Beat Maynard, beat Diaz … then you get your shot.

    Who knows, he might even get it if he puts on a REALLY good show vs. Cerrone, just based on the fact that he was the last dude to beat the champ so there is some interest there but I doubt it, Diaz dominated Cerrone when his hype was peaking and still had to go through Miller.