UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is coming off of a coaching stint on the first all-female season of The Ultimate Fighter, and is currently preparing for a title defense against Gilbert Melendez at UFC 181 on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas. It has been more than a year since Pettis has fought, having been sidelined to deal with various injuries.
Now, on the cusp of his return, he faces the added distraction of his Roufusport teammate Dennis Munson Jr. dying following his competitive kickboxing debut. Not only did his teammate unfortunately pass away, an investigative piece by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has led to lots of finger pointing and accusations by former Roufusport fighters that Pettis’ coaches, who also operated the non-sanctioned event where Munoz died, should shoulder a heavy dose of the blame for the death.
Pettis – who is also a co-owner of Roufusport – just wants to get back to fighting, but in the above interview with the Journal-Sentinel, he defended his coaches, partners, and other officials that have been the targets of a firestorm of criticism.
“It just upsets me that people are taking to the blogs and the websites and attacking the coaching as being a factor in what happened,” said Pettis, a co-owner of the gym. “It wasn’t one person’s fault. It wasn’t (Munson’s) fault. It wasn’t the referee’s fault. It was a combination of a lot of things.”
Check out the video for Pettis’ comments about his fight and the tragedy in full context.