Anthony Pettis admits he’s had his ups and down in the UFC, but he now feels stronger and more fearless than ever going into his fight with Tony Ferguson.
Pettis’ career downturn started when he lost lightweight belt to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185 back in 2015.
That was followed by two more losses at 155 pounds before he decided to make the drop down to Featherweight.
But after failing to make weight for his the interim title fight against Max Holloway, which he went on to lose, he decided to move back to 155 pounds, where he has since gone 2-1, with his most recent performance a victory over Michael Chiesa.
Pettis feels he’s turned a corner, and admits his problems were more mental than anything else, and that it all started with the Rafael dos Anjos loss.
“RDA was the better man that night. I finally admitted it to myself,” Pettis said on the MMA Show.
“I was on top of the world and then that happens to you. I’ve never even been hit in any of my fights, basically. Then the RDA fight happens and you have to readjust.
“It’s a mental block. You know what happened and want to get past it, but you also know how good you are and it’s a battle in your own head that you had to figure out.”
With his mental block behind him, Pettis feels ready to challenge for greatness again, and feels his victory over Chiesa was just the beginning.
“Now I’m fearless again,” Pettis says. “I’m going to win every sparring match. I’m going to win every session I’m in. I have God-given skills and I need to use them to the best of my ability. I thought my last fight was a great performance, but I still saw some things in my game that can get better.”
Anthony next faces former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson in the co-main event of UFC 229 on October 6, and he’s buzzing about the fight.
“I love it,” Pettis said. “I think he has a great fighting style. He’s one of the guys who comes and brings it. I’m excited to get in there with a guy like that. He’s going to try to finish the fight, and that’s what I’m trying to do the whole time.”