Anthony “Showtime” Pettis Talks About Upcoming UFC Fight and More
Just a few days after the fight was officially announced for UFConFOX 6, I had the opportunity to sit down with UFC lightweight fighter Anthony “Showtime” Pettis and talk about his upcoming bout with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone as well his recovery and return to the octagon on January 26th in Chicago.
Interview by Matt Homeyer
After a lengthy lay off with your shoulder surgery, you then got a staph infection which prolonged the layoff, how are you feeling now? Any concerns heading into this camp?
I’m feeling a lot better actually I was back training for a couple weeks before I got the staph infection. It’s just one of those things that happens so you can’t control that, I stay as clean as possible but I’m always in the gym. Coming into this camp, I’m coming in with a clear mind and an understanding that in all my fights I had something wrong. This is just one of those things where you have to move forward and keep going on.
What was it like having all that time off after pretty much having no time off since you first began your fighting career? What did you do with that time off?
It was awesome, I have a daughter, I got to spend a lot of time with my daughter and my family. From 20 to 25 years old I never really had any time off; I was always working, always training, always in the gym. After the shoulder surgery I got some time off and got to be a normal person for a little bit.
On January 26th you will face Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX in Chicago; do you think that ring rust could be a factor in your return? And are you worried at all about jumping right back into the lightweight title contender mix in your return fight especially with a dangerous striker like Cerrone?
For me I’m there to be the best and compete with the best and Cerrone is the next guy in line to prove that. He’s been talking a lot and there is no one else I want to fight except for Cerrone right now. Coming off my surgery, I mean I’m always still training, I’m in watching videos, and I’m in the gym watching I’m always still training so I don’t think it will be a big factor. It all depends what attitude I come into the octagon with, I plan on coming in ready to go.
Cerrone has said that you were always dodging him, is there any truth to this or was Cerrone simply trying to talk himself into a fight with you to gain a shot towards title contention?
Yeah, I think Cerrone was just trying to talk himself into a fight with me. I never dodged him, his name never even came up for an official fight ever. I was calling out Nate Diaz, the guy that whooped his ass, so why would I dodge Cerrone? So no, that never happened. I think he was just trying to get his name in the mix for a title shot and he got it.
Is there anyone special that you plan on bringing into camp to help you ready for Cerrone?
I don’t know yet who I am going to bring in for sparring partners, Daniel Moraes for my jiu-jitsu he’s a guy that I been working with for a while. I already got some great strikers at Duke’s; there is no lack of strikers there. Definitely going to bring in some different sparring partners to get some different looks but Ill let Duke decide who he thinks is the right guy.
With the fight being in Chicago, so close to Milwaukee, do you feel like you have any kind of home field advantage or anything? And what does it mean getting to fight without having the usual long travel?
It’s awesome to have the fight in Chicago; I haven’t had a fight close to Milwaukee in three or four years. I think I’ll have a great turn out, a lot of fans a lot of support but there is no home field advantage in MMA. It doesn’t matter where you fight, a fight is a fight you have to get in the octagon and they close the doors it’s just you and him in there. It doesn’t many how many fans you have there or friends in the audience I don’t think you have any advantage in there but I’m excited to fight close to Milwaukee.
Stylistically, how do you feel about your fight with Cerrone and how do you think this fight will go?
It’s going to be a stand up fight hopefully he doesn’t come in with a Greg Jackson game plan to try and take me down and have a boring fight. It’s should be a stand up war; everyone is expecting that, I’m expecting that. He’s a good striker, I think he has a lot of great skills striking but I’m also a great striker. You put two great strikers in the cage and it should be fireworks.
After seeing how badly Diaz was able to pick apart Cerrone with his boxing, and how effective it was, do you think that you might come into this fight with a similar game plan?
No, I mean we’ll definitely look at the tape and see what Diaz did right and what Cerrone did wrong but everyone has their own style. I’m not going to change my style just for Cerrone, I’m going to fight the same style I fight every fight and know I can just adjust and make it work.
With all the trash talking that Cerrone has done in the press about you, and the fight finally signed is there anything that you would like to say now to Cerrone?
I already did say it, just be ready. I’m not going to talk trash. I don’t need to talk trash to get my name in title contention, I’m already there so I just have to let my skills show that I’m ready to be the best and fight the best. For Cerrone, he’s next in line and been talking all that trash, it’s not going to help him out when it comes down to the fight.
Recently you became part owner of your long time gym Roufusport, Can you tell us how this came about and what made you decide to invest into the gym? Also do you and Duke Roufus have any big plans for the future of the gym?
Yeah Roufusport is what made me, I’m there all the time most the time I’m there training. I got a lot of up and coming fighters that look up to me and want to be where I’m at and I was in their position so I know how it feels. To me it’s something that ii want to pursue when I’m done fighting, a coaching career, and right now that what I have been living so it makes sense to me to be a part of that. Duke looks at me like a son so maybe he’ll pass it down to me so it just makes sense for everybody right now.
Who, in your opinion, is most likely the next Roufusport fighter that we will see in the UFC?
There’s a guy Rick “Gladiator” Glenn, he lives in the gym. He’s fighting right now in Canada for a promotion up there. He lives in the gym, he wants it bad, he’s twenty one twenty two years old he’s already married, he doesn’t go out, he doesn’t drink, and he is dedicated to make it. He actually and guys like that are actually my motivation. You tend to lose focus and where you come from. You want to fight and make some money and then once you do you need to find something new to make you have that passion again. Seeing these guys trying to get to that next stage is what feeds me. Rick Glenn is probably one of the next guys that we will see in the UFC quick.
What Combat Corner products are you currently using in the gym? Why? And would you suggest this product to others in the MMA community?
I use a lot of Combat Corner stuff, from their hand wraps to their shorts to their t-shirts, their jersey, definitely their gloves, their shin guards I use it all. I train so much I have to have a couple pairs of stuff, combat corner gear is high quality very good training stuff that I been using since I started. They have given me a lot of support since day one.
You are about to start a new venture in a TV show called WIMMA Today(Wisconsin MMA) , how did you get involved with this project, what it is, and who else is involved?
It came along with Duke, Wisconsin MMA today is a TV show that will have highlights of the amateur circuit of mixed martial arts. There is such a huge market of amateurs that bust their ass and fight for free. We decided it’s probably a good time to highlight these guys let them shine and show the up and coming talent and also to let people know that Wisconsin MMA is big. The title name makes perfect sense. Scott Joffe is involved, Duke Roufus and a couple of other guys that are also involved.
When does it air and on what network?
It airs Saturday nights at 10:30 pm and will air on channel My24.
I also understand that there will also be a YouTube channel that people will be to tune into and find episodes correct?
Yeah, Wisconsin MMA Today, you will be able to watch full episodes of the show.
You are also currently trying to become the next UFC fighter who is the face of MetroPCS , how can fans go vote for you?
Yeah, it’s a big deal its between me, Faber, Condit, and Stann, fans can go right to the website ufcteammetro.com. You can go right there and vote just click on my picture and I think you can vote five times a day so hopefully people will go vote for me.