Judging by the betting lines, and all the talk about Khabib Nurmagomedov, the majority of people believe Anthony Pettis will remain lightweight champion after UFC 185 is done. But, despite the fact “Showtime” is the favorite heading into his March 14th scrap with Rafael dos Anjos, it’s clear the champion isn’t looking past the challenger.
Pettis recently spoke to FOX Sports about the upcoming fight, and here is some of what he had to say about dos Anjos:
“He’s definitely dangerous. Anybody who can go in there and knock out Ben Henderson is definitely a dangerous lightweight,” Pettis said. “I think Ben Henderson’s one of the best lightweights in the world, so for him to do what he did to Ben Henderson was impressive.”
The champion went on to add that the headliner won’t be a “walk-through fight by any means”, and you can understand why Pettis is saying that. Not only did dos Anjos stopped Henderson, as Pettis mentioned, but the only man to defeat him since 2011 is the aforementioned Nurmagomedov. In addition, during his title shot run, the well rounded fighter has defeated Donald Cerrone and most recently, he cruised through Nate Diaz.
Of course, that said, everything is firing right now for Pettis. Although he was sidelined for a significant chunk of time due to injuries, the champion has won five straight, and continues to establish himself as one of the best, pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. Thus, this is why, he, and many others, believe Pettis could be the champ for a while. While discussing his aspirations for 2015 and beyond, Pettis offered this interesting comment:
“I want to be one of the pay-per-view kings in the UFC,” Pettis said. “I think there’s a path right now set up for someone to come in and take over, and I can be that guy. I have the fighting style and people like seeing me fight. I don’t plan on changing that. I just need to keep doing what I do and everything will happen.”
Yup. There’s no doubt fans like to watch a champ who finishes fights, and does so in highlight reel fashion.
UFC 185 will be hosted by the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.