Anthony Pettis doesn’t have an extensive championship run yet, like fellow UFC champs Jon Jones and Jose Aldo, but the lightweight is widely considered to be a very, very special fighter. Of course, anyone who has followed “Showtime” knows that his striking game is at another, jaw dropping level, and he also has a dangerous ground game as well.
But, what most fans don’t get to see is the work Pettis puts in at the gym, and according to his coach, Duke Roufus, it’s a lot. Recently Roufus appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and while discussing Pettis and his work ethic, he compared the lightweight champ to boxing superstar, Floyd Mayweather (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“Knockout,” Roufus said, when asked to make a prediction on his fighter’s bout this Saturday with Rafael dos Anjos. “This is going to be a fight that’s won on the feet. I got to tell you, Anthony, when he ran off that five-fight streak in the WEC and had some amazing performances — a Pettis that’s fighting this often is the most dangerous Pettis you’ll see. You don’t want to let this kid starting fighting too often if you’re the other contenders. He said the other day I could do this four times a year easy. That’s how easy the training camps are for him. Not because he’s lazy, but because he is like the [Floyd] Mayweather of our sport, hard work and dedicated. He’s the guy [that says], ‘hey, let’s do one more round,’ or ‘hey, let’s do another session on Saturday.’ He’s the one asking me to schedule more as opposed to me telling him to schedule more. That’s why he’s going to win.”
Yes, while it seems clear that Pettis is athletically gifted, obviously he’s spent countless hours honing his craft and skills. Case in point, Roufus went on to add that “one day” he saw Pettis spar for 14 rounds straight with “top level boxers”. Crazy.
Of course, by all accounts, dos Anjos is also an extremely hard worker, as you don’t become as well rounded as he is by watching a few fights here and there. While the consensus is that Pettis will retain the lightweight title on Saturday night, it will be interesting to see how dos Anjos approaches the champ. One would think that his best path to victory is on the ground, but others have tried that in recent years and it didn’t work out so well.
UFC 185 will be hosted by the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.