Anthony Pettis immediately became one of the most recognizable names on the entire list the day he signed with PFL.
As a former UFC lightweight champion who has spearheaded pay-per-view and televised events over the past decade, he has the same name as the fight fans. Pettis has drawn attention every time he fought and knows that this will remain the case as he competes for a different promotion for the first time since the UFC absorbed the WEC in 2010.
While some fighters stay out of the spotlight, Pettis has always embraced this, and he has no problem trusting him to serve as one of the facets of the PFL.
“I love him. My nickname ‘Showtime’ is for a reason, Pettis told MMA Fighting.” When the lights are on, I get into character. Putting all this pressure on myself, I withdraw from it. Let my coaches discover all these guys because you go there and this one. If I try to find 10 people at a time, I’ll go crazy at night.
“That’s why I got the first name [Clay Collard]I know who I was fighting first. We can start preparing for this kind of pairing but I’m going to have fun with it. I will do so too. I fought big names in this part of my career. I have been at the main events. I’ve been in big cards. So I feel there is nothing new for me. “
As easy as Pettis trying to survive his past fame, the 34-year-old veteran doesn’t try to put his reputation on anyone’s head in PFL.
In fact, Pettis knows that since he has a certain name value coming to the organization, all the other lightweight will shoot to blow his head so they can add a former UFC champion to their resume.
That’s why Pettis doesn’t spend much time talking about his biggest wins or even his most recent performances because none of this will help him get a win in his first match in PFL on Friday night.
“You are as good as your last fight in this sport,” Pettis said. “Everything I’ve done in the past doesn’t matter right now. I’m getting into this new tournament style setup, so it’s fun for me to come from this angle, but I also have something to prove and get out there and get those big wins and fun, fun knockouts.
But I will not put pressure on myself. That’s how I fight anyway. I am having fun, flowing in the gym. “
In his first fight to kick off the PFL season, Pettis will face off against former UFC veteran Clay Collard, who will return to the cage after spending the last few years focusing on boxing, which he gathered particularly impressively. record.
The match will pitted the two best strikers in the PFL lightweight division, and while Pettis is more than happy to show off his grappling chops, he’s excited for the prospect of testing Collard on his feet.
“I think this is a great match for me,” Pettis said. “Frankly, I like the speed of standing up and I’m a shooter, he’s a boxer, so I think it will be a good fight. I’m excited to see what it feels like to be in a different octagon – in a different cage, I’m used to calling it an octagon.
“Frankly, I think it’s going to be a fun fight. When you have a man with such hands, you know what he wants to do. You know my style, I like to stay up. It makes a fun match for the first round.”
After rolling out 2020 due to the global pandemic, the PFL is aiming to gain momentum, starting with the card on April 23, and making the first card to the headlines with Pettis seemed like an easy decision.
While Pettis does not get lost in the attention given to him, as he begins the second phase of his career, he is ready to put the promotion on his back and everything he needs to burden on his shoulder.
“I love him. I think I’m a great guy for that,” Pettis said. My fighting style is so fun. I’ll get out of there and get the best out of this fight, and it feels like the old days, when nobody really knew about fights and WEC days when nobody really knew about fights. a certain feeling. I feel this way, I can’t say it’s a similar process, but it reminds me of that. “