Anthony Pettis opened up about his alcohol problems and revealed that he accepted Tony Ferguson's bout when drunk. The former UFC Lightweight champion explained the fight's circumstances in an interview with ESPN's Ariel Helwani.
On the same night that Khabib Nurmagomedov faced Conor McGregor, another UFC Lightweight bout took place. Anthony Pettis vs. Tony Ferguson was awarded 'Fight of the Night' in a duel that saw one of the most convincing performances from 'El Cucuy.'
Anthony Pettis has now admitted that he accepted the fight with only five weeks' notice because he was drunk.
"Tony Ferguson was a fight that I took on five weeks' notice, and I can say this now freely, I mean, I was in a s*it spot mentally," Anthony Pettis recalled. "It was Sergio's [Pettis] birthday, and we were on vacation somewhere, and I was drunk as hell. They called me, 'Hey, [do] you want to fight Tony Ferguson in five weeks?' I'm like, 'why not? Sign me up.'"
Anthony Pettis, who is currently No. 12 in the UFC Welterweight rankings, said that losing the way he did to Ferguson was fundamental for him to realize how flawed was his decision-making process at the time.
"The world doesn't know that. I had to come back and be like, 'Oh, this is where I made my mistakes. This is where I could have been in a better spot prep, [where] I could have been mentally better,'" Anthony Pettis considered.
The final WEC lightweight champion believes that he has improved his behavior outside the octagon since the fight with Ferguson. Competing in three different weight classes, Pettis still aims to be a UFC champion again.
"Alcohol had a lot to do with that one. And that was freeing for me to see that 'alright, now I got to make better decisions outside of my camps if I want to be the best in the world,'" Anthony Pettis analyzed. "I can't just be in these 'yo-yo' training camps, getting fat and getting skinny, getting fat, getting skinny."
What's next for Anthony Pettis and Tony Ferguson?
Anthony Pettis has lost five of his last ten fights in the UFC. Competing in between three different divisions - featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight, Pettis still has championship ambitions.
In his last appearance against Donald Cerrone earlier this year, Anthony Pettis showed he can still be an annoyance to better positioned fighters. If he is true to his words of improving in his decisions outside of the cage, and if he can produce another convincing performance in his next bout, there are no reasons not to believe that Pettis won't be considered as a serious title contender once more.
"Showtime" Pettis will enter the octagon for the third time in 2020 this Saturday to face Alex Morono in last UFC event of the year.
As for Tony Ferguson, following his weak performance against Charles Oliveira in UFC 256, MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz took the chance to criticize 'El Cucuy' for his past appearances. Ferguson was scheduled to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, Abdelaziz client, in five different opportunities, but the bout never happened.
In a rant at the press ahead of Oliveira's bout, Ferguson accused the media of never backing him on his pursuit for a title shot. Even winning 12 fights in a row wasn't enough for the UFC to line Ferguson up against a champion.
One of Ferguson's biggest wishes was Nurmagomedov. But after losing for the second time in 2020, 'El Cucuy' was confronted with heavy criticism. With many suggesting he should retire.
"You are irrelevant now. You can say whatever you want. Nobody cares. I wish you [a] good retirement," tweeted Abdelaziz. "You are lucky you lost because [Khabib Nurmagomedov would] cripple you. You know it, I know it, and now the whole world knows it."
Will Pettis score a big win over Moreno this Saturday? Let us know in the comments section below!Published 17 Dec 2020, 09:23 IST