Anthony Pettis will be returning to the Octagon this weekend in what will be the final fight of his current UFC contract. Despite that, Showtime remains confident about putting on a show this Saturday at the UFC Apex when he faces Alex Morono.
While speaking to Sportskeeda during the UFC Vegas 17 virtual media day, Anthony Pettis briefly discussed his goal heading into 2021, the iconic Showtime Kick, and also how working with a sports psychologist has helped him develop.
Anthony Pettis on the iconic Showtime Kick
In the final WEC fight at WEC 53, Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson put on an instant classic. Despite quite the back-and-forth fight between the two, one particular moment that stood out was Anthony Pettis hitting the iconic Showtime Kick off the cage in the fifth round.
On the 10th anniversary of the kick, Anthony Pettis opened up on what it was like when he pulled off an insane stunt inside the cage.
"Can't believe it worked. Honestly, when I do that thing, it was the last round of the last WEC fight and it kind of won me the title. Me and Henderson had a good back and forth battle that whole, if you watch the whole fight. What makes it even more spectacular is how I landed it. You know what the stakes were going into that kick. But yeah, I mean even when I threw the kick, I remember like I jumped off the cage, I remember hitting him with my foot. I did a full 360, I'm like 'Oh sh*t, it worked' and I go and try to finish them off but Ben's a tough dude man. So it was definitely one of them moments of my career that I always look back and be proud of."
Anthony Pettis on training under unusual conditions in the pandemic
Anthony Pettis fought in the first UFC event during the pandemic, UFC 249. The former lightweight champion will also be a part of the final UFC card of 2020 and training under these unusual times has been quite different for Showtime.
The former UFC lightweight champion has noted that he's been doing a lot of training in Las Vegas and not sticking to his usual team training. Anthony Pettis is also working with the Njoukani brothers who are currently under Bellator MMA and ONE Championship.
"Yeah, I haven't done the traditional training camp, like I usually do. I'm not doing the team training like how I usually start my camps. I've done a lot of training out here in Las Vegas for just different styles and different looks with the Njokuani brothers, Anthony and Chidi. Both guys, amazing Muay Thai fighters, great martial artists and for me it was just getting a feel for different body styles. It's crazy because I was supposed to fight Anthony Njokuani in WEC and now he's you know, kind of holding pads and coaching me, these many years later. He's amazing athlete and then Robert Drysdale is somebody that's gonna be in my corner, so I changed up my approach to my Jiu-Jitsu and got some new tools and some new body styles, new ideas and I feel like where I was at mentally, it allowed me to actually absord a lot more from these guys. I wasn't going in there with the mindset of I know everything, it was more like what can they teach me, what can I pull away and what can I add to my game."
Anthony Pettis on working with a sports psychologist
Anthony Pettis recently revealed that he has been working with a sports psychologist. Showtime claimed that not only has this benefited in helping him develop his fighting style but has also been hugely beneficial to him in his personal life. Anthony Pettis said:
"Yeah I was totally against that honestly before this year I was like, 'Yo, I don't need to talk to anybody, I know my head, I know my body, I know what I need'. My fiance actually the one that talked me into like going to actually sit down with this guy and the UFC offers this to all their athletes. I mean any UFC fighters they definitely should be taking advantage of this avenue and he just opened up my eyes to a whole new aspect of not only the fight game but to my life, like how I deal with specific situations. Like just, I guess when your body's like in control and your mind's out of control like you're not even present and like certain reactions like anger, anxiety, fear. Your body is like set in these ways of handling them things and you don't actually sit back and absord like why I do I react this way? Why do I handle it this way?
"So I started this in like February, my first time meeting with him. So it's almost a whole a year with this guy and we started in my personal life, like fixing my personal relationships. How I react with my daughter, with my fiance, my mom, and then we trickle that into my fight career and bringing back that presence to the training room. Like instead of letting my mind drift, like I always train hard, it's not like I wasn't training hard. It was just like, the right style of training to mentally being there. You know, you get a thought in your head and all I said you know, 20 minutes later like 'Oh, sh*t, how did that 20 minutes pass by'. I'm sparring these top level guys, I wasn't like mentally there in these practice rooms and now I have the ability like when I feel a feeling, I can recognize what I'm feeling and then immediately bring myself back to what I'm supposed to be doing at that moment."
Anthony Pettis will be closing out the final prelims card for the UFC in 2020 this weekend.
In what could be his final fight at welterweight before moving to lightweight in 2021, Anthony Pettis will definitely look to make a statement at the UFC Apex.Published 18 Dec 2020, 16:15 IST