Anthony Pettis thinks that Logan and Jake Paul deserve praise for their call-out strategy. The former UFC lightweight champion appreciates that the brothers are selective when choosing their opponents.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Anthony Pettis discussed his future career in boxing and the chances of facing Jake Paul in an eventual matchup.
"Yeah, I like it [the Paul brothers approach]. Because I think [that] fighting is the only sport that everybody thinks they can do. You give somebody two beers, and they're like 'oh, I could fight anybody; no, I would do it this way.' I don't think they [the Paul brothers] can do it in mixed martial arts, obviously. There's way too much involved for them to compete in mixed martial arts," said Anthony Pettis. "Boxing [however], two hands, different athletes, the right fights. He [Jake Paul] is winning some fights, you know, but in his last opponent, he fought a guy who has never sparred before. Nate Robinson is a great athlete, a great basketball player, but he looked like he has never taken a punch before. And it's different when you hit somebody, and they expect to get hit, and they can hit you back.
"So, you know, I think they are doing it right. They're selling the tickets; they're making people want to see these fights, but they got to be very selective on who they fight. I know his brother will fight Mayweather next, and I'm like, 'that is crazy.' Mayweather should have easy work with this one. But like, fighting is crazy because anything can happen," said Anthony Pettis. (H/T Sportskeeda for quotes.)
Anthony Pettis: Jake and Logan Paul have been selective about who they fight
When asked if Jake Paul could compete against someone like Anthony Pettis, "Showtime" replied:
"No, I don't think so. I think [that] he is smart and being selective on who he is fighting. I think he's trying to find the right fights. It's too quick of a jump for him to go from a Nate Robinson to an Anthony Pettis, or even Ben Askren, for that matter," said Anthony Pettis. "Ben Askren would do really well against him in boxing. So, you know it's going to be interesting to see what happens next and where they go."
Pettis did not hide the possibility of jumping from MMA to boxing in the future. The former UFC lightweight champion revealed that boxing was one of his passions as a child, but his mother only allowed him to practice Taekwondo.
"Now I'm open to all of that. I'm a fighter. I have been fighting the best [fighters] in the world, and you know I'm open. I'm open to boxing, [I'm open] to everything at this part of my career. I'm going to have fun, and I'm going to do things I have always wanted to do. Boxing has been on my bucket list since I was a kid. I couldn't box because my mom wouldn't allow me to box as a kid," declared Anthony Pettis. "She was like, 'I don't want you to mess your face up, so I want you to do Taekwondo,' and that's where my Taekwondo background came from. But boxing is something I grew up watching my whole life."
Asked about when his boxing ambitions are set to begin, Pettis affirmed that they could happen as soon as he finishes his contract with PFL.
"I have a year season in front of me [with PFL]. So, I think it's going to happen soon. If it is to happen, it has to be relatively soon enough. I think [that] when I get to my first PFL season, and I see how the season works, then I will make my decision from there," pronounced Anthony Pettis.
Why Anthony Pettis thinks PFL will appeal to a broad sports audience
Anthony Pettis believes that the PFL will not only engage with a broader audience but also fighters. Unlike the UFC, the Professional Fighters League follows a seasonal schedule more related to other sports leagues.
Because of its format, athletes have more ease preparing for their fights, and the fans can better understand the system. Pettis believes that the UFC has too many fighters and bouts, making it hard for the fans to follow.
"I think its appeal is that it is easy to follow. I mean, there's a season in place, there's a championship fight at the end of the year, so it's more of a season, like, the average fan understands seasons: Football, basketball, baseball, hockey. I mean, all of them are on seasons. MMA is the only sport that you got to be 100 percent into, or you're going to miss a fight. Because they're [happening] all the time, all over the place, different weight classes, different guys' names - unless you only follow one fighter," said Anthony Pettis. "I had fans that were like 'yo, I didn't even know you were fighting next weekend or next month.' It's so hard to promote that many guys and that many fights, and that many weight classes.
"Whereas the PFL's approach is a season, you know, and for athletes like me. Like, I know when I'm going to fight, I don't have to have these short-notice weight cuts or like last-minute replacements, or something. I don't have to fight in two weeks or one week. I don't have to be ready at all times. I know when my fights are, I know when to cut weight. So, I think it's just a little more of a professional approach to mixed martial arts," finalized Anthony Pettis.
The PFL season will kick off later in the year. 'Showtime' last fight with the UFC happened last December when he defeated Alex Morono via unanimous decision.