Anthony Pettis has only defended the UFC lightweight title once, but the fighter is already talking about cementing his legacy as a dominant champion, and becoming one of the promotion’s top, pay-view-draws.
Pettis recently spoke to FOX Sports.com about his next bout, which will see him battle Rafael dos Anjos on March 14th at UFC 185. The bout will mark the first time Pettis has fought since he tapped out Gilbert Melendez in December, and the second time since he submitted Benson Henderson in 2013 to become champ. While discussing his accomplishments and aspirations for the future, here is some of what “Showtime” had to say:
“Me getting that belt was the first goal. Now it’s time to set this legacy in place and make sure people remember my name for a long time,” Pettis said. “When you look at the lightweight division, the biggest name that sticks out is B.J. Penn. He’s an icon and he’s been around a long time and he was dominant as the champ.
“I think I’m set up to be the next name in the line. You have Frankie Edgar, you have Ben Henderson, but I think I can be the most dominant champ in this lightweight division.”
While it’s early days right now in the reign of Pettis, many believe he was the skillset to be a dominant champ like he desires. After all, we’re talking about one of the sport’s most talented strikers, who also has an extremely dangerous ground games.
It’s because of this skill set, that Pettis also relayed “I want to be one of the pay-per-view kings in the UFC. I think there’s a path right now set up for someone to come in and take over, and I can be that guy.” Certainly, based off the way Pettis fights, and finishes, one could see him becoming a big, PPV draw if he continues to roll.
First things, first, however, and that’s dos Anjos, who Pettis credited for being a “dangerous” opponent. The champ also noted it’s not going to be a “walk-through fight.” Yes, there’s no doubt that dos Anjos is a ridiculously well rounded and rugged contender. March 14th should be an interesting night.
UFC 185 will be hosted by the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The card will also feature strawweight champ Carla Esparza taking on Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Johny Hendricks versus Matt Brown.