Anthony Pettis has finished Benson Henderson, Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon in his last three fights.
Tonight, he’ll look to make Gilbert Melendez his fourth straight stoppage victim in the co-main event of UFC 181.
“Showtime” would become the first fighter in 25 bouts to hand Melendez a loss by either knockout or submission, as each of his previous three have been decision defeats.
“He’s one of the best in the world, but I’m the best,” said Pettis, during a recent interview on UFC Tonight. “I’m aiming for the first round. In the last three fights, I haven’t been out of the first round.”
Pettis is making his first title defense since winning the belt with a submission win over Henderson last year. He was sidelined with an injury and also after being cast as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter opposite Melendez.
While he respects Melendez, Pettis still plans to fight him like an enemy once the cage door closes.
“I’m a fan of mixed martial arts,” he said. “I’ve been watching Gilbert for a long time.
“When you sign the contract, it makes me want to punch him in the face. There wasn’t really any animosity on the show. He’s a professional, but at the end of the day, he’s trying to take my belt.”
We’ll have complete coverage of UFC 181, including results and play-by-play, later this evening.