We expected Conor McGregor to climb up to 155 and aside from Rafael dos Anjos, another fighter could be on his way if McGregor plans to stay in the lightweight division and his name is Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.
Before dos Anjos, Pettis was hailed as the king of the lightweights and held on to the title for 4 years. Even his name is dragged to McGregor’s popularity but he is quick to shrug it off and focus on his next fight against Eddie Alvarez on UFC Fight Night 81.
“I don’t even care, man. Give me Conor McGregor at this point,” Pettis told MMA Fighting.
“I really don’t care, honestly. I want to go out and prove that I’m the best in the world with or without the belt. If they give me the title shot, I’ll take it. If they want to give me McGregor, I’ll take it. If they want to move me down to ’45, I really don’t care right now. I’m so content and motivated with that burning fire to be the best in the world again. The UFC makes promises to guys, they come out and they say things that don’t always happen, man.
Thou McGregor might be popular with the decision, according to Pettis it could be not a smart move as he expects that ‘The Notorious’ will have a tough time fighting fighters bigger than him.
“I’ve seen it a million times, so I’m not going to stress myself out over a title shot or who’s next in line. If they’re going to make money on Conor, I’m sure they’ll give [the title shot] to Conor. But I’ll tell you this, Conor going to 155 is a totally different world. I mean, he’s not going to go up there and look like the Conor of 145. That’s why Jose Aldo never moved to 155.”
McGregor’s rise to fame is something that Pettis is familiar with as he was on the same territory before McGregor got there. But he is wary and thinks that with just one loss – his name would fall down and quick and hard as the other fallen champions.
“MMA fans are so quick to judge or jump onto the next train or jump onto the next thing, if he would’ve lost, people would’ve been talking like, oh, movement ain’t nothing. But it definitely is important. Movement is huge in mixed martial arts. It’s huge in fighting. Understanding distance. Understanding where the power in your punch is. Not just being a strong, brutal guy. I don’t want to fight with force. I like to fight with accuracy.”
“Everybody can’t do it,” Pettis said. “Not everybody can do this kind of movement. Not everybody’s bodies are made to do this. That’s why I love mixed martial arts. You have to find what style works for your body type, because I mean, Conor has a 74-inch reach. Of course he is using his range. Frankie Edgar, not so much. He has to use his inside boxing and wrestling. So it’s the kind of body types that create these fights, and it’s why these fights are interesting.”