There’s no crying in MMA.

Yeah, that saying is slightly amended from the classic 1992 sports film “A League of Their Own” in which manager Jimmy Dugan chastises a female baseball player, which results in her crying. Dugan (portrayed by Tom Hanks) then screams to the top of his lungs “there’s no crying in baseball!”

Former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis tends to agree with that movie because even though his promised title shot at the UFC lightweight belt has gone by the wayside, he’s not crying over spilt milk. Far from it actually.

Following his win over Ben Henderson at WEC 53 last December, Pettis was supposed to face the winner in the fight between UFC champion Frankie Edgar and challenger Gray Maynard. What resulted in their fight at UFC 125 was a draw, and then the pair were scheduled for a rematch on Memorial Day weekend, but that got scratched because both fighters got injured.

In the meantime, Pettis booked a fight against perennial top lightweight Clay Guida, and now UFC President Dana White has said because of timing it’s likely that the Milwaukee based fighter will end up competing at least one more time before he’d get a title shot.

Pettis isn’t mad. He’s not even a little bit upset.

“I don’t mind; tell Dana not to feel bad. I don’t really care,” Pettis told MMAWeekly Radio. “I’ll take another fight, I’ll take two fights if I have to, I really don’t mind. For me, it’s just I’m in the UFC, I’m young, and I’ve got a lot of talent so the sky is the limit. I’m going to get my title shot whether it’s this year or next year. I’m going to earn it.”

Earning it is something a great many UFC lightweights have questioned about Pettis getting a title shot in the first place. A list of names almost as long as the entire division have voiced their displeasure in Pettis getting a title shot offered to him before ever stepping foot in the Octagon.

Whether it was jealousy or not, Pettis isn’t sure why everyone was so upset at him for getting a title shot, but he’s happy to prove to each and every one of them why he should be considered a top contender.

“I’m like the most popular UFC fighter that ain’t fought in the UFC yet. I think for sure got some people envious and jealous of my position, but I worked to get where I’m at. I paid a lot of dues in this sport, and it shows in the fights,” Pettis stated.

“If people don’t believe now, give me time. I had to make my WEC debut and look where I got in two years. I’m making my UFC debut, give me some time, and I guarantee I’m going to turn all the people who don’t believe into believers.”

The first challenge is facing Clay Guida at this weekend’s “Ultimate Fighter” finale in Las Vegas. Guida is no rollover, as gritty a fighter as the lightweight division has ever seen.

That’s exactly why Pettis asked the UFC to give him Guida for his debut fight.

“I actually asked for that fight,” Pettis revealed. “I asked for the Guida fight just because of his style and his level of popularity and where he’s at in his career right now. He’s one of the top lightweights, and I could have took an easier fighter or a guy that’s not top ten, but I’m like I’m going to go for it. This is definitely a big test ahead of me.”

Guida is known for his intensity inside and outside the cage whenever he fights, and that’s exactly the type of challenge Pettis wants for his first time in the Octagon. Guida also brings an A-level wrestling game to the table, and that’s another challenge the last ever WEC champion wants to deal with.

For his camp, Pettis worked his wrestling quite a bit and even trained with Bellator champion and former Olympian Ben Askren to prepare for Guida. He says if Guida believes he’s going to just outwrestle him en route to a decision win, he’s got another thing coming.

“You’re going to see the strongest and most skilled Anthony Pettis ever. My wrestling is ten times the level it was in the Ben Henderson fight, so if Clay thinks he’s going to come in there and take me down at will, he’s going to have a long night,” Pettis stated.

What Pettis wants people to most understand about him as he goes into his first fight in the UFC and beyond is that he’s willing to work for and earn everything he gets.

If someone feels he got handed a title shot too early, Pettis is willing to fight for it.

If someone thinks he’s just a highlight reel kick that made SportsCenter, Pettis is ready to prove he’s not a one-trick pony.

“I don’t want to be remembered just for the kick. I have a long career ahead of me, and I think I’m going to have a lot more moments like that in my career.”


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow
@DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon a question or comment.


Follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.


view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

TUF 23 Finale Results: Tatiana Suarez and Andrew Sanchez Earn UFC Contracts

  • 18 days ago
  • 34 views

The Ultimate Fighting Championship crowned two new The Ultimate Fighter winners on Friday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. read news >>

TUF 23 Finale Video Highlights: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha

  • 18 days ago
  • 54 views

The rivalry between women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and top ranked contender Claudia Gadelha added another chapter to the story on Friday. read news >>

TUF 23 Finale Results: Joanna Jedrzejczyk Outlasts Claudia Gadelha Then Apologizes

  • 18 days ago
  • 116 views

It was no easy task, but UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk retained her belt in a five-round battle with Claudia Gadelha on Friday night. read news >>

TUF 23 Finale Video Highlights: Andrew Sanchez vs. Khalil Rountree

  • 18 days ago
  • 37 views

Andrew Sanchez and Khalil Rountree fought for the title of The Ultimate Fighter on Friday in the TUF 23 Finale main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. read news >>

TUF 23 Finale Video Highlights: Amanda Cooper vs. Tatiana Suarez

  • 18 days ago
  • 69 views

Amanda Cooper and Tatiana Suarez fought for the title of The Ultimate Fighter on Friday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Check out the fight highlights. read news >>

TUF 23 Finale Post-Fight Press Conference Video Replay

  • 18 days ago
  • 98 views

The big winners from The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale fielded questions from the media at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas following Friday's event. read news >>

Cormier vs. Silva: Weigh-In Info, Top Comments Before UFC 200

  • 17 days ago
  • 499 views

After the initial furore over Anderson Silva stepping in to face Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 following Jon Jones' removal from the card, it was time for the pair to weigh in ahead of their clash on Sat read news >>

UFC Fight Night 90 and TUF 23 Finale: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers

  • 17 days ago
  • 12 views

UFC brought us two events prior to UFC 200. Ultimate Fight Night 90 and The Ultimate Fighter Season 23 finale came your way in the days before the massive pay-per-view. On Thursday, the UFC crowned a read news >>

UFC Reportedly Sold: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

  • 16 days ago
  • 124 views

The ownership of the UFC is reportedly changing hands. On Sunday night, TMZ Sports reported WME/IMG bought the company for around $4 billion. Chris Maathuis of KLAS-TV in Las Vegas confirmed the news read news >>

Mark Hunt Comments on Potential Brock Lesnar Rematch, UFC Sale and More with TMZ

  • 15 days ago
  • 50 views

UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt would like a rematch with Brock Lesnar after his unanimous-decision loss at UFC 200 and said he wasn't happy with the drug-testing exemptions the WWE star received ahead of read news >>