Anthony Pettis is moving up to the welterweight division when he takes on Stephen Thompson in the headliner of UFC Nashville.
Although there are plenty of new opponents Pettis can face, know for sure he will never fight Ben Askren. Part of the reason why is the fact that they train together at Roufusport, but Pettis would have no interest in that fight whatsoever for another reason.
“I would never fight Ben Askren, I’d save myself the embarrassment,” Pettis said to MMA Junkie. “That dude is a (expletive) monster. (He’s) the type of guy that, you can never count him out.
“I spinning-back kicked him one time, right in the chin, I could tell he was hurt, he double legs me, gets on top, and just starts grinding me out. He’s one of them tough, deep-down guys. He’s really good.”
Meanwhile, now that Tyron Woodley is no longer the champion, Pettis can see a path to a title shot at 170 if he wins on Saturday. Given that he wouldn’t have to fight his teammates and friends in Woodley and Askren would make it that much better.
“Well, neither of them are champ,” Pettis said. “So there’s ways to get to that belt. And my name, and where I’m at, a great win, I think I’m right there in the line for this. First, I’ve got to get through ‘Wonderboy.’ This is a big risk, going up a weight class to fight the No. 4 in the world, this isn’t an easy task. But I just feel amazing, man.
“The training camp went so well, the weight right now feels good. My energy is like – I feel like I’m ready for a fight, and not for a weight cut, and that feels good.”
Ultimately, for any of that to happen, he will first need to beat Thompson tomorrow night.