Anthony Pettis Is Returning To His MMA Roots (Exclusive)

Anthony Pettis wants to climb back to the top of the lightweight division


On Wednesday, the UFC held their official UFC 223 media day in Brooklyn, New York. This media day hosted fighters who are set to appear on the highly anticipated UFC 223: Nurmagomedov vs. Holloway. Open workouts, press conferences and media scrums took place, and our very own Fernando Quiles Jr. was on the scene covering the event for MMA news!

MMANews had the pleasure of speaking to the former UFC lightweight champion Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis when the one-to-one media scrums took place. During the interview, Pettis touched on his approach to fights and explained how his mindset going into bouts has changed since he reigned as the undisputed UFC lightweight champion.

“Before the title, the only thing that went through my mind was kill, go out there and beat this guy no matter what. Then I got the belt and I kinda got lost in the business side, making money and setting these moves up.” Pettis continued, “I have got back to just grinding, there’s nothing to it but hard work and grinding and that’s what I did this camp. I went out there and took away all the fame and the money… all the stuff that comes along with fighting, I put it to the side and got back to the roots of this training.”

Anthony Pettis is confident that he has the skills to defeat Michael Chiesa stating that he’s fought “tougher” and “better” opponents and claiming that all he has to do is “go out there and perform.”

The name “Showtime” was given to Anthony Pettis for a reason. He is an MMA star, and he once stood at the top of the UFC’s lightweight division. In recent history he has found it difficult, losing 5 out of his last 7 bouts, but Pettis believes that he has the capabilities to climb back to the top of the MMA mountain.

“I was at the level and I’ve got to get back to my roots. I think I concentrated so much on this wrestling s**t that I lost what got me to the dance. My striking and my Jiu-jitsu, being a dynamic striker with a great ground game that doesn’t stop fighting. That’s what you’re going to see on Saturday night. I’m not going to go out there and try to defend takedowns. I’m trying to finish this guy, every exchange I’m looking for the finish.”

It’s clear that Anthony Pettis has a renewed mindset and outlook on his MMA career. He looks set to make a statement against Michael Chiesa at UFC 223, turning back the “Showtime” clock in the process.

Check out the full interview with Anthony Pettis above!

Can Pettis make another climb to the top of the lightweight division, or is it too late for “Showtime”? 

UFC 223: Nurmagomedov vs Holloway takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York this Saturday night, April 7th, airing live on pay-per-view. Make sure to join us here at and on Twitter our @mmanews_com this Saturday for complete round-by-round results coverage of the big event this weekend.