Anthony Pettis Using Title Defeat To Learn, Bounce Back Vs. Eddie Alvarez

by abournenesn

Jan 14, 2016

BOSTON — Anthony Pettis has a lot at stake entering Sunday’s UFC Fight Night.

He lost his lightweight title belt to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185 in March of last year and hasn’t stepped into the octagon since. The defeat was a difficult experience and forced him to make a lot of changes, both to the team around him and in his preparation for fights.

“There was so much I learned in my last fight, but I think it was more my mental preparation,” Pettis said Thursday at UFC Fight Night media day at The Westin Copley Place. “Losing that last fight, my mindset was off going into the fight. I went in there thinking about the results and what’s going to happen after the fight. I didn’t focus on the training camp and that fight.

“So I got back to the grassroots. I fired a lot of people on my team, no more publicists, no more nutritionists. I’m doing everything on my own to what got me to that position. I feel like I’m more hungry and motivated that way.”

If Pettis is going to have a chance at reclaiming the lightweight title, a win over Eddie Alvarez on Sunday night at TD Garden would go a long way. Pettis probably isn’t too far off from another title shot. He’s currently ranked as the No. 1 challenger to dos Anjos’ title, per UFC’s official site, while Alvarez is No. 4.

Pettis knows his game plan against Alvarez, and if he sticks to that, he’s highly confident a positive outcome will occur.

“Alvarez gets hit a lot. Every UFC fight, he gets hit a lot,” Pettis said. “The (Donald) Cerrone fight, low kicks were a factor and he couldn’t walk, barely. In the (Gilbert) Melendez fight, he had both eyes closed pretty much, but he’s a warrior and he doesn’t stop coming.

“I feel like if I can capitalize on my strikes and make sure I stay away from his strengths — his wrestling, his big power punches — I should have an easy time winning this fight.”

Thumbnail photo via Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports Images

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