Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
After learning that Strikeforce import Gilbert Melendez gets an immediate title shot against UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson, Anthony Pettis says it's time to shed his "Mr. Nice Guy" label and "take" his shot at the gold and respect he deserves.
Former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis, isn't too thrilled at the fact that other mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters from other promotions -- such as Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez and Bellator poster boy Eddie Alvarez -- were mentioned as the top two candidates to face Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 155-pound champion Ben Henderson next inside the Octagon.
With news breaking yesterday that Melendez would be getting an immediate title shot against the current division kingpin on April 20, 2013 at UFC on FOX 7, you had to expect it would garner some interest from "Showtime."
Having lost out on his promised UFC title fight in 2011 due to the Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard draw at UFC 125, which was prolonged further after his loss to Clay Guida at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 Finale, Pettis says it's time for him to "take" his title shot and get the respect he deserves.
So what does that mean?
No more "Mr. Nice Guy," as he recently told MMA Weekly:
"If you look at all the guys you mentioned and the competition they're fighting, me and Cowboy are the guys that have been fighting the hardest competition. I mean, we're in the UFC with the best of the best; we're in the trenches. You've got the two best guys in the UFC. I feel like me and Cowboy are right at the top, and the winner of this fight should be next in line for a title shot. No more Mr. Nice Guy. I sat there and tried to play that role, ‘Oh the title shot's going to come I'm going to sit and wait for it." I'm taking it this time. I'm going for it. I'm going to take this title shot. I'm going to get my title shot; I'm going to get the respect I deserve."
Pettis is the last man to defeat Henderson, taking his belt at WEC 53 in a thrilling five round war in what was the final event for the promotion. The Duke Roufus-trained fighter says his goal is to just keep "knocking them down" as fast as the UFC can "line them up" until he "proves" they can no longer deny him his long-desired, and deserved, shot at the gold.
And his next target is "Cowboy," who will be just as eager to make his case for a championship fight in "The Windy City."
How about it Maniacs, do you think the UFC matchmakers made the right call in giving "El Nino" a title shot over the likes of Cerrone and Pettis, two fighters that have put their work in "the trenches" of the Octagon?
And does Anthony's "no more Mr. Nice Guy" attitude mean bad news for Cerrone and the rest of the 155-pound division?