Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
While Anthony Pettis would love nothing more than to trade kicks and punches with Donald Cerrone at UFC on Fox 6 for 15 action-packed minutes, "Showtime" knows "Cowboy" will eventually relent and shoot for a takedown long before he does. Guaranteed.
Anthony Pettis is making it very clear what kind of mixed martial arts (MMA) fight he wants at UFC on Fox 6 when he collides with Donald Cerrone in Chicago, Ill., this Saturday night (Jan. 26, 2013) when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to primetime television.
And there isn't much mixed involved.
"Showtime" and "Cowboy" are undoubtedly two of the most exciting lightweight fighters in the world. And they have the "Fight Night" bonus checks to prove it. Perhaps that is the sole reason promotion officials and fight fans alike are expecting a knock-down, drag-out war when the two tango in "The Windy City."
But, according to Pettis, that might not be the case because -- after all -- "Cowboy" is trained by oft-criticized "sport killer" Greg Jackson, who he feels will be in Cerrone's ear, advising him between rounds to shoot for the takedown as part of a carefully devised gameplan.
Something that Pettis vows won't happen on his end first.
His prediction (via Sherdog.com):
"It's going to be a great fight. Cerrone is a tough guy, doesn't have many weaknesses. He is one of them guys that is as tough as they come and pretty good everywhere. It is going to be a tough fight. I'm good as well, too. People are expecting a stand up war, but I guarantee you he is going to shoot first, I guarantee you that I am not going to shoot first. I don't want to jinx it and say fight of the night, I mean, me and Stephens was supposed to get fight of the night, everyone you match up against(me) is fight of the night, but, both of us bring an exciting style so I think it's going to be an exciting fight."
Part of the reason Pettis believes "Cowboy" will look to shoot in is simply because his head trainer, the aforementioned Jackson, will probably try to exploit a perceived "weakness" in Pettis' game after seeing firsthand what Clay Guida -- another Jackson-trained fighter -- did to hand him his first and only loss inside the Octagon back in 2011.
It was a not-so-thrilling technique that involved a whole lot of laying around and not much else:
"I mean, his coach is Greg Jackson. Greg Jackson is known for the game plans. I fought Clay Guida, a Greg Jackson guy, all he did was hold me down so I am pretty sure they are going to think that's a weakness of mine. Everybody I fight wants to shoot on me, so I'm expecting him to take me down. But if he does stand up, I'm ready for that, as well."
For the record, Jackson did say he expects a "hell of a fight" from both gamers, so maybe a lay-and-pray gameplan isn't in store for "Showtime." And Cerrone, for one, has proven that he is more than happy to stand-and-bang, as well as establish that he is his own man for better or worse.
However, until the cage door slams shut, it's anyone's guess as to what kind of tactics "Cowboy" -- or even Pettis for that matter -- will attempt to implement. It is, after all, a pivotal 155-pound bout that could determine the division's next No. 1 contender.