It took a while for former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim Lightweight champion Tony Ferguson to reach the status as one of the top 155-pound fighters he enjoys today. But despite enjoying championship life (albeit briefly) and a 10 fight win streak, Anthony Pettis is not impressed with “El Cucuy.”
“Who has he fought? Who did he win the belt against?” Pettis told reporters (via MMA Junkie) during the UFC 229 media event. “Even Khabib (Nurmagomedov), who did he win the belt against? So we’re in a weird spot. Look at the last 10 fights. There’s some great wins, but again, he hasn’t fought the best in the division yet.”
Pettis and Ferguson are set to throw down this Saturday night (Oct. 6, 2018) on the main card of the heavily-anticipated UFC 229 pay-per-view (PPV) event. And though “Showtime” isn’t floored by Ferguson’s level of competition faced up to this point, he does respect his ability to push the pace in a fight.
“I’m going to go out there to fight this guy,” Pettis said. “I’m not going to defend takedowns, I’m not going to try holding him against the cage, I’m not going to try fighting off my back. I’m going to fight this guy and knock him out wherever we go. You guys know me, man. I come to fight and he comes to fight. It’s a great recipe for a great fight,” he added.
The fight will be Ferguson’s first since tearing his knee six months ago in a freak accident. After going through the recovery process rather quickly, the former champ looks to claim his spot at the front of the title race, but Pettis thinks “El Cucuy” may be rushing the comeback process.
“That’s a quick return from the knee surgery,” Pettis said. “I had the knee surgery done and it takes a long time not only for the actual injury to recovery, but for the mind to recovery. To get use to the techniques again and using that leg again. I know he had surgery and it’s the front left leg, so it’s there.”
With Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov set to spearhead the event in a much-anticipated championship (UFC) bout, there is always the possibility that either Pettis or Tony could get bumped up to fill the void should either headliner be forced out. And while Pettis wouldn’t pass up the opportunity, it’s not on his radar and he’s fully focused on the task at hand.
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