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UFC 246’s Anthony Pettis looking to avenge ‘mental loss’ in drop back down to 155 pounds

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Anthony Pettis will look to steal the show later tonight (Sat., Jan. 18, 2020) at UFC 246 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as the former UFC lightweight champion drops back down to 155 pounds to challenge Carlos Diego Ferreira in the opening main card bout.

This is an extremely important fight for Pettis to say the least. The 32-year-old veteran hasn’t won back-to-back fights since 2013-2014 and is coming off a disappointing loss to Nate Diaz back at UFC 242. “Showtime” is hoping to regain momentum in 2020 and finally string some wins together to get back to the top.

Pettis will now make his return to the lightweight division after competing at 170 pounds his last two fights. The drop back down is a move that has Pettis rejuvenated and refocused after a year of packing on muscle.

“I gave myself a year off from cutting weight,” Pettis told MMA Junkie. “My choices were to take a year off completely because the ballooning (and) ballooning down was just hurting me or (I could) move up 170. I chose to go 170. I had some success, and I had some little bit of not success with the Diaz fight.

“The training camps, the mindset, and just the energy that I had in these fights? Oh, it felt so good. The reason I went back to 155 is my walk-around weight dropped about 12 to 15 pounds, so I was ready to start cutting down again.”

Pettis did well in his return to welterweight early last year when he stunned former UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson via knockout, but ultimately fell flat in a massive bout with the returning Diaz this past August. It was a fight that was cursed from the beginning as “Showtime” had to deal with a laceration on his hand due to a botched USADA drug test hours before the bout.

“I’m sitting in the back about to fight, and that happens,” Pettis said. “It’s chaos. It just taught me. Wins and losses – people are going to judge me no matter what. All it takes is two or three wins for me to be right back on top. … I broke my foot. I don’t kick checks. That’s not something I do. I kicked a check from Nate Diaz, and I broke my foot. It was just a mental error, and I saw it (afterward).

“You look at the ‘Wonderboy’ fight. I got my nose broke, but I stayed so true to my gameplan. You saw my forward pressure, hands high, low kick, low kick, low kick. In the Diaz fight, I’m switching stances, throwing haymakers. It was a mental loss.”

Healthy and back in the division he knows best, Pettis now finds himself in an important fight opposite Ferreira on a PPV card led by the “Notorious” Conor McGregor. That’s one of the biggest opportunities “Showtime” could ask for as he tries to re-climb the 155-pound ladder in one of the most crucial years of his storied career.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 246 fight card this weekend RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.