On the latest episode of MMA Hour former lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis revealed a change in his preparation for his fight against Eddie Alvarez which may help explain his “smoother” physical appearance and uncharacteristically flat performance.
“I focused too much on the wrestling. I was working with Israel Martinez. I was out there from Wednesday to Sunday pretty much. Most of my camp was out there wrestling, and I’m not a wrestler. I’m not going to catch up to these wrestler guys… I need to avoid the wrestling with knees and striking and avoid the wrestling. Eddie got me into these positions, he felt a lot stronger than me. That was another issue I had to address right away. I didn’t feel as strong as I used to feel in the octagon… I let people talk me into trying to wrestle.”
Host Ariel Helwani: “Did you do any strength and conditioning going into this fight?”
“No I didn’t. The only thing I did for this fight is wrestle. I listened to advice that was given to me by some coaches. It was my first time trying it and I wont be doing it again.”
“Showtime” also touched on trying to cash in on “red panty night” after RDA pulled out of UFC 196.
“I spoke to Dana, I spoke to Joe Silva. RDA pulled out obviously, they weren’t going to make him (McGregor) fight anyone he didn’t want to fight… I wasn’t too excited about it. I knew there were easier opponents he’d want to fight.
Pettis faces the talented and dangerous striker Edson Barbosa in what promises to be a fan-friendly stylistic dream match-up at UFC 197 on April 23rd.