Pettis, who entered the UFC after claiming a thrilling victory over Ben Henderson for the WEC lightweight championship, was unable to execute his game plan against Guida, costing him a fight and the chance to compete for the UFC 155-pound title. Now, Pettis looks to regroup when he meets Jeremy Stephens Saturday night at UFC 136 from Houston.
“Duke (Roufus), my coach, actually prepares me for a lot of stuff inside and outside the cage, and he always tells me that you’re only as good as your last performance and unfortunately for me, I had a bad performance in the Guida fight and a lot of fans aren’t as loyal as you think they are,” said Pettis, in a recent interview with the UFC’s website. “They’ll celebrate with you, but once you lose, they’ll turn on you.”
Pettis was feeling like no one could stop him after his “Showtime Kick” was seen around the world, but all that momentum came to a crashing halt when Guida used his strength to churn out the win and place himself ahead of Pettis in the lightweight rankings.
“It’s just a build-up of a number of things that went wrong,” said Pettis, of the Guida encounter. “I don’t want to say I had a bad fight or it was an off-night because that leaves something in my mind that I could have that kind of performance again. There were a number of things that I did wrong, but you can’t cry over spilled milk and I’m just ready to get back and get my next win.”
In Stephens, Pettis will be facing a fellow striker, but one that has been very vocal against the former WEC champion in pre-fight talk. Stephens has been posting video blogs where he goes off on Pettis and says he doesn’t deserve to be ranked as high as he is. Pettis won’t play those games, though, with Stephens.
“I’m gonna let my fight skill do the talking,” Pettis said. “I’ve got a lot to prove in this fight, it’s my second one in the UFC and I need to get that ‘W’ and I need to do it the ‘Showtime’ way. I’m here to stay. I’m not just a one-kick wonder and I’m not a guy who just got lucky once. I’m coming for that title shot and I’m gonna earn my title shot.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Pettis has shown flashes of brilliance inside the cage, and his athletic ability will be a very tough match for Stephens. “Showtime” just needs to keep working and not let Stephens keep him on the ground where he is still learning how to defend off his back. If Stephens stands with Pettis, we just might see a replay of that “Showtime Kick.”