Duke Roufus: Pettis driven to be up there with Anderson Silva

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Lightweight contender Anthony Pettis was watching UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 156 on television Saturday night when he decided to text UFC president Dana White. Gist of the message was he wanted to drop 10 pounds more, and fight Aldo, for the title.

Pettis is already in line for lightweight title shot vs. the winner of the 4/20 Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez fight on FOX.

Pettis’s trainer, Duke Roufus, explains the reasoning.

“What if the guy who wins the Henderson-Melendez fight gets hurt or it’s a close decision, when does [Pettis] fight?” said Roufus.. “He’s been in that situation before. So, he’s a little gun shy about that.

“Besides, he’s coming into the prime of his life. He wants to fight now. He’d fight next week if [the UFC] gives him a body; that’s his attitude. He’d fight three more times this year if you could.”

“He wants to fight Aldo and then fight for the lightweight title. I’m all for it if he wants to do it. I think he matches up great with Aldo.”

“The crazy thing is that in his past few fights, Anthony has been at 25 percent of his potential but he’s been able to finish his opponents early. The guy is on a mission.”

“In his last three fights, he hasn’t had to go into the sauna to make weight. He’s very meticulous about his nutrition as well as his strength and conditioning. Anthony is a very disciplined individual.”

“He has reached that stage of his career and life where he realizes what gets him up are big challenges. I see the hunger in his attitude and performance daily in training, his lifestyle. He wants big things and he wants them now.

“He wants to put himself up there with guys like Anderson Silva, who go out there and win big fights.”

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