It's been 16 months since Anthony Pettis last stepped inside the UFC's octagon, but he's expecting his fight at UFC 181 on Saturday to last less than five minutes.
The UFC Lightweight champion will face off against Gilbert Melendez in Vegas this Saturday in the culmination of their time as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 20. Yet Pettis isn't expecting much, if any, challenge, telling press that he sees himself being done with five minutes.
Will overconfidence cost him?
"I think I outclass him in the striking like he's a beginner. He's still new to striking. His wrestling's not strong enough to hold me down. Once it's on the feet, he's in for a long night. Or maybe a short night," Pettis told FOXSports.com.
"I think I outclass him in the striking like he's a beginner. He's still new to striking. His wrestling's not strong enough to hold me down. Once it's on the feet, he's in for a long night"
"I think he's very basic when it comes to standup, He's got decent boxing and he's tough. That's most Mexican fighters, they are the most exciting fighters, they are tough and have good boxing. Unfortunately for him, that's my zone. If he wants to stand in there and trade, he's not going to see me having a Diego Sanchez fight, I'll tell you that."
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'Showtime' Pettis is perhaps one of the UFC's purest strikers and in a striking pound-for-pound list, he'd stake a good claim at deserving the number one spot, with a highlight reel of knockouts.
He's not just a pure striker, he's a creative one as well. His bounce off-the-side of the cage kick (known nowadays as the 'Showtime Kick') against Benson Henderson in WEC is still one of the most replayed highlights in MMA history.
'Showtime' has also won his last three fights via knockout in the first round against Henderson, Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon, so his claims of an early finish would not surprise many.
Maybe it's overconfidence but Pettis is well aware of the risks.
"It's mixed martial arts so anything is possible," Pettis teased.
"With that being said, I don't see it going past the first."
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