There was never any real doubt as to whether or not Anthony Pettis possessed the skills to beat Joe Lauzon at UFC 144. However, the speed in which he dismantled his apt adversary surprised many including Pettis himself.
“Showtime” discussed his Knockout of the Night performance in an interview with Fuel TV shortly after picking up the victory, stating he expected a much tougher fight but was happy to use to momentum from it to propel him into a title-shot regardless.
When asked about his expectations and whether they included an 81-second head-kick knockout an animated Pettis replied, “Not really. I knew this fight would be a tough fight. Joe’s one of those guys who can go anywhere. I expected more to be on the ground. I thought he would throw big punches and get a takedown but I started feeling comfortable in my Southpaw stance and I caught him slipping.”
While he may not have been ready for such a quick finish Pettis still knew victory was in his grasp as soon as his memorable strike connected.
“Oh I knew it was over,” said Pettis on the subject. “I felt where it was at on my shin, how hard it hit him, I saw his eyes roll back….I knew he was done.”
Now that he’s won two fights in a row since losing a hard-fought decision to Clay Guida in his UFC debut the 15-2 Pettis feels he’s finally hitting his stride inside the Octagon and expects more big things in the coming months.
“Definitely,” explained Pettis when asked if he felt fans had seen the “real” him this time around. “Last year wasn’t my year and I’m coming strong this year and I’m excited for 2012.”
As far as who should be considered top contender to Benson Henderson’s title, Pettis laid things out is as simple a manner as could be asked for.
“You’re looking at him,” the 25-year old responded.
Pettis holds a previous win over Henderson in a bout featuring his infamous kick off the side of the cage.
Check out the complete interview below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC