There’s no denying Anthony Pettis has had a monster year, as after taking out Donald Cerrone back in January, he tapped out Benson Henderson in August to become UFC lightweight champ. That’s the kind of campaign most fighters can only dream of.
Of course, Pettis has also had an injury plagued year, and most recently he had to drop out of a UFC on FOX 9 bout with Josh Thomson, due to his injured knee. Well, while appearing on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour”, the champ’s coach Duke Roufus argued that because of an injury Pettis was battling, he wasn’t even at his peak when he took the lightweight belt (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“He’ll be 27 next year, and the crazy thing about Anthony Pettis, I give him a B in his performance against Ben Henderson,” Roufus said. “That wasn’t even the best Anthony Pettis. He fought the fight with a separated shoulder on a month’s notice. That’s the kind of kid he is. We haven’t even seen the best of Anthony Pettis yet. That’s scary.”
Yes, considering what Pettis is capable of already, the thought of him becoming even more dangerous is indeed a frightening thought. Of course, the Roufusport fighter has also taken some heat for dropping out of several bouts now. Nate Diaz has perhaps been the most notable critic. Now, as a result of knee surgery, Pettis likely won’t be back until mid-2014.
“People are critical,” Roufus relayed. “Anthony was so pumped to fight in December. He’d fight constantly (if he could), especially with his new deal the UFC has gotten him. He’d love to fight often.”
It would have been interesting to see how Thomson faired against Pettis, but now he’ll of course fight Henderson at UFC on FOX 10 next month. A victory for Henderson would be a great way to get back on track and in the title shot hunt.