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Tag: Anthony Pettis

Rant of the Day: Khabib Nurmagomedov Accuses Anthony Pettis of Being a Beautiful Playboy


(“Khabib not only top UFC fighter, but also #1 t-shirt merchant in Las Vegas strip.” / Photo via Nurmagomedov’s Instagram)

When undefeated Dagestani bear-wrestler Khabib Nurmagomedov entered the UFC in 2012 and rattled off six consecutive victories — no small feat, especially in the talent-loaded lightweight division — Nurmagomedov’s name started circulating as a guy who could imminently challenge for the 155-pound title. Then, he took some time off for Ramadan. Then, he caught a knee injury.

Suddenly, Nurmy is becoming a forgotten man, especially in the wake of Donald Cerrone‘s dominant win over Eddie Alvarez last weekend. And so, it’s time for “The Eagle” to start saying crazy stuff about champion Anthony Pettis in order to grab fans’ attention again. Here are some highlights from a new interview with MMA Junkie:

I think Anthony Pettis is scared. He’s never had a good wrestling opponent, now I’m a contender. I have very good wrestling, and Anthony Pettis has only the lucky punch. I think he understands this, and he doesn’t want this fight.

Anthony Pettis is a pretty boy. He’s a playboy. He’s very beautiful and he’s good to market. But the real champion is Khabib Nurmagomedov. Everybody knows. I sent him the message on Twitter. He didn’t give an answer. I see he’s scared. He only likes striking guys. He doesn’t like wrestling guys who are aggressive with top control. I deserve my title shot; give me my title shot

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Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez *Tentatively* Booked for UFC 181 on December 6th (Tentatively.)


(Your captions, please. via Pettis’ Twitter)

I would like to begin this article by proposing a new category for this year’s Potato Awards, “Most Excruciating Absence By a Champion (a.k.a “The Dominator Award”)” and preemptively awarding it to lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Or maybe Cain Velasquez. No, definitely Pettis. Iiiit’s been nearly a year since we last saw “Showtime” secure said championship via a first round submission over Ben Henderson, and thanks to his coaching gig opposite Gilbert Melendez on TUF 20, it will be at least another half a year before we see him compete again.

That’s because earlier today, Pettis told MMAFighting that his fight against Melendez has been scheduled for December 6th at UFC 181. I honest-to-God want to believe that both men will make it to that date intact, but the TUF coaches curse has fooled me five too many times to place any real faith in Pettis’ words. But there you have it: December 6th. UFC 181. Vegas.

As for how the season itself is going, Pettis seems to have found the space between “it sucks” and “ERMAHGERD BERST SERSERN ERVER!!!” that Dana White has never been able to…

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Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez Lightweight Title Fight Slated for UFC Year-End Event


(Props: Anthony Pettis’s Facebook page)

During a news conference in Puerto Rico* yesterday, UFC president Dana White announced that the Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez lightweight title fight will take place at the promotion’s traditional year-end event, which will likely go down December 27th in Las Vegas. Of course, the two fighters will see a lot of each other before then, as they’ve already been booked to coach TUF 20: The Strawweights, which begins airing in September.

Pettis hasn’t competed since UFC 164 last August, when he won the UFC lightweight belt off of Benson Henderson with a first-round armbar. Due to a subsequent knee injury and surgery, he’s been sidelined ever since — meaning that he’ll be taking on Melendez after a 16-month layoff. Melendez’s layoff will be almost as long. He last competed at UFC 166 in October, winning a unanimous decision against Diego Sanchez in a Fight of the Year candidate. Then, he almost wound up in Bellator. Long story.

* So what was the UFC doing in Puerto Rico, you ask? Well, the promotion is laying some groundwork to return there for the first time since UFC 8 — the February 1996 event where Gary Goodridge famously did this to Paul Herrera. An event date hasn’t been established, but Dana White guaranteed the UFC will hold an event in Puerto Rico in 2015, and said that Pettis (who is of Puerto Rican descent) will be involved.

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And Now He’s Retired: Bart Palaszewski Hangs Up the Gloves After 50+ Fight Career


(Just off camera, Guy Fieri could be heard describing these ribs as “A 1-2 punch to the taste buds from the heavyweight champion of Flavortown. Zabadoo!”)

A 50+ fight veteran of the game since 2002 who has fought under the IFL, WEC, KOTC, and UFC banners, Bart “Bartimus” Palaszewski announced his retirement from MMA on Twitter earlier this week, stating:

It’s about that time! Want to thank @VFDMarketing @ufc @teamcurranmma @SuckerPunchEnt  all my fans but I’m officially hanging it up!

KarmaAteMyCat must be crushed. 

Although he was released from the UFC last May following a three fight skid, Palaszewski steps away from the sport with an impressive 36-17 record and wins over the likes of Tyson Griffin, Ivan Menjivar, and most notably, current lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Additionally, Palaszewski was a two-time “Of the Night” winner in his brief UFC stint, scoring a KOTN over Griffin at UFC 137 and putting in a FOTN-worthy performance against Diego Nunes at UFC on FOX 10.

But perhaps the most significant thing we can take away from Palaszewski’s career was his absolute fearlessness in the cage. This is a man who was in some absolute wars, people (his battle with Ryan Shultz at the 2006 IFL championships comes to mind), yet never backed down from a fight and always looked for the finish.

We would like to thank “Bartimus” for his devotion to putting on a show in the cage as well as wish him the best of luck wherever the road takes him. Join us after the jump for a look back at some of Palaszewski’s finest moments.

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Gilbert Melendez Re-Signs With UFC, Will Fight Anthony Pettis for Lightweight Title Following ‘TUF 20′ Coaching Gig


(Melendez tags Diego Sanchez during their three-round dogfight in October. / Photo via Getty)

Gilbert Melendez is officially back in the UFC — and he’ll be getting another lightweight title shot later this year. According to a press release distributed last night, Melendez has agreed to a new contract with the UFC, and will challenge reigning champ Anthony Pettis for his belt after the two 155-pounders appear as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 20: The Strawweights. The season will begin filming in May, and will premiere on FOX Sports 1 on September 10th. The date and venue for Pettis vs. Melendez haven’t been announced yet.

Outside of the TUF gig, which almost seems like punishment, Melendez’s brief flirtation with free agency couldn’t have gone any better. Before Bellator tried to snap him up, Melendez was being offered high-risk, low-reward fights against undefeated Russians in the UFC, along with contract terms that were clearly less than he was hoping for. Now, his price has been pumped up in a bidding war, and he’ll be strolling right back into a title fight. (It seems likely that Bellator offered Melendez an immediate title shot themselves, and the UFC was forced to match this perk in order to secure a new contract for El Niño.)

And so, the UFC hangs on to one of the most talented and entertaining lightweights in the world, and the fans get to keep watching Melendez on MMA’s biggest stage. The only loser here is Bjorn Rebney, who was thrilled at the prospect of having Melendez on his roster, only to have the UFC re-sign him, basically out of spite. Ah well. At least he can comfort himself with the fact that he performed a very important role in the marketplace.

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Jose Aldo’s Coach Suggests Meaningless Non-Title Catchweight Fight Against Anthony Pettis


(“Tell you what…if Pettis wins, we can give him that Bellator belt as a souvenir.” Photo via UpperBrazil.com)

For UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, the prospect of a super-fight against lightweight champion Anthony Pettis sounds like a pretty damn good idea — except for that part where Aldo would have to give up his belt to take the fight. That part kind of sucks. And so, Aldo’s coach and manager Andre Pederneiras has suggested a solution: A 150-pound catchweight fight where nobody’s title is on the line. Essentially, a meaningless exhibition. Wouldn’t that be fun?

(A catchweight) would be interesting for both,” Pederneiras told Ta na Area. “They would keep the belts and do the fight everybody wants to see. Nobody wants to take the other’s title, we want to see the fight and do a great show for everybody. Aldo would move up a little, Pettis cuts a little, and it’s good for everybody.”

“Nobody wants to take the other’s title?” What kind of pussified patty-cake bullshit is this? Why wouldn’t Aldo want to become the third two-division champion in UFC history? Why fight Anthony Pettis at all, if a title wasn’t on the line? And how on Earth is this “good for everybody” if it requires Pettis to cut extra weight for a non-title fight?

Clearly, the Aldo camp has gotten cold feet about vacating the featherweight title to pursue a matchup they might not win. And as you can imagine, nobody’s jumping out of their seats to take Pederneiras up on his offer:

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The Unsupportable Opinion: With a Victory at UFC 169, Jose Aldo Should Earn the Next Lightweight Title Shot


(Or at least a weekend trip for two to lovely Bahia.)

By Adam Martin

Two judges screwed up the UFC’s plans this past weekend, but it may ultimately be for the best.

When Sal D’Amato and Brian Puccillo decided that Benson Henderson did enough to earn a split decision victory over Josh Thomson in the main event of UFC on FOX 10, the lightweight division had a wrench thrown into it. Had he received the judges’ decision, Thomson was already confirmed by UFC president Dana White as the next title challenger for currently-injured UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

“Showtime” has stated that he wants to return in July and his timeline would have matched up well with Thomson’s. Not only that, but Thomson had been scheduled to fight Pettis back at UFC on FOX 9 before the titleholder pulled out with an injury. Many thought Thomson got that fight with Pettis more due to timing than anything else, but had he defeated the former champion this past weekend, Thomson would have truly earned his title shot.

But then Henderson had his hand raised. As soon as that happened, the UFC lightweight division had to be rejigged because Henderson has already lost to Pettis twice and isn’t anywhere close to getting a trilogy fight with him. The other top contender, TJ Grant, has been out since last summer with post-concussion symptoms and isn’t even training yet, so he’s out of the picture. Nate Diaz, who has been vocal on Twitter about wanting a title shot, isn’t getting one anytime soon because c’mon. Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is still out there, but it’s hard to say he deserves a title shot just because he defeated Diego Sanchez at UFC 166, even if his resume is amongst the absolute finest in the division. There’s also guys like Rafael Dos Anjos, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller, but none of them are deserving of a crack at the crown right now.

Cue Jose Aldo.

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The Benson Henderson Problem


(Photo via Getty)

Benson “Smooth” Henderson is a talented fighter with a knack for winning the fights he loses. But on the oft-overlooked business side of MMA, Henderson is a dud.

As champion, he consistently failed to move the needle in terms of PPV buys and ratings. His rematch against Frankie Edgar at UFC 150 drew a paltry 190,000 buys—one of the worst buyrates in recent UFC history.

The UFC shipped Henderson off to FOX for his next two outings, presumably to build his name via fighting on a massive television network. Henderson headlined UFC on FOX 5 and UFC on FOX 7. They both earned modest numbers, with the former receiving an average of 3.41 million viewers (1.6 rating in the adult 18-49 demo) and the latter 3.3 million viewers (1.6 rating in the adult 18-49 demo).

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UFC on FOX 10 Results: Sergio Pettis Is a Victim of His Last Name


(A crestfallen Sergio Pettis. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Sergio Pettis isn’t ready for the UFC.

This opinion might be unpopular, but it’s true. UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis‘ younger brother just isn’t ready.

Sergio Pettis is talented, of that there is no doubt. While most 20-somethings were complaining about trivial social justice issues on Thought Catalog or watching Girls, Sergio Pettis was kicking ass en route to the UFC, showing that he has ample technique and a bright future. The hype wanted us to believe Pettis’ future was now. Fuck the Super Mario Brothers, it was time for the Super Pettis Brothers.

Alas, like with nearly every young, buzzworthy prospect, Pettis faltered. The hype train managed to steamroll over his pedestrian UFC debut, but not so for his follow-up fight against Alex Caceres at UFC on FOX 10. Pettis lost via submission in the third round. Even though the fight was close and well-fought up until the submission, a loss is still a loss.

“He’s just not as good as his brother,” some will say. Others will be harsher, citing Alexander Emelianenko syndrome. “If it wasn’t for his last name, you’d have never heard him; he’s nothing special.”

They’ll be right, but only about the “if it wasn’t for his last name” part.

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Injury Updates: Pettis Hoping for Early July Return, Bisping Possibly Facing Additional Layoff


(via Fox Sports.)

Suffice it to say, the past couple years have been injury-plagued (or perhaps even, cursed) ones for the UFC, but especially so for the promotion’s champions and biggest stars. Dominick Cruz has been out of action since Eisenhower was in office, Jose Aldo fought just once in 2012, and Anderson Silva, Anthony Pettis, and Cain Velasquez have all undergone major surgeries recently. Jon Jones is arguably still recovering from his war with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165, as his next title fight with Glover Teixeira has been delayed some three times since initially being announced.

But not all is hopeless; Jones and Aldo both have their next fights lined up, and Cruz and Silva have either vacated their titles or been removed from the title picture, freeing up some space in their respective divisions. And Pettis, who underwent successful knee surgery back in November to fix a torn PCL suffered in his title-earning win over Ben Henderson at UFC 164, expects to be back in action just in time for the UFC’s annual Fourth of July card.

“The doctor said six to eight months, so I’m hoping six months,” Pettis told UFC Tonight yesterday evening. Unfortunately, Cedars-Sinai Medical Group orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Klapper also appeared on the program (video above) and seemed slightly less positive about the lightweight champion’s recovery timetable:

In my opinion, this is about the toughest thing you can come back for. Of all the injuries that can happen to a knee, when you’re talking about the ACL or the meniscus, these are the structures in the front. It’s easy for us as surgeons to get there. When you’re talking about the back of the knee, where the arteries and nerves are, a much trickier area to get to, the results are not as terrific as they are with the structures we rebuild in the front. I would pray for him. Coming back in July? That’s really optimistic.

My God, an injured UFC champion is becoming a more frequent occurrence than a tween star meltdown these days (I’m sorry). At least Pettis has that amazing UFC healthcare to fall back on, whereas Bieber only has enough money to turn major highways into his own private race tracks. I guess it’s not easy growing up anywhere.

Keeping with the string of terrible, injury-related news, UFC Tonight also touched on a potential health issue that could further delay Michael Bisping‘s octagon return. News on that after the jump…

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