Trainer Explains Why Pettis Won’t Wait on Title Shot

By Staff Jan 11, 2011
Anthony Pettis (right) | Jeff Sherwood/

Anthony Pettis will not wait on the conclusion of the Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard trilogy before fighting again.

Pettis’ trainer, Duke Roufus, confirmed the news Monday on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show.

Pettis had earned a UFC lightweight title shot by winning the WEC lightweight belt. However, when Edgar’s Jan. 1 defense against Maynard ended as a closely contested draw, UFC President Dana White announced that the two will fight again.

In the meantime, Pettis will take another bout.

“It sucks that he’s not fighting for the title, but at the same time, he’ll be fighting one of the toughest guys in the UFC lightweight division and that’s awesome,” said Roufus, who could not yet name potential opponents being discussed with the UFC.

Roufus and Pettis had met over lunch to discuss whether he should wait or fight again. One drawback of fighting is that Pettis could lose and cost himself a title shot.

“He’s a fighter; he wants to continue fighting,” Roufus said. “He’s got a lot of momentum in the sport. He said he’s got 10 other [highlight-reel] kicks and moves for the UFC and he’s going to prove it. The one thing he wants to do is fight.”

Roufus was at home the night of UFC 125 when he learned via the Internet that Edgar and Maynard would be fighting again. He said an “outburst” followed that woke up his family, but then he calmed down.

“Does it suck? Yeah, but I like the fact that Dana’s doing the right thing for the fighters,” Roufus said. “Anthony’s on the short end of the stick and feeling the letdown of not having a fight, but I like the fact that Dana’s putting it out there that he wants a rematch and a definitive champion. It’s good for all the fighters.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 5:43) with Roufus, who also discussed Pat Barry’s mindset heading into his upcoming bout.
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