UFC Champ Anthony Pettis on Contender Khabib Nurmagomedov: ‘If He’s Next, Let’s Do It’

By C.J. Tuttle Dec 7, 2014
Anthony Pettis is ready for a new challenger after winning at UFC 181. | Photo: Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com

After 15 months on the shelf, Anthony Pettis returned to the Octagon in style at UFC 181, defeating Gilbert Melendez via guillotine choke.

As soon as the post-fight press conference began Saturday in Las Vegas, attention turned to Pettis’ next challenger -- namely, undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was in attendance.

The champion’s layoff, paired with a division as competitive as lightweight, has created a situation where there is no place for time off. As he has done incessantly on social media for quite some time, Nurmagomedov made his case for a title shot.

Pettis didn’t shy away from the idea.

“If they want him next give him a shot, I’m ready. I’m injury free. I feel good,” Pettis said. “You guys saw what I did to Gilbert Melendez. If he’s next let’s do it.”

Pettis has won five straight fights, including three consecutive wins via submission. The 27-year-old placed emphasis on how pleased he was beating a fighter the caliber of Melendez, who had never been finished prior to Saturday.

“I feel like I had a great performance. Gil’s a tough guy. I was expecting a war out there and he delivered. First round was a tough round. I tried to avoid the takedowns as best as possible, but I think once I got to striking range, I delivered,” Pettis said. “I hit him with some good shots, hit him with some nice jabs. I think I did enough to prove that I deserve this belt in front of me.”


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