Anthony Pettis Talks Fighting Jose Aldo on 'UFC Tonight'
Fight Network Staff / February 6, 2013 - 12:49pm
LOS ANGELES, CA – On this week's UFC TONIGHT, we have an exclusive interview with Anthony Pettis about his upcoming fight with Jose Aldo. Plus, other top featherweight contenders react to Pettis getting the title shot. Heavyweight Champ Cain Velasquez discusses when he's ready to fight next and if he'll fight Daniel Cormier. And Chael Sonnen, Kenny Florian and Ariel Helwani debate the first-ever UFC Fighter Rankings.
Quote of the Week: Anthony Pettis on if Benson Henderson or Jose Aldo is a tougher fight: "To me, Aldo is a tougher fight – that's why I asked for it. He's one of those guys who has gone through his opponents like crazy and he just beat the last 155-pound champ. Aldo is definitely a tougher challenge for me. I've beaten Benson Henderson once and I think I'm going to be doing it again soon, but right now Aldo is the guy on my radar."
UFC TONIGHT's Chael Sonnen on Anthony Pettis getting the title fight against Jose Aldo: "I never saw it coming. Pettis wins the golden ticket. He's been the number-one contender, but nobody thought he'd cash it in down a weight class. That's what makes it a super fight. It's only done in our fantasies. He also saved the division, because where do you go? Frankie Edgar steps aside and you have to bring in some new blood."
UFC TONIGHT's Kenny Florian on Pettis versus Aldo: "It's an unbelievable fight because Antony Pettis is probably the craftiest striker in the UFC, second to Anderson Silva. He's fearless. And you're talking about Jose Aldo - the toughest thing about his game is his striking. Right now Pettis can go tit for tat with Jose Aldo's striking. I don't think we've seen that."
Pettis on when he decided to go down to 145 and challenge Jose Aldo: "For me it's been something I've been thinking about for a while. I can make the weight easily. The reason why I haven't done it before was Erik Koch, who is a teammate of mine who was right up there for a title shot and I didn't want to cross paths with him. After being at the fight, I thought it was the right idea to call out Aldo. He's at the top of the division. He's probably one of the best guys in the 145-150 pound range. For me, it's just wanting to fight the best."
Pettis on the last time he weighed 145 pounds: "It's been a while. Getting down to 155 was hard for me before, but now I have a clean diet and it's becoming a lot easier. Before my last fight, I was in the hot tub for two minutes and I made weight."
Pettis on what he saw in the Edgar vs. Aldo fight that made him want to challenge Aldo: "The biggest thing is where he's good at. He's good where I'm good. He likes to stand and trade and bang, and I feel like I'm a little more well-rounded and I can offer him a big challenge."
Pettis on if he'll stay in the featherweight class if he wins this championship: "I have to cross those bridges when I get there, but my goal is to become the 155-pound champ."
Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez on when he'll return and who he'll fight: "I was thinking this summer. But I would not fight [Daniel Cormier]. He's my coach, teammate and my friend."
Florian on the heavyweight division: "Bigfoot Silva really made things complicated in the heavyweight division. Maybe Bigfoot thrust himself ahead to the number one contender because of this."
Sonnen on the heavyweight division: "Bigfoot just fought and lost to Cain and it was vicious and one sided, he's not going to be the guy to fight him again. Insert Josh Barnett. He was UFC heavyweight champion in 2002. He left and can come back and get his belt back. He's the guy."
Sonnen on Rashad Evans' performance: "I don't know who that was fighting. I know that you said even on a bad fight, he would beat Little Nog, but this was a terrible fight. I contacted him and he said: 'I hurt my hand in the first round and it killed my confidence. I didn't have the confidence to attack. I was one handed, so I couldn't grapple.'"
Florian on what Frankie Edgar should do next: "Frankie is still the best at 155. He's still the second best in the 145 division. Frankie could go down to 135 and be the best in that division as well. He's a legend and one of the favorite fighters out there, a fighter's fighter. I can't wait to see Frankie back in there."
Sonnen on marketability and why some fighters get big fights over other fighters: "The best fighter in the world is also the one the fans want to see most – at least 99.9 percent of the time. Go to Lamas' Twitter page; he has 3200 followers. Whether he's beaten guys or not, if nobody knows he exists, nobody knows he exists. I think he's an excellent fighter, but I also heard his name for the first time a week ago when he fought on FOX. The Korean Zombie is fascinating; he's fantastic and exciting. To compare him to a talent like Anthony Pettis just can't be done."
Helwani on if the Aldo vs. Pettis fight is unfair to contenders: "The bottom line is that UFC matchmakers have told me time and again that their job is not to create champions, it's to create contenders. With that in mind, it's hard not to feel bad for these contenders who are getting passed up by guys who don't even fight in their division."
Sonnen on the fighter rankings: "I've never understood what people's fascination is with putting a number next to someone's name? I did this my entire time in college with girls I dated, and I can assure you it never ended well."
Helwani on the lightweight division rankings: "This one is a little surprising to me. I have all the respect in the world for Gilbert Melendez, but I don't think just because you get a title shot because you're the Strikeforce champion, you should be ranked as the top guy at lightweight behind Benson Henderson. There are a lot of guys under him – like Anthony Pettis, like Gray Maynard – who probably deserve that shot more."
Florian on the fighter rankings in the lightweight division: "Two names should be there: Josh Thompson and where the heck is Frankie Edgar's name? I still have him as the number two guy in the 155-pound division."
UFC TONIGHT is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The show is co-hosted by veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian and UFC light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen. Leeann Tweeden contributes, while three-time World MMA Awards Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani adds insider news.
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