With his debut as a featherweight in the UFC almost here, Anthony Pettis said he moved down a weight class for one reason and one reason alone.
"I'm in this to be a champ," Pettis said during an appearance on UFC Tonight this week.
Pettis (18-5) makes his debut in the 145-pound ranks at UFC on Fox 21 this Saturday against Charles Oliveira. Pettis is looking for a spark to his career after losing his past three fights, including a split-decision defeat at the hands of Eddie Alvarez, the current UFC champion in the 145 weight class.
A former UFC lightweight champion, Pettis said he "most definitely" felt pressure heading into this bout, though he said every fight is the "most important fight of your career. But this is one of those fights that can make it and break it."
Pettis discussed his scouting, or lack thereof, of Oliveira (21-5-1 NC), currently the No. 7 ranked contender in the 145 division of the UFC and on a roll that has seen him win five of his past six fights.
"I haven’t even watched tape on this guy," Pettis said. "I didn’t want to concern myself with him. I did that for my last few fights and it made me second guess myself. Now I just concentrate on what I have to do. I actually watched my own fights to get ready.”
Though still basing his fight camp out of Wisconsin at Roufusport under Duke Roufus, Pettis shared that he also did some cross training at Jackson's MMA in New Mexico "for a few weeks at a time."
He also shared the progress of another Roufus-trained fighter, former WWE wrestler CM Punk, who is set to make his MMA debut at UFC 203 more than two years after signing with the UFC.
"He made a huge jump from where he was to now," Pettis said. "He has a skill set. Two years isn’t a lot of time to develop in this sport. He put the time in. He’s holding his own. I’ll be there to watch him.”