Duke Roufus Says Anthony Pettis Could Return This Year

Former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis suffered a unanimous decision loss to Nate Diaz in the co-main event of UFC 241.

Coach Duke Roufus says that Pettis could fight again by the end of the year, despite suffering a broken foot against Diaz.

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“If healthy, maybe December, Las Vegas,” Roufus said to MMA Fighting. “Here’s the thing, did he get the win? No. But man, you love to watch this guy fight. There’s something about his skills and most of the guys I train, especially the guys I train full time and a long time, is I try to teach them to be a promoter. That’s why I had a 20-year fight career and until recently I was even offered some fights, and I’m an old guy. Because you know what? I knew what this fight game’s about, entertainment. Sometimes you don’t win, but you entertain. There’s a lot of people out there fighting careful, going out there sparring, playing the system, kind of what Nate Diaz talks about. That’s why I really relate to what Nate Diaz talks about, these ‘real fighters.’ Not putting anyone down, I’m just saying the brand of fighting that I instill in a lot of my guys, they’re doing well and having great careers and it’s exciting. … I think that’s what’s exciting about Anthony. You’re waiting, ‘will he pull it out?’ He doesn’t win every time, but man, he sure gives the fans some fights.”

Pettis didn’t need surgery for the broken foot, which the fighter suffered in the first round of the bout against Diaz.

Despite suffering a broken foot in the first round of the UFC 241 co-main event, one thing Pettis didn’t do was notify Roufus about the injury.

“He didn’t tell me about the injury at all during the fight because he didn’t want me to stop the fight,” Roufus said. “He told me before the fight, ‘Don’t stop this fight, coach.’ And that’s a problem I’m having with my guys now. I stop the fight and now they lie to me and don’t tell me any injuries. Sergio Pettis did the same thing in Milwaukee [against Rob Font], lacerated his cornea in the first round of that fight and he fought the whole fight with one eye. So that being said, Anthony broke that foot on that check where he fell down. That’s where he broke the foot and I was wondering the whole fight why he couldn’t just do certain things. I wanted a straight right hand, an elbow even. He couldn’t push off, he couldn’t kick, now I understand what he was doing.”

There are three UFC events taking place this December, giving a recovering Pettis plenty of opportunities to compete before the end of the year.

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