Anthony Pettis is booked to fight Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185, but the lightweight champ is still finding himself talking about Khabib Nurmagomedov. The reason being, of course, is that Nurmagomedov has walked through six straight opponents since joining the UFC, and is the #2 ranked 155ér as a result.
Not only that, but Nurmagomedov has been pretty ‘proactive’ about campaigning for a title shot. Case in point, it wasn’t long ago when the ridiculously talented grappler claimed “pretty boy” Pettis is “scared” to fight him.
Well, Pettis recently spoke to MMA Junkie.com, and not surprisingly, he was asked to weigh in on the undefeated fighter. After calling Nurmagomedov “annoying”, here is some of what the champion had to say about the lightweight’s game:
“I feel like his striking is like an amateur level,” Pettis said. “He only gets by on his wrestling. He thinks his striking is going to be good enough to survive against me, take me down and grind me out for 25 minutes? He’s never done that. He’s never fought a main event for 25 minutes.
“Anybody can wrestle for 15 minutes, but it’s different when you’re fighting for the title. At the same time, his striking is amateur compared to where my wrestling us. My wrestling is on a way higher level than his striking if you want to compare the two.”
It is true that we haven’t seen “The Eagle” go for 25 minutes yet, and it would be interesting to see how Nurmagomedov performs in the championship rounds. Pettis also has a dangerous guard, and it would be fascinating to see how the ground game plays out, if they fight. Pettis has worked hard on his wrestling, but we are talking about a guy who cruised through powerful grinders like Abel Trujillo and Pat Healy.
First things first,however, and that’s Pettis-dos Anjos. That bout will go down on March 14th in Dallas, Texas.