Now that TJ Grant will no longer fight Benson Henderson at UFC 164, and the conspiracy talk subsides, fans can look forward to seeing Anthony Pettis battle the lightweight champ for a second time. After all, their first meeting in December, 2010 was a classic, you might recall the “Showtime Kick”, and saw Pettis emerge with the unanimous decision win.
Since then, of course, both men have moved on to the UFC and have had a ton of success. Henderson has the nod in that respect, however, since he’s gone undefeated in seven bouts and has secured the UFC championship. After losing by decision to Clay Guida in his first UFC bout, Pettis has scored three consecutive wins now, including two by knockout.
Most people would likely agree that the August 31st rematch also has the potential to be something special, especially since both men are even better fighters today, than the two who fought two and-a-half years ago. As Pettis noted while appearing on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour:
“[Henderson is] a whole new fighter, a way different fighter than he was in the WEC days. But I am, too. It’s not like I’m the same Anthony Pettis you fought in Arizona. This is a totally different Anthony Pettis. It’s funny because my last two fights, the world only got to see me perform for like two minutes, so no one really knows how much I’ve evolved as a fighter. I’m excited to get out there and show what I’ve been working on.”
Pettis was also predictably asked to comment on Grant, considering not long ago, the former WEC champ was campaigning to replace the surging lightweight even before he got injured.
“Put it in like a regular job scenario,” said Pettis. “If you and your [co-worker] both are up for promotion, are you going to compete to get that promotion? You’re damn right you are. It’s the same situation here. He’s the No. 1 contender, I feel I’m the No. 1 contender. Unfortunately I took a shot at featherweight, it didn’t work out for me. I don’t feel bad about it, but I do feel bad for T.J. Grant. I mean, I’ve been in his position and all I have to say is, keep your head up and don’t let it get you down, man, because it really does get you down.”
Stay tuned to MMA Frenzy.com for all your UFC 164 news and coverage as the August 31st card draws near.