And when you hear his explanation, you’ll understand why.
It worked out well for them the first time they competed on the same card, as both Anthony and Sergio Pettis came out victorious at UFC 181 last December.
Three months later, the encore show didn’t go as well for the talented Pettis brothers, as Anthony — the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion — and Sergio both came up short in their respective fights at UFC 185 just a few weeks back.
Rafael dos Anjos outclassed Anthony for 25 minutes to take his 155-pound strap (video), while Sergio was knocked out by Ryan Benoit in the second round during preliminary action (recap). Something that big brother, unfortunately, had to witness backstage.
That’s why “Showtime” revealed during his recent appearance on The MMA Hour that he no longer wants to compete on the same card as his younger brother, because having to watch him get knocked out before going into battle for himself was hard.
“It’s been a healing process, pretty much. I’m trying to figure out exactly what happened. I went out there and it wasn’t my night. For me, I got to figure out what went wrong and why my performance was the way it was. So there is a lot of questions and a lot of things that I’m trying to figure out and if I have to change some things. I just got to go through that process and figure it all out. I was on top of the world and I got knocked down. Dos Anjos had an amazing performance and a great night. It wasn’t my night, I have to figure out what went wrong and go back to the drawing board.”
“The biggest thing I am going to change is me and my little bro fighting on the same card. The first time it went amazing, the second time not so well, he got knocked out and I had to watch that and get up mentally for my fight. Not making excuses or nothing, but those are little things that could’ve triggered my performance. I really had a crappy performance, I don’t know what happened, my timing was off, I didn’t have any strength out there. I felt weak, something went wrong. I have to figure it out, and fix it. I’ve never felt that weak in a fight. It was the wrong night to feel like that. I don’t think (Sergio’s loss) messed me up mentally. I mean, yeah, it sucked to see him lose like that, get knocked out. He had a great first round and the second round he got caught. It happens, they were exchanging hooks, I’ve seen it a million times in combat sports. The morale of the corner men, we use the same corner men. So, Sergio was all hyped up, they were before me, then he gets knocked out and then we have to reset the battery, reset everything and try to get back up to the next fight. I just think it was a little bit too much for everyone emotionally to go through. So next time, when I am fighting a big fight like that, it has to be all about me.”
To reiterate, Anthony isn’t making excuses or even blaming his younger brother’s loss for his bad night, but it’s easy to understand where he’s coming from, as having to watching your younger sibling get knocked out before you step into the cage is a pretty tall order.
Neither is having to fight with blurred vision, as Pettis had his orbital bone broken by Rafael early in the fight. A punch Anthony gives “RDA” full credit for:
“Like I said, there are a lot of things that factor into that performance. Having one eye doesn’t stop the fact that I didn’t stop any of his takedowns. That didn’t stop the fact that I was taking wrong angles. I watched the fight like five times already because I want to see exactly what I did wrong. I was just doing wrong, I wasn’t there mentally and it cost me my title. Camp went well, I went from one camp to another and it felt like a normal camp. I was training well, no injuries and I felt in great shape and doing well in sparring. And when I landed in Dallas, it just went to crap for me. It was an off trip, just wasn’t my weekend.”
He concluded by giving all the credit in the world for his opponent for putting on a great performance, but wants to make it clear that the Brazilian didn’t beat the best version of “Showtime.”
“The biggest thing for me is, I am definitely upset with myself and I am down about losing my belt, but that wasn’t the best Anthony Pettis. He didn’t go out there and demolish my best performance. (If he had), then I would have to figure out why I suck at what I do. I just didn’t put it together, it wasn’t my night. He had a great performance.”
Pettis went on to say he still wants to stay busy, but can’t call anyone out until his eye is fully healed.
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