Pettis On Cerrone Rematch: ‘I Got The Mental Advantage Already’

A former UFC Lightweight Champion, Anthony Pettis’ recent run in the UFC has forced him to think differently about who he is as a fighter.

Pettis (22-10) is set to face off against Donald Cerrone at UFC 249. They will be main eventing the prelims on ESPN. 2-3 in his last five fights and 5-8 in his last 13, Pettis is looking for a big improvement on how he handles fighting. The pressure will be on as the UFC will be the only major sports entity active due to the coronavirus pandemic. With gyms closed and a feeling of uncertainty, Pettis is hoping this fight can give him the boost he needs.

“I think I need to get my confidence back. That’s what I’m focusing on now,” Pettis stated to MMA Junkie during media day. “This quarantine made me readjust and rethink. Even in practice I’m better than most of the guys I train with. It’s just putting it together in the octagon in the moments that matter. It’s just putting together the rounds.”

The last time Pettis and Cerrone (36-14, 1NC) fought was in 2013. Pettis landed a vicious shot to the liver of Cerrone, forcing him down to the ground after only one round. Pettis beat Benson Henderson after for the UFC Lightweight Title and defended it once before losing it to Rafael dos Anjos. From there, his strange streak began.

Cerrone has fought many times over the past few years and has gone 17-9 since that fight. His last fight was a 40-second TKO loss at the hands of Conor McGregor. In one of the biggest fights of his career, “Cowboy” did not show up to the fight. That fact, along with a recent win over him, gives Pettis the feeling he has the edge over Cerrone.

“When you beat somebody, it’s always there in the back of their head,” Pettis said. “No matter what, I don’t care how many fights you have past that, a loss is a loss. I feel I got the mental advantage already. I know his weaknesses; he knows my weaknesses. It’s going to be who can exploit it, who is in better shape and who wants it more.”

UFC 249 takes place on May 9 from inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

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