DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – One of the flashiest superstars in The UFC, lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, returns to action Saturday at Dallas’ American Airlines Center when he defends his title against #1 ranked contender Raphael Dos Anjos.
Pettis was last in action this past December, becoming the first person to submit Gilbert Melendez shorty after the two coached against each other on the 20th season of “the Ultimate Fighter”. Dos Anjos has won eight of his last nine fights, including a three fight win streak that last saw him dominate Nate Diaz in December. It was immediately after that fight that Pettis texted UFC president Dana White and told him he was ready to defend his belt against Dos Anjos.
Listen to Richard Hunter talk to Anthony Pettis about his life in and out of The UFC Octagon:
After the past few years that have seen Pettis fight more infrequently than he would like due to injury, he is anxious to return to a more active career pace. He hasn’t however, allowed physical setbacks to slow him down outside of the cage, where he has been busy planning for his future.
When I asked Anthony Pettis about the inspiration for opening a barber shop in his hometown of Milwaukee (located 20 minutes from the sports bar that he opened previously), he told me that he gets three hair cuts a week and saw it as a good investment that would include the perk of “free haircuts”. He has also made enough money as The UFC’s 155 pound champion to buy his mother a house and a car. He and his brother Sergio (who will fight Dallas’ Ryan Benoit on Saturday’s undercard) will dedicate their fights to their deceased father who would’ve celebrated a birthday just a few days ago.
A win over the underdog Dos Anjos would likely set the stage for Pettis to defend the title again later this year against the winner of May’s Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone/Khabib Nurmagomedov fight. Look for his strikes and kicks to be on full display Saturday, as he works to finish the fight on the feet and stay off the ground with Dos Anjos, a dangerous Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt.
Co headlining Saturday’s card will be a women’s 115 straw weight title fight between champion Carla Esparza and #1 ranked challenger Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Esparza won the inaugural title on last season’s “Ultimate Fighter” with her solid wrestling base, but she’ll be facing a decorated muay thai striker and undefeated MMA fighter in the Polish born Jedrzejczyk.
Another Dallas native, former welterweight champ Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks, looks to rebound against his December title loss to Robbie Lawler in a feature bout against gritty Matt “The Immortal” Brown, in what is sure to be a fight of the night contender.
UFC 185 airs exclusively on pay per view (9:00pm CT) from The American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
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