Anthony Pettis lost his UFC lightweight belt to Rafael dos Anjos earlier this year in a shockingly one-sided affair. Speaking with Inside MMA recently, "Showtime" said he believes the biggest reasons for his loss were dos Anjos' power and his own wrong mind-set.
"It's more of a mind-set thing. I'd never gotten hit in the face like that ever before in my life. It was more of a mental thing," he explained.
"'Showtime' didn't show up. I didn't show up the way I usually fight. So I'm not going to go back and re-do everything. I'm definitely going to be more safe in my training camps. Like you said, I've already got the talent. Now, it's about putting it all together. ... My team got me here, my coaches got me here and we're just going to take our time and figure out how to do it again."
Pettis is currently rehabilitating an injured elbow but has been cleared to do light work in the gym. Ideally, he wants to jump back in against dos Anjos, next, simply because of how badly the Brazilian took it to him. However, Pettis is open to taking on any number of challenges next.
"My ideal opponent would be Rafael dos Anjos -- somebody who did that to me, that's something I want back," he admitted.
"Ideally, that's the fight I want. Who makes sense to get me there? You've got Khabib [Nurmagomedov] out there with an injury and I think he's coming back soon. Nate Diaz and me never had a good exchange of words, so Diaz is out there. Anybody who's going to get me my shot back at dos Anjos."
Of course, the Brazilian next defends his title against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, in December. Pettis has a win over Cerrone in the WEC from a few years ago.
Pettis' best-case scenario is him being ready to fight in December as well, so that he could fill in for either Cerrone or dos Anjos should one of them get injured and pull out of their title bout. "I'm pushing for this year," Pettis revealed.
"I'm pushing for a December return. 'Cowboy' and dos Anjos are on a card, and if one of them gets injured, I'd be ready to step in."