Sure, Anthony Pettis and Ben Askren are teammates, but recently “Showtime” outlined why he would never fight “Funky”: he doesn’t want to be embarrassed…
Pettis is moving up to welterweight this Saturday at UFC Nashville and will face top contender, Stephen Thompson. If Pettis wins, he’ll likely move right into the thick of the title shot race, which also includes Askren.
Well, recently Pettis was asked if he’d be willing to face his Roufusport teammate, and the vaunted striker said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I would never fight Ben Askren, I’d save myself the embarrassment,” Pettis said “That dude is a (expletive) monster.”
“(He’s) the type of guy that, you can never count him out,” Pettis said. “I spinning- back kicked him one time, right in the chin, I could tell he was hurt, he double legs me, gets on top, and just starts grinding me out. He’s one of them tough, deep-down guys. He’s really good.”
There you have it. When you have a world class wrestling game like Askren, coupled with grit and a ton of heart (as shown in his recent win over Robbie Lawler – he did take some heavy, heavy shots from “Ruthless” – and as noted by Pettis above), not too many guys are likely keen to face you. The difference here is that likely most fighters, particularly other top welterweights in the UFC, don’t want to admit this publicly.
Although, all that said, it’s hard to imagine Pettis and Askren agreeing to fight, on account of their friendship etc.
Here is the line-up for UFC Nashville.
MAIN CARD (ESPN+/8 p.m. ET)
Welterweight: Stephen Thompson vs. Anthony Pettis
Heavyweight: Curtis Blaydes vs. Justin Willis
Lightweight: John Makdessi vs. Jesus Pinedo
Flyweight: Jussier Formiga vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
Featherweight: Steven Peterson vs. Luis Pena
Female Flyweight: Maycee Barber vs. JJ Aldrich
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+/5 p.m. ET)
Featherweight: Bryce Mitchell vs. Bobby Moffett
Bantamweight: Frankie Saenz vs. Marlon Vera
Female Flyweight: Alexis Davis vs. Jennifer Maia
Strawweight: Randa Markos vs. Angela Hill
Bantamweight: Chris Gutierrez vs. Ryan MacDonald
Flyweight: Eric Shelton vs. Jordan Espinosa