Following UFC 241, it was revealed that Anthony Pettis broke his foot during his memorable bout with Nate Diaz. Since then, “Showtime’s” longtime coach, Duke Roufus has outlined how the injury impacted the performance of Pettis.
How Pettis broke his foot
Pettis faced Diaz in the co-healdiner of UFC 241, and ended up losing the entertaining fight via unanimous decision. Early on, Pettis partially scored with a headkick, and Roufus has reported to MMA Junkie that’s how he initially injured his foot. But, it was a follow up kick attempt from Pettis, which Diaz checked, which reportedly really did the foot in.
Roufus comments on the injury
As you may recall, during his fight with Tony Ferguson last October, Pettis broke his hand. After he told Roufus in the corner, the renowned coach called the fight off. This time around, however, Roufus apparently didn’t know that Pettis had injured his foot.
“He didn’t tell me what was happening at all,” Roufus said. “He didn’t want me to stop it. He told me before the fight, ‘Don’t stop the fight if something happens….’
“The situation changed dramatically, and I was wondering why he was doing certain things, and it was because he couldn’t push off that foot,” Roufus said. “It was like Paul Felder when he broke his arm against Mike Perry. Everything changes when you have a horrific injury. Looking back at the fight I’m like, ‘Wow, how did he even do that?’ I was blown away.
“To fight Nate Diaz like that, I’m impressed as both a coach and a friend. MMA is a crazy sport. All respect to Nate. Sometimes you get hurt. It was hard watching what happened. Nate did everything we were thinking, and during the fight I was wondering, ‘Why can’t you do this?’ He wouldn’t say why. The bad thing about being a kicker is if you compromise your leg, you’re screwed.”
Yup. It’s hard to deny that the injury didn’t impact the performance of Pettis adversely. As Roufus noted, not only did that limit what weapons he could use, his mobility would have been impacted too. But, as Roufus also noted, this doesn’t take away from Diaz’s win. Especially since the injury got worse on account of the kick he checked. That’s not a fluke.
Hopefully Pettis has a full and speedy recovery. It will be interesting to see what comes next for “Showtime”. Prior to facing Diaz, Pettis took out Stephen Thompson this past March in electrifying fashion.