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Coach thinks Anthony Pettis can get better

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Can’t a guy get any respect around here? After defeating Ben Henderson for the UFC lightweight title last August, it would seem that Anthony Pettis would be on top of the world. No so fast, though. His coach ‘Duke” Roufus told MMA Fighting that he didn’t give his star pupil star marks on his execution that night:

“He’ll be 27 next year, and the crazy thing about Anthony Pettis, I give him a B in his performance against Ben Henderson. That wasn’t even the best Anthony Pettis. He fought the fight with a separated shoulder on a month’s notice. That’s the kind of kid he is. We haven’t even seen the best of Anthony Pettis yet. That’s scary.”

“Showtime” is currently dealing with a knee injury which forced him to miss his next title defense against Josh Thomson at the UFC on Fox 9. He has won 8 of his last 9 fights, but if there is a criticism of the champ it’s that he’s a bit fragile. The last time Pettis fought more than twice a year was back in 2010 and guys like Nate Diaz are quick to point out the perceived shortcoming.

Whether or not that is just posturing to get the next shot at the belt is anyone’s guess, but it appears like all that’s on Pettis’ mind is getting healthy. There is currently no timetable for his return. The main event slot he misses at the UFC on Fox 9 airs next Saturday.

Follow Brian on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Brian_Henkels

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