Anthony Pettis is a Ultimate Fighting Chamiponship (UFC) and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) world champion. Now, he's aiming for a third world title in the new Pro Fighters League (PFL).
"It helps the fans understand the playoffs, the preseason, and then the championship," Pettis says. "So it's very clear, cut throat of how to become a champion. There really is no way to become a champion, besides becoming really popular and winning fights, obviously."
After 18 years as a professional fighter, Pettis is thinking about life after his career. He'll promote his second ever card at Franklin Field on August 12.
"Because when I grew up, I was fighting at Harley-Davidson dealership," Pettis says. "I was fighting at bars and it was a lot of chaotic ways to get myself into the UFC, WEC, PFL. But now, my fight promotion is actually broadcasted on the UFC Fight Pass platform, which gives the guys in the Midwest a stage to compete on."
So, what's tougher? Fighting or promoting fights?
"The promoter is way harder, because there's a lot of factors that you can't really control," Pettis says. "I'm praying to God that we have nice weather. No rain and there's a lot of things that are out of your control. Ticket sales. Athletes not making weight. Athletes not showing up for fights. A lot of stuff that I never had to deal with that I'm learning how to deal with it now. But I enjoy it, man. It's like, for me, it's like a challenge just fighting."
Now living near Las Vegas, the Milwaukee native grieves when he hears of violence back home. Pettis lost his dad, not due to gun violence, but a stabbing.
"That changed my life," Pettis says. "That's why I'm sad for the victims, the families that gotta deal with that, because that changes you forever. I mean, my Dad was shot when I was a young kid in his leg and I saw that as a kid and I was like man, this is right there in my backyard. It's crazy to see. Martial arts for me saved my life. It gave me an outlet for my energy, but also it taught me life skills. The confidence and self-esteem. The discipline. Kind of just striving for something more. I mean, for young kids now, find your outlet. You gotta find an outlet that's not hanging out with the wrong crowd."
For more info on the Midwest Invitational on Aug. 12 at Franklin Field, click HERE. Start time is 6:15 p.m.