Local MMA fighter talks career, stake in hometown

Posted at 10:23 PM, Dec 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 23:24:02-05
Standout MMA fighter and Milwaukee native Anthony "Showtime" Pettis has been in the headlines a lot lately. He's been targeted by high-stakes vandals and robbers at his Milwaukee home.
Now, as his upcoming championship bout approaches, Pettis sat down with TODAY'S TMJ4's Lance Allan to talk about his career and his stake in his hometown.
"This is my hometown," he said. "This is what made me."
Days away from a bout against precision puncher Max Holloway, Pettis recounted his Milwaukee training camp.
He experienced two attacks on his vehicles parked at his Milwaukee home. First, his cars were set ablaze. The second incident, one of rummaging young robbers -- caught on video -- didn't leave this street tough combatant remotely angry. 
"It's kind of sad to see these kids that don't even understand that there's a better way out," he said. "There's a way where you don't have to steal someone's stuff and their cars. There's other ways that you can make a living and make yourself known than doing stuff like that so."
The earlier burning of his cars, though, remains troubling to this modern-day gladiator. But, Pettis isn't going anywhere.
Allan: Does it shake your faith in Milwaukee? 
Pettis: Not at all. I feel like it makes me grow even stronger in Milwaukee. It shows that there is a need for some change in Milwaukee. I mean, from what I hear, these are kids. Seventh graders and eighth graders, going around the city doing stuff like this? It's a sad time. And, we gotta come together and make this community stronger.
Pettis and Holloway meet in an interim 145-pound championship fight this Saturday at the Air Canada center in Toronto. Pettis usually fights in the 155-pound class and is the former champion of that division.