Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis left the company at the end of 2020 to join the Professional Fighters League, but Pettis and UFC president Dana White have continued to remain on good terms even after the stunning move. While some former UFC champs such as Randy Couture say they’ve been banned by White, others such as Anderson Silva want White to stay out of their current affairs, and even some current stars such as Jon Jones seem to repeatedly get into very public feuds with White, Pettis told Heavy the secret to staying on White’s good side was actually no secret at all.
“I never talk shit about him, and he never talks shit about me,” Pettis told Heavy.
Pettis faces Alex Martinez at PFL 4 on June 10 in Atlantic City. The main card begins at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
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Pettis Opens up on Relationship With White
Pettis believes having a good relationship with White is a product of a few different things.
First, Pettis said he knows White wouldn’t have many bad things to say about him in the first place anyway because “Showtime” always agreed to take to the fights the UFC offered.
“I came here to fight, so…he can’t really say much,” Pettis said.
A short review of his incredible UFC resume reveals that to be the case. Pettis shared the Octagon with the likes of Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson, Max Holloway, Rafael Dos Anjos, Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier, Charles Oliveira, and Donald Cerrone during his run with the company.
Second, Pettis said he was always upfront about his plan to fight out his UFC contract so that he could test out free agency.
“I did it right. I wasn’t talking s*** before I was going to leave, I just told everybody, I even told him, I’m going to fight my contract out and see what happens from there,” White said.
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Pettis Offers Advice to Jones and Other UFC Stars
When asked what specific advice Pettis might have for someone like Jones or any other UFC star who constantly catches the brunt of White’s wrath, Pettis said it was all about having the right perspective.
“Man, the crazy thing about that is that technically, well, he is our boss. He decides how much money we’re making. So the relationship could hurt and could affect money as well,” Pettis said.
For Pettis, keeping his personal and business matters separate has always been important.
“There’s a fine line between that, between business talk, friendship, and all that flow. So all my business, I passed through my managers. I let that flow through them. And then when it’s friendship time, it’s friendship time,” Pettis said.
Pettis said he could never really see himself lashing out a White. He simply has way too many fond memories about his time with the UFC.
“Nah, Dana’s my boy, man,” Pettis said.
Pettis Predicts Superfight To Happen
Pettis remains hopeful that White and Jones will sort things out enough soon to see the superfight between Jones and UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou come to fruition.
“I hope so, man. That’s what we all need to see,” Pettis said.
Moreover, he believes Jones and Ngannou will eventually face each other, and he expressed how felt about it happening.
“I’m actually really happy for Francis because I know Francis from Vegas…He’s such a good guy, and I like to see his success…,” Pettis said.
That goes for Jones, too.
“Good things happen to good people, so hopefully both those guys get that shot,” Pettis said.
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