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Anthony Pettis: This version of ‘Showtime’ is the one that should’ve been seen in 2021

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ARLINGTON, Texas – Anthony Pettis is confident the version of himself on display to open his 2022 PFL season is the real deal – and not the one who fizzled out quickly in his first PFL season in 2021.

Pettis (25-12) forced Myles Price (11-8) to tap to a first-round mounted triangle choke Friday at the PFL’s third event of the regular season. In 2021, he lost both his fights. But a first-round finish Friday got him 6 points, meaning a win in his second fight, no matter how, would have him nearly assured a playoff spot.

Pettis said the newness of the PFL’s season and playoff format was something he wasn’t prepared for in 2021 after signing as a free agent after years in the UFC, including as its lightweight champion.

“Last year was all new for me – coming to a whole new organization, a lot of adjustments were made,” Pettis said in his post-fight news conference in Arlington, Texas. “But I just refocused. I’ve been here before. I’ve had (multiple) losses in a row before. I know how to redo it. I just had a baby, so I have a lot of motivation this camp.

“… Last year, last season, I didn’t put in the right amount of work. I tried to attune my training camp for a full-season fight. That’s not how this thing works. The season format is totally different than how I was used to. I feel like the training gives me the confidence that I had in there. … Last year, I definitely underestimated what I was getting myself into.”

Pettis said he was tempted to be flashy against Price, but thought better of it in the moment. Instead, after some adversity from his opponent, he found a way to lock up his finish.

And even though he says he wasn’t going to go after typical “Showtime” moves, a mounted triangle choke might amount to something almost in that vein, anyway.

Still, Pettis said he will stay focused on being read for his second regular season fight, knowing the two fighters who beat him in 2021 sit just behind him in the standings.

“I’m not going to get big-headed,” Pettis said. “(I’m going to) go right back into camp. I’ve got three more fights to win, and I’ve got two tough dudes in front of me: Clay Collard and (Raush Manfio), and I want both of them guys.”