The always self-motivated Anthony Pettis required no extra incentive to perform well in his upcoming WEC lightweight title challenge against Ben Henderson at WEC 53. So when the stakes of the fight was raised last Friday -- the winner would receive a UFC title shot -- Pettis' new concern was the potential problem of too much motivation.
"I have a problem with overtraining," Pettis said Monday on The MMA Hour. "I'm the first guy in the gym and the last guy to leave, so [coach] Duke [Roufus] really monitors how much I train and makes sure I'm not overtraining."
In just a little over three years into his professional MMA career, Pettis has an opportunity to meet the winner of the Jan. 1 UFC title fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard at a later date.
"This adds more fuel to the fire," Pettis added. "I just have to make sure how much I pay attention to this, I don't want to overtrain."
Pettis isn't taking the UFC title shot for granted as he's well aware of the opportunity that has been presented to him.
"[The UFC is] just something I've been looking forward to my whole life since I was a kid and right now it's within my fingertips," the Tae Kwon Do black belt said.
At first, the news of UFC title implication from Roufus was shrugged off by the 23-year-old as incredulous. But after being told to check the validity of the story himself, he realized it was no joke at all.
"I looked online," Pettis said " And I'm just like, 'Wow, this is crazy.'"
The UFC-WEC merger will go into effect in 2011 following the WEC's final event, WEC 53 on Dec. 16. When asked if he had a preference of a winner between Edgar and Maynard, Pettis was more focused on the task at hand.
"Right now all I see is Ben Henderson," Pettis said. "After Ben Henderson, I'll start making preferences."
Check out the latest installment of The MMA Hour below.