Anthony Pettis isn’t focused on a rematch with Jeremy Stephens, but he also won’t say no if that’s what the PFL wants.
On a recent episode of The MMA Hour, Stephens, who recently signed with the PFL, noted his interest in a rematch with Pettis. The two previously fought at UFC 138 with Pettis taking a split decision for the first victory of his UFC career. Unfortunately for Stephens, Pettis is more interested in rectifying some of his own losses, particularly the two he suffered last year as part of the PFL’s 2021 lightweight season.
“No problem,” Pettis said on The MMA Hour when asked about a possible rematch. “Honestly, I want to run back the ones that I lost. I want Clay Collard and Raush Manfio. But Stephens makes it fun.
“Stephens is on of those guys that can knock out anybody if he connects. So I think adding him to the division makes it fun, but my real focus is on the guys that I lost to, Raush Manfio or Clay Collard. Those are the guys I want to see next season.”
Since their first fight, the careers of Pettis and Stephens have diverged significantly. Pettis won the UFC lightweight title and bounced around between featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight. Stephens, meanwhile, dropped down to featherweight not long after his loss and spent the next seven years competing there.
Perhaps recognizing that Pettis might be less keen on a rematch than himself, Stephens attempted to goad the former UFC and WEC champion into a battle, saying that Pettis looked “fat and out of shape” the last time he saw him and that Pettis had been “getting paid too much.” It’s trash talk for for trash talk’s sake, according to Pettis, but “Showtime” says he’s happy to prove Stephens wrong if the opportunity arises.
“I think saw some stuff on Instagram about cheeseburger cheeks, or I got paid too much or something,” Pettis said. “Whatever he wants — look at my UFC career and WEC career, and look at his career. I beat him, so of course he has to talk sh*t. He has to say something. I’m undefeated in rematches, so if we run it back, I’m looking forward to seeing him again. If he wants to see how these cheeseburger cheeks feel, my chin has been tested and it’s proven. Top notch, baby.”
Both Pettis and Stephens are set to take part in the PFL’s 2022 lightweight tournament, which is scheduled to start on April 20.