MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas sat down with Duke Roufus, coach of Anthony Pettis, the UFC Lightweight who will be dropping down to challenge Featherweight champ Jose Aldo. Thomas got Roufus to talk a little bit about their plan to beat Aldo:
Thomas:Do you think it's a fair criticism to say he fades?
Roufus: He just starts to coast. You can tell that he's a very explosive guy and he's gonna struggle later in the fight. Is he very dangerous? Yeah. Is he very technical and aggressive? Yeah. If you want to be the best, you've got to beat the best so Anthony is a big stakes player. He loves big stakes fights and these are the fights that bring the best out of him and motivates him . I love seeing him motivated. He just reinvents himself every fight. The nice thing is Anthony doesn't' cut a lot of weight. The last three fights he didn't even go to the sauna so he's very meticulous with diet and nutritious so we're gonna take advantage of the fight taking place in the summer. It's a little bit harder in the winter than in the summer. In the summer, it's very humid and hot and it makes it easier to make '45 for him.
Thomas: I don't want you to give away your whole gameplan, but if you could give me one thing, what is one sort of technical flaw that you think could be taken advantage of against Aldo?
Roufus: I'm not gonna say it's a flaw, but the one thing is the low kicks. The leg kicks are going to be a non-issue. Leg kicks are a cool thing until someone knows how to block it. When you know how to block it, he's the one that gets hurt, Aldo, not Anthony. That's the one thing that has given a lot of people trouble and that's the one thing Anthony prepared for real well with Cerrone and that was a non-issue there, too. Those leg kicks he launched, you saw Anthony block it and strike back right away. You did not see him throw a leg kick anymore.
That's the thing about MMA. Guys suck at blocking leg kicks. They're so worried about takedowns that they sometimes forget the leg kicks and when you know that someone likes to throw them a lot, you're ready for them. In other sports, they're not as common because people know how to defend them. That's the one thing I'll say will definitely affect Aldo's game. The kicking will be out. I believe Anthony's faster than him so the hands and other weapons, Anthony won't be in front of him for his knees and I can just say what Aldo is not going to do to him.