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Anthony Pettis calls Anderson Silva's leg break an 'amateur move', corrects himself later

UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis had some things to say about Anderson Silva's leg break in an interview, but changed his tune a little later in a follow-up with another media outlet.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Pettis is the center of attention right now, with good reason. He will defend his UFC lightweight title for the first time this weekend against Gilbert Melendez at UFC 181, and has been doing the media rounds ahead of the bout. One of the more controversial things that has come out of all this was from an interview with HOT 97 when he was asked about Anderson Silva's nasty leg break last year, and whether it would have any effect on his vaunted striking game (via MMA Fighting):

"Not really," Pettis told New York City's HOT 97. "It was kind of an amateur mistake. He kicked a check and that's like a basic kickboxing move. I mean, he's probably done that a million times in his life and that was just the wrong time to do it. The wrong angle, the wrong pressure. But that doesn't really make me kick differently."

"I think it looked ugly," said Pettis. "It was nasty but that's like saying in basketball when somebody twists or breaks their ankle, 'You can't dunk like that because he did it that way.' It's not even a factor."

He quickly backtracked on the "amateur move" statement though, saying the quote was taken out of context in a later interview with Globo (translated by Fernando Arbex):

"It was taken out of context. I said that it was a basic kick, not an amateur move. I said that it was a basic kick, which Anderson probably already did a million times, and they caught a piece of my quote and the headline showed me saying that was an amateur mistake. I'm sure that he already kicked someone's legs millions of times and had never broken his own leg, than that was what I was talking. That was my train of thought. The question was if today I kick differently because of Anderson's injury and I said that I don't, because he got hurt performing a basic kick. Anderson Silva is an idol, I respect him a lot, he's my favorite fighter in the world. I would never disrespect him. Anderson was always a guy who I sought inspiration."

Pettis doesn't come across as the type of fighter that would disrespect a legend on purpose, so all the buzz is probably a bit overblown. I'm pretty sure Anderson himself isn't losing any sleep over it either.

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