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Frustrated Anthony Pettis looking to silence doubters upon return to the octagon

UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis discussed his time on the sidelines recovering from a PCL injury, as well as his upcoming title fight against Gilbert Melendez.

Anthony Pettis may not feel the urge to endlessly defend himself on twitter but he does admit that the recent criticism directed at him has certainly gotten on his nerves.

The UFC lightweight champion has been out of action for the better part of the last year since defeating Benson Henderson via submission to win the championship. His lengthy spell on the sidelines has prompted a slew of frustrated lightweights to aim a handful of complaints in his direction. Some have expressed their growing concern over the lack of title defences in the division, some consider Pettis to be fragile, while most recently Jim Miller suggested that an interim title may be in order due to Pettis' "lack of incentive" to return to competition.

After recalling several examples of his own, Pettis revealed, "It is hard to be out this long. It is hard to hear everyone talking and doubting my skills but it is part of the game. Injuries happen."

While Pettis is disappointed with his fellow lightweights' lack of education regarding injuries - or at least their total disregard for them - he refuses to succumb to the pressures that come with being a champion and will instead continue to give his body the necessary recovery time before he attempts to step into the octagon again.

"My fighting style is crazy in the cage but at the same time I've been training Mixed Martial Arts since I was five years old. I'm not going to go in there and change anything up. If I change something up then maybe I won't have the performances that I've been having. I'm going out and finishing guys in three minutes."

While the memory of his time on the sidelines leaves a bitter taste in his mouth, Pettis appeared energized as he revealed that he is back in training camp and satisfied with his recovery overall. Had it not been for his obligation filming the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, Pettis would have been prepared to step into the octagon immediately.

"I'm in training camp right now. I'm out here in Vegas sparring, rolling and doing everything normal again. I gave the injury the right amount of time off and I'm ready to get back in the octagon."