Anthony Pettis was coming off three consecutive losses when he faced Charles Oliveira at UFC on FOX 21 late last month. Fortunately for him, he was able to break the streak by winning his featherweight debut via third round guillotine choke.
Like Pettis, who would have put his UFC career on a compromising position if he incurred a third straight loss, head trainer Duke Roufus was also on a "win or go home" mentality that night. Speaking to Ariel Helwani in his recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Roufus says he would have called it quits as a coach if Pettis did end up losing to Oliveira.
"I’ve only told a couple of people this -- Anthony, one of my really good friends in Canada, and one of my business partners -- if Anthony Pettis would have lost his last fight, I was going to stop coaching. He had his back against the wall, I had my back against the wall. And, I’m serious. That’s how much this kid’s life means to me."
"But that’s how invested I am as a coach. And that’s the mentality I have going into this [CM] Punk fight."
Roufus will once again be putting his coaching reputation on the line when former WWE superstar CM Punk steps into the cage against Mickey Gall this weekend at UFC 203 in Cleveland. And for him, his fighter’s victory or defeat is also his own.
"Yeah, I take responsibility for winning and losing when coaching. I’m the type of guy who wants to be in the trenches with my people. I felt like we had one of the best camps in a long time, that connectivity, I was inspired by Anthony’s hunger as well, too."
"It was a very crucial part of his career," Roufus said of Pettis last fight. "It was. No one took the losses worse than me, and of course Anthony. I know his potential is, and I know what he’s capable of."