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Anthony Pettis: I’d never fight Ben Askren, I’ll ‘save myself the embarrassment’

Anthony Pettis is not willing to lock horns with Ben Askren inside the UFC Octagon.

Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis isn’t someone would who would back down from a challenge. His decision to jump up in weight and challenge himself against Stephen Thompson is in itself a good enough statement to prove that.

But there is one fighter in the UFC roster whom “Showtime” says he would never lock horns with.

“I would never fight Ben Askren,” Pettis told reporters during a UFC Nashville pre-fight scrum. “I’ll save myself the embarrassment. He’s a f—ing monster.”

Pettis was speaking from first-hand experience, being teammates with Askren at the renowned Roufusport Academy in Milwaukee.

“While I was at ’55, he was the one getting me ready for Ben Henderson. That run I went on, Ben was one of my main training partners. He’s the type of guy that you can never count out.”

“I spinning back-kicked him one time, right in the chin. And I could tell he was hurt, (but) he double-legs me, gets on top, and starts grinding me out. He’s one of the tough, deep down guys.”

Askren’s toughness was on full display during his UFC debut at UFC 235, having been able to withstand a barrage of vicious ground-and-pound shots from Robbie Lawler, which some would argue, had already put him out. To make things a little more noteworthy, he ended up winning the fight, albeit from a controversial call from referee Herb Dean.

Pettis, meanwhile, will be making his welterweight debut against “Wonderboy” this weekend, as the two headline the UFC’s ESPN+6 card in Nashville, Tennessee.