Live chat tomorrow with Urijah Faber and Chad Mendes

The AMP Energy/WEC Hometown Takedown (WEC: Henderson vs. Pettis) is almost here – and AMP Energy is back with another opportunity to give MMA fans exclusive, unprecedented access to the sport and its best fighters.

AMP Energy is inviting fans to a live chat with superstar fighters Urijah Faber and Chad Mendes hosted by PRO MMA Radio host Larry Pepe on AMP Energy’s USTREAM tomorrow, December 14th at 9 p.m. EST.

Faber and Mendes will field questions from fans about the AMP Energy Hometown Takedown at Arena, which is the final WEC card ever, as the organization announced last month that it will be merging with the Ultimate Fighting Championship® in 2011. The event is headlined by a fierce matchup between WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis. Check out Bullz-Eye’s recent interview with Anthony Pettis.

The chat is just another example of AMP Energy providing fans access to fans that no other sponsor has provided in any other sport. To get fans pumped for the upcoming fight, AMP Energy partnered with earlier this month and gave two fans the chance to have the ultimate experience at WEC Henderson vs. Pettis with the “Best Seat in the House” contest and the “Walk Out With a Fighter” contest, featuring Pettis.

Winners of both contests also received a trip for two to Phoenix, two tickets to the fight, and a dinner with Faber.

This summer, WEC and AMP Energy teamed up for the Hometown Takedown contest, which gave fans the chance to vote and bring a WEC event to their area. Phoenix was announced as the fan’s choice for the December 16 fight.

Here’s a video shout out from Urijah Faber inviting Bullz-Eye readers to join the chat tomorrow night. See you there!


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A Chat with WEC Fighter Anthony “Showtime” Pettis

The biggest day in Anthony Pettis’ life is quickly approaching. At age 23, the World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight is set to contend for the WEC title against champion Ben Henderson on Thursday, Dec. 16 in Glendale, Ariz. in the final WEC event in the history of the organization. As if fighting for the title wasn’t enough, the winner of this showdown will immediately become the No. 1 contender to the UFC lightweight title as the premiere MMA organization will absorb the WEC starting in January.

It has been whirlwind year for Pettis, who picked up a major sponsorship with AMP Energy and was featured on MTV’s “World of Jenks” over the past few months all while climbing the WEC lightweight ladder. With his lifelong dream and a world of opportunity within his grasp, Pettis took some time from preparing for Henderson to speak will about this.

Bullz-Eye: Well, Anthony, the fight is getting closer, how do you feel your training is going as you are winding down your camp?

Anthony Pettis: I am feeling great. I have had a great camp. I am ready. I have pushed myself to the limits everyday. I leave it all in practice. If Ben is going to beat me it is because he is truly better than me, not because I didn’t prepare the right way.

BE: What about the concept of a five-round fight? How have you been working on your cardio for this fight and how do you feel about your conditioning if it goes into those later rounds?

AP: I hired a great strength and conditioning coach that I have been working with for the last two fights and we have been pushing it. The only way to prepare for a five-round fight is to push your cardio and push yourself to the limits. I have been doing that everyday and I have been sparring six-minute rounds and I have been feeling good. My coach, Duke Roufus, really knows how to get ready for a fight and he is pushing me hard.

BE: Do you have to change your mindset for this fight knowing you may have to go an extra 10 minutes than a normal bout?

AP: I am not changing anything. I am training myself to give 100 percent every second of every round. I am pushing myself to the limits. I really am pushing myself to my limits. I want to be able to go, go, go. I want to take the fight anywhere and everywhere. I am not going to be looking to take it easy for a couple of rounds. I am going to push a fast pace and do my all to keep winning the fight at all times.

BE: What do you see when you watch Ben Henderson on film? What stands out about him? He seems like he just has a little bit of everything and doesn’t excel in any one area.

AP: Yeah, I am glad you said that because clearly Ben is a great fighter and he is a great champion that is tough in every aspect, but he has holes in his game just like everyone does. I mean, I have holes in my game. My coach has been watching a lot of tape on him and he has been training me for certain positions and situations that are going to help me capitalize and get a win in this fight. I have some great training partners that even look like Ben. The thing I have to look out for is his cardio because he is relentless and I can’t let myself lose focus.

BE: Without giving away your strategy for the fight, in what areas do you feel you are superior to Henderson?

AP: It is simple, for this fight I want to be the better fighter everywhere. His wrestling is great, his striking is good, and his cardio is good. I have to be ready for anything and be just a little bit better.

BE: How important will the mental aspect of this fight be given that it is your first title fight?

AP: It is big. Each fight I have had over the last few years has been a peak fight where it was the biggest fight of my career to that point. Now, I am 23-years-old and fighting for a world title and a chance to fight for the UFC belt. It is kind of overwhelming, but I know no matter what I do, I am going to have some nerves. I really just need to focus on doing what I did to get to this point and push myself a little further than that. I don’t want to overdo it or under do it.

BE: Are you going to try and enjoy the moment of reaching this milestone come fight night?

AP: I am going to love every moment. I am loving it now. This is what I have wanted to do with my life and this is all I have wanted to do. I am going to enjoy every moment and this is the last event ever in the WEC and I am going to be part of that. It will be great.

BE: With the nerves, how long does it take for your nerves to settle on fight night?

AP: I don’t think my nerves go away until I am lying in bed that night and when the fight is over, the interviews are done, and after the celebrating is over. It is one of those things you can’t explain. I love the feeling, but I just can’t explain it. You have to get up for these fights, but for me the nerves don’t go away until I am sleeping.

BE: How have you envisioned yourself winning this fight?

AP: Everyone asks me that and I honestly don’t know. This is one of those fights where it could end standing or it could end on the ground or even in the clinch. We are both good fighters, it is just going to come down to who makes the first mistake and how that guy capitalizes on that mistake. I will tell you this, no matter how the fight ends, my hand will be raised and that belt will be around my waist.

BE: Is it hard not to think about the feeling of becoming champion and just focus on the opponent or do you allow yourself to get lost in that moment?

AP: That has been my dream and that is what pushes me, so I think about it a lot. I am not trying to be overconfident or cocky, but my goal has always been to be champion, so I just have to be prepared to do anything and everything to make that happen. The next 25 minutes inside that cage decided the rest of my career. I think about that all the time.

BE: Would going a full 25 minutes in this fight prove something to you or do you not need to prove anything to yourself?

AP: I don’t think I need to go 25 minutes to finish this guy. It is going to be a war and we are both going to be looking to finish at all times. If it does go 25 minutes, that is just more time for me to prove to this guy that I am the better fighter. I think it would be a plus for me if it went 25 minutes because I can just put on more of a show. If I can finish this guy in 25 minutes, I should be able to finish him in 15 minutes.

BE: With the UFC merger starting in January, is it hard to not look forward to being a UFC fighter soon?

AP: It is not playing a big factor right now. Right now I am a WEC fighter and my next fight will be in the blue octagon and my hands will be wrapped in the WEC logo. What ever comes after that, I will prepare for it then.

BE: Why should fans that haven’t seen much of the WEC or seen you fight tune into this fight?

AP: If you haven’t seen me fight, every time I go into the cage I bring something new. I put on a show. It’s not that I am trying to put on a show for the fans, that is just my style. I have so many moves that the world hasn’t seen yet. Also, Ben Henderson is a great fighter and it is going to be two true warriors fighting in that cage. It is the last WEC event ever and we are going to put on a show.

BE: Alright Anthony, I appreciate your time and best of luck to you in your title fight.

AP: Thanks a lot. It will be a great fight.


Bullz-Eye interviews Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis

If you are looking for a Fighter of the Year in 2010, you perhaps have to look no further than Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. With three wins already under his belt this year, Pettis looks for his fourth when he faces WEC Lightweight Champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson at WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis on Dec. 16, 2010.

At just 23 years of age, the Milwaukee native has taken the MMA world by storm with his flashy fighting style. For his upcoming title bout with Henderson, Pettis is inviting a lucky reader to walk with him to the cage in Glendale, Ariz. I had a chance to talk to the WEC lightweight contender about his title opportunity, his
sponsorship with AMP Energy, as well as the upcoming merger between the WEC and
the UFC.

Bullz-Eye: Anthony, how is everything going?

Anthony Pettis: Things are going great.

BE: That’s great well tell me about training for this title fight on December 16 against Ben Henderson.

AP: Training going great. This is a huge fight for me. There is a lot riding on it and I am taking this fight very seriously. I have been training hard and just excited for the fight to come.

BE: What makes Ben Henderson so tough and successful?

AP: He is just very well rounded. He is good everywhere and he looks to finish the fight at all times. He really brings it. He has great conditioning and he is dangerous everywhere the fight goes no matter if it is standing or on the ground.

BE: Talk a little bit about your last fight with Shane Roller. That was the fight that really pushed you to the title shot.

AP: Shane was dominant wrestler so I really worked on my takedown defense heading into the fight. I can really pick things up quickly and I worked with a lot of great guys to get ready. I drilled takedown defense every day for a long time leading up to that fight so when the fight finally happened, I was prepared for everything that happened.

BE: Did you expect to get the title shot following your win over Roller?

AP: I didn’t expect to get the title shot. I thought I might have to win another fight or two, but they offered it to me and I was thrilled.

Anthony 'Showtime' PettisBE: How much of a better fighter are you now since your last loss to Bart Palaszewski on December 19 of last year?

AP: I am a way better fighter now. My skills have come up so much and just my motivational skills have improved since that loss. It is incredible how much I have learned and how much I have improved in the last year.

BE: The WEC is going to be absorbed by the UFC at the start of 2011. What were your initial thoughts when you heard about the merger?

AP: I loved it. My whole goal when I started competing was to face off with the best in the world and now there is no doubt that I will get to do that and the opportunities that fighting in the UFC will provide are tremendous.

BE: How does the merger change this title fight for you, if at all? The winner of your fight with Henderson gets to face the UFC Lightweight Champion.

AP: It doesn’t change much. It may push me a little more, but I am already motivated. This is an exciting time for the WEC and for me. Really, this was the best time for me to get a title shot. This is the last WEC event, I am in the main event, I am fighting for a title, and the winner gets a UFC title shot. It is crazy.

BE: How does the merger change your future?

AP: All of us guys in the WEC are excited about this because we all put our heart into it. We don’t feel like we have been disrespected, but we feel like we don’t get as much recognition. Now, the money will be much better and we will be put on the big stage. There are some guys in the WEC that will definitely make some noise in the UFC.

BE: AMP is having a fan walk out with you during the title fight, what is the experience like when you are walking to the cage – Walking out is crazy. The music is blaring loud and the crowd is going nuts. As you are walking out to the cage it is the point of no return. You know the next 15 minutes and for that fight, the next 25 minutes will decide the rest of my career. It is cool that AMP is having a fan walk out with me for the event and for anyone interested, they can register to win the contest at and I will announce the winner during WEC 52 on Versus.

BE: What is it like having a company like AMP backing you now as a sponsor?

AP: Being backed by AMP is great and they get behind the right guys in this sport. It is an honor to have them want to associate with me and I am looking forward to doing a lot of great things with them.

BE: You recently were featured on the MTV documentary series “World of Jenks.” How have things changed for you since that appearance?

AP: I get recognized more for being on “World of Jenks” than I do for fighting. It was great because fans got a chance to see me prepare and see how hard I work. I have had a lot of people tell me that my story was motivational as well, so that is really cool.

BE: You are from Milwaukee and like to represent the city. How badly does Milwaukee need a world champion?

AP: We need one bad (laughs). It would be great to bring a world championship to the city. We haven’t had one in a long time and we deserve one.

BE: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

AP: Just thank you to all that support me. Your support means a lot and there is a lot of exciting times ahead.


WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis Preview

Fans of World Extreme Cagefighting had their say and now an event of epic proportions on the MMA scale is heading to Phoenix as part of AMP Energy’s “Hometown Takedown” promotion. The promotion allowed fans to vote on which city would be awarded with a WEC event and the winner was Phoenix, which will host WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis from the Arena.

The fight card is stacked from top to bottom with the main attraction being two championship bouts, headlined by the WEC Lightweight Championship fight between champion Ben Henderson and challenger Anthony Pettis. Henderson (12-1) is looking to defend his belt for the second time as he is coming off a first round submission win over Donald Cerrone at WEC 48. Henderson has won his last 10 fights, seven of which came by submission. Pettis (12-1) is contending for the title for the first time in his career after winning three straight, including a third-round submission win over grappling specialist Shane Roller at WEC 50. Pettis is a unique striker that mixes a variety of punches, kicks and knees, and is always entertaining to watch.

In the other championship bout, WEC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will defend his title against top contender Scott Jorgensen. Cruz (16-1) is defending his title for the second time after winning a unanimous decision over Joseph Benavidez at WEC 50. Cruz is a winner of seven straight as his speed and mobility have been difficult for opponents to deal with. Jorgensen (11-3) is contending for the title for the first time. He is a winner of five straight fights, which earned him a shot at Cruz. Jorgensen is a compact fighter that has good striking but even better wrestling ability. He will look to ground Cruz to take away his mobility.

One lucky MMA fan will have the opportunity to witness this marquee event live and in person as AMP Energy is providing two tickets and free airfare to the show as part of the AMP Energy Hometown Takedown giveaway. The lucky winner will also walk out to the cage with Anthony Pettis as he prepares to challenge Henderson for the WEC Lightweight title and have dinner with fellow MMA fighter Urijah Faber. Even better? Pettis is going to announce the winner of the contest live, on-air during WEC: Faber vs. Mizugaki on Versus, November 11.

Head on over to the official contest page to find out how to enter, and then be sure to tune in to WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis on Versus on December 16th!