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By David Tees on 3/12/2023 9:39 PM

Former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis spent over nine years competing in the UFC.

While most MMA fighters would hope to get a UFC deal one day, Pettis says fighters should be looking at alternative homes instead of the UFC.

“The management side, it’s sad to see these guys make the decisions they make,” Pettis said on The MMA Hour (transcript via Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting). “I’ve been there and some of these guys will pass up on some big contracts in hopes to get on a Contender Series fight. I see it time after time after time and I’m like, ‘Man, look at your career. Look at what age you are. Look at how much time you’ve got left. Let’s make some money before it’s gone. It’s still there, that UFC dream of these guys want to be on Contender Series fights. They’ll risk not making money to take an opportunity on that.

“I get it, they see me and they see what the UFC’s done for my name. Being a champion in the UFC definitely allowed me to do what I’m doing now, but it’s just I thought we were past that at this stage. Seeing PFL coming in strong, Bellator ONE, there’s so many organizations that these guys are just so fixated on one place but that’s the hard part about management. You really can’t control these guys, you can give them the advice and it’s ultimately their decision.”

Pettis has most recently competed in the Professional Fighters League (PFL), where he holds a 1-4-0 record.

The UFC alum also believes that fighters need to make better choices, so they don’t have to do additional work outside of being an MMA fighter.

“I understand some of these higher level guys, but the lower level guys, you’re just starting off, you shouldn’t be so fixated on one path, I guess,” Pettis said. “That’s probably my frustration with it. There’s a lot of other ways to get to what, to being a stable athlete, to be able to live this life and not have another job. That should be the goal of most of these guys.

“‘I’m doing this. I’m one of the best in the world. I shouldn’t have to work another job. I shouldn’t have to have 10 side hustles. I shouldn’t have to do A, B, and C to make a living.’ That’s kind of the path that has to be cleared out right now. I think with all of these opportunities coming up, it just makes things a lot easier.”