If someone ever decides to start remaking old Kung Fu theater movies based on modern day mixed martial artists, then Anthony Pettis will be the star of a remake of Return to the 36th Chamber. In the original movie a young man is hired by a group of factory workers to pose as a kung fu expert after the factory owner came in with some Manchu thugs and cut their wages, the man fails to do so initially and then makes it his life goal to learn and be accepted as a master of kung fu at the Shaolin temple-where the elitest of elite martial artists reside.
So why should Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis earn the starring role in this remake? Well, it’s extremely similar to his transition from the WEC over to the UFC. Pettis was a rising star in the WEC, when the UFC (likened to the Manchu thugs) comes in and dismantles our beloved WEC and absorbs all of the fighters over into the UFC. Pettis closed out the WEC era with a kick that won him the Fight of the night, Fight of the Year and the WEC lightweight championship all at the same damn time. It also earned him a slew of new doubters who thought he could be just a one kick wonder after his entry to the UFC brought him the second loss of his career-via decision to Clay Guida.
After that, much like the young actor hired by the factory workers of Shaolin-Pettis has made it his goal to return and prove that he is worthy of a championship belt, and that he is the true Showtime kick master. He’s taken out the likes of Jeremy Stephens and even come in to face Joe Lauzon as a somewhat underdog and finished J-Lau off with another headkick KO at 1:21 into the first round. That was almost a year ago, as Pettis had to put his hopes to back in line for his much deserved title shot on hold due to an unfortunate shoulder injury and subsequent surgery.
The time has come for the Showtime kick master to finally return to the octagaon and prove his worthiness yet again against Donald Cerrone this Saturday Night at UFC on FOX: Johnson vs Dodson. Here’s a clip from ESPN’s MMA live show with Jon Anik talking to Showtime about his time off, his return fight against Cerrone and what’s been going on with talks of his title shot against Ben Henderson. [Source]