Anthony Pettis had to deal with some adversity just hours before his Nate Diaz fight at UFC 241.
Pettis (22-9 MMA, 9-8 UFC), the former UFC lightweight champion, told ESPN on Monday that he suffered a cut on his right thumb while attempting to close a glass bottle that contained a urine sample requested by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency just over an hour before he made the walk against Diaz.
“It was a perfect training camp, and then we go to the fight, I walk behind the scenes, USADA comes up like, ‘Hey, we need you to do a piss test for your drug test,’” Pettis said during an “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” interview. “I did the first drug test, and it was too diluted because when you rehydrate, there’s too much water in you. So they had to do a second drug test, but I had to wait until I had to pee again, so it was about an hour-and-a-half before the fight, I had to go again.
“I did a piss test. I’m closing the first bottle up. It’s like a twist cap, so I’m twisting the cap, I put it inside of the plastic bag, and I see blood … blood in this bag, and I look at my hand, and I gashed my thumb on the USADA drug test. I call the UFC (doctor) in. I’m telling USADA what’s going on; UFC doc comes in, and he’s like, ‘All right, you need stitches. We can do two things: We can stitch you, and then it’ll probably bleed in the fight. Or we can glue you shut, and it’ll hold for the fight, but you won’t bleed for the fight, completely shut.’”
Pettis had to make a decision, and despite his head coach, Duke Roufus, advising him against competing, Pettis wasn’t about to let such an opportunity slip away.
“My coach was like, ‘Nah, we’re not fighting,’” Pettis said. “Duke didn’t want me to fight, but I had a perfect training camp. I felt amazing. And in my head I’m like, ‘Man, the cut’s on my thumb. They’re not going to stop a fight for blood on my thumb.
“So for the fight, I couldn’t warm up, because if I punched, the glue would break open. I couldn’t grapple, because obviously my hand’s cut, so I’m out there with no warm-up, and you can see it in the fight. It was a perfect training camp. I felt so good, and I go out there, and I (expletive) the bed. I was in my head on that fight. I used the wrong energy again, trying to knock him out.”
Pettis told ESPN that he and his team plan on suing USADA for causing the gash on Pettis’ hand and the effect it had on him entering the fight. When reached by MMA Junkie for further details, Abe Kawa of First Round Management declined comment.
“I mean, the rules are (that) the person administering the test can’t touch that bottle, the glass bottle that we put it in, so I had to touch the glass bottle. I had to close it,” Pettis said. “I gave them a piss test before, so this is my second piss test of the night, and closing the glass top, something was a like jagged edge on it or something, and it gashed my hand.”
Pettis returns to action at lightweight on Saturday when he takes on Diego Ferriera at UFC 246 on the ESPN+ pay-per-view in Las Vegas.