Sport: Stevie Ray thinks he has mental edge over Anthony Pettis ahead of rematch: 'I just beat him four weeks ago'

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Stevie Ray beat Anthony Pettis, and he’s confident he can do it again.

  Stevie Ray thinks he has mental edge over Anthony Pettis ahead of rematch: 'I just beat him four weeks ago' © Provided by MMAJunkie

The lightweight (24-10) beat the former UFC champion in June in a regular season bout at 2022 PFL 5. Ray submitted Pettis in the second round. In the playoffs, they’ve been matched up once again and meet in the headliner of the PFL’s first playoff event Aug. 5 in New York.

Ray thinks he’ll enter the rematch with a mental edge given his recent win over Pettis.

“Of course I will (be in his head),” Ray told MMA Junkie Radio. “The way I see it is that I just beat him four weeks ago. He’ll remember certain parts of the fight.

“When we get to the square offs again, he’ll see in my eyes I’m here to fight. I’m not here to just show up and be, because obviously he’s the big name, the big draw – but I’m here to take that away. Yeah, I’m sure he’ll remember.”

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Ray enters the rematch without a strategy, just like he says he did their first time. The 32-year-old thinks he’s got the tools in all departments to deal with the challenges Pettis possesses.

“I feel well-rounded enough to be able to win on my feet or on the ground,” Ray said. “Yeah, I went for a couple of takedown attempts. But you can see in the fight I wasn’t desperate to get the takedowns. He went for a couple of takedown attempts and I was pressing him with the boxing. It was a match.

“The first round, I feel, was close. Looking back, the PFL’s system gave me the round and I think the fans maybe gave it to him. I’m not sure. But it was a close round. Most of the stuff he landed didn’t faze me. Even the very first kick that he threw, that kind of hook kick, axe kick, didn’t really land. … Nothing really fazed me – maybe just a couple of shots. But I felt comfortable, I didn’t feel out of my phase. …

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“I’m trying to go in there with the same idea again. I’m going to try to knock him out or submit him. I know I can beat him on the feet or on the ground. I know he’s a dangerous opponent, and he’s very good. Obviously, I respect him. But yeah, he doesn’t need this or want this as much as me. And that’s going to be the factor.”

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