Anthony Pettis believes a victory over Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 185 on Saturday will go some way in establishing himself as one of the biggest names in Mixed Martial Arts.
Pettis ended a lengthy injury absence three months when he defended his lightweight title for the first time and the fighter known as ‘Showtime' takes on the top-contender in Dos Anjos in Dallas at the weekend.
While many top-level MMA fighters prefer long breaks between fights, Pettis has opted for a busy 2015 in an attempt to make up for the time he lost on the injury table.
"The pressure is on, man," Pettis said before this weekend's encounter in Texas.
"When you have all of these people supporting you, you better perform. I love it. I embrace that role, and that's what I want. I want people to want to watch me fight, to pay for the pay-per-views, buy the tickets to come watch me fight. It's my job to make sure they're happy when they leave."
Also in action at the American Airlines Center on Saturday is Carla Esparza, who defends her UFC strawweight title for the first time against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Dallas local Johny Hendricks returns to the cage against Matt Brown, while heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Roy Nelson will also be in action.
After his title defense against Gilbert Melendez in December, the 28-year-old Pettis used some of his winnings to buy a car and a house for his mother, but soon returned to training after his second round submission victory.
"I just went from camp to camp," Pettis added.
"Took a couple of weeks off, got right back in the gym. This is the time to perform. I want four fights this year, from December to December."
Dos Anjos signalled his intent to wrestle the title from Pettis with recent victories over former UFC champion Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz, but the Milwaukee native sees little to be concerned about in his weekend opponent.
"There's a lot of good fighters in the lightweight division, but I'm a great fighter," Pettis continued.
"I just have this willpower and this confidence when I go in there."