5 Defining Moments: Anthony Pettis

By Mark Raymundo Mar 22, 2019


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By consistently turning in exciting performances, Anthony Pettis has managed to be defined by more than just the “Showtime” kick that he landed on Benson Henderson during their legendary World Extreme Cagefighting title fight. While the former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion currently holds a deceptively subpar Octagon record of 8-7, he has a chance to improve it when he stands face to face with Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 148.

Take a look at these career-defining moments to remind yourself of what “Showtime” is made of.

Early Dominance

Long before the pride of Milwaukee set foot inside the Octagon, his head trainer, Duke Roufus, was already singing his praises. The K-1 veteran has been training “Showtime” since Pettis was 18, and it didn’t take long for him to realize that he had something special under his wing. An instance at Gateway Fighting Series solidified this thought after Pettis faced adversity when his shoulder popped out in the middle of the bout. Despite the setback, the prospect went on to knock his opponent out. The martial artist bowed out of the aforementioned promotion after an undefeated run that saw him capture its lightweight title.

Breakout Performance

Pettis dropped his UFC debut and barely won his second. At this point, fans were casting doubts on his readiness to face the elites of the division, much less become a champion. In his next bout, Pettis faced a tough and highly-talented veteran in Joe Lauzon. It only took him 81 seconds to drop “J-Lau” with a head kick and ultimately stiffen him up with a few follow-up punches.

Two in a Row

By beating Lauzon decisively, Pettis proved that he could hang with the best that the UFC had to offer. He was subsequently assigned another perennial contender in Donald Cerrone, who back then had only lost once inside the Octagon. Once again, “Showtime” displayed brilliance technical striking. Taking a cue from his UFC 144 performance, Pettis threw a fight-ending kick, this time to the body, and just like that, Cerrone was stopped due to strikes for the first time in his career. Pettis, on the other hand, scored the 11th first-round victory of his career.

Fancied at Featherweight

After losses to Rafael dos Anjos, Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza, Pettis dropped to featherweight and met submission specialist Charles Oliveira. He clearly had the striking edge but went for the submission when the opportunity presented itself. The end came at 1:49 of the third round after Pettis stopped Oliveira’s single leg attempt by sinking in a tight guillotine choke.

Entertaining as Ever

Pettis’ name may have lost a bit of sheen but that doesn’t mean he stopped rendering explosive performances. The most recent was the bloody spectacle he put on with Dustin Poirier. In the UFC Fight Night 120 main event, the two combatants engaged in a back-and-forth war, with Pettis threatening with a triangle choke in the waning seconds of the second round. While the fight ended anticlimactically after Pettis verbally tapped due to a rib injury, the action was enough to earn the two lightweights Fight of the Night honors. Advertisement

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