Saturday night in Chicago, IL at UFC 225, a new contender may have emerged, as Sergio Pettis edged past Joseph Benavidez in early prelim action.
The second fight of UFC 225’s UFC Fight Pass preliminary card from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois saw Flyweights Joseph Benavidez and Sergio Pettis step into the octagon for scheduled three round contest. And while no title shot was officially on the line, the possibility was certain there.
With the action underway, the two met in center. Benavidez opened with a leg kick and followed with several more. Pettis answered with a jab, while Benavidez responded in kind. But it was Pettis who landed a hard right hand that dropped Benavidez! Pettis pressed the action, conecting a few more times, but Benavidez was quick to recover. Benavidez then landed the much-needed take down and worked from top. Pettis worked back to his feet, and Benavidez went for a single that he couldn’t secure. Back to the center of the cage the two continued to exchange, and the pace was picking up. Benavidez shot again for the take down and Pettis stuffed it; the pair continued to go back and forth until Benavidez shot again for the take down driving Pettis into the fence — but again he stayed on his feet. The two separated and went back to center to end the round.
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The second round saw Benavidez looking to land the kick again, just missing. Benavidez continued to move forward and throw punches. Pettis responded, but Joe B. moved for the take down, driving Pettis into the cage. Pettis fought that attempt off and broke free. The action continued back in the center of the octagon, with the two exchanging shots until Benavidez again went for the take down, and again Pettis defended the attempt and returned back to the middle of the cage. Benavidez was quick to follow and fired off a high kick that just missed the mark. Pettis responded with a flurry of punches as Benavidez went for yet another take down. Again Pettis defended. The two continued to exchange with Benavidez landing more leg kicks and Pettis landing some solid right hands as the round came to an end.
In the final round, Benavidez came out quick with leg kicks. The two exchanged with Benaviez landing a nice spinning back fist. That caught Pettis. Benavidez was moving forward pressing the action, with Pettis looking to fire back as he came in. Benavidez continued to walk forward and shot the take down again. Pettis sprawled and stuffed the attempt. The two exchanged kicks then Benavidez rushed in for the take down, Pettis locked in a guillotine that Benavides breaks free from. they exchange again and Benavides shot the take down again, with the same result as before, Pettis got free and they briefly exchanged again only for Benavides to try the take down again and Pettis again escapes but third times the charm and after another exchange Benavides lands the take down. Pettis was quick back to his feet and the two launched a flurry of blows to end out the round.
Was it enough to earn the title shot? That remains to be seen.
Sergio Pettis def. Joseph Benavidez by Split Decision (29-28 28-29 30-27)