Pros React to UFC Nashville Main Event, Where Showtime Pettis Became Superman to KO Wonderboy

Anthony Pettis UFC
Anthony Pettis Credit: Dave Mandel/

Everyone, from Cyborg to Mark Hunt to Ben Askren to Marty Kamaru Usman was watching when Anthony Pettis moved up to welterweight to take on Stephen Thompson.

They were not disappointed. The main event of UFC Nashville explored what might have if you paired up flash versus flash. Speed versus speed. Creativity versus creativity. Stephen Thompson against Anthony Pettis was either going to be a brilliant striking clinic, with two of the best putting on a show on the world’s biggest MMA stage, or they’d cancel each other out. Fans were hoping for the former. They got just that.

The UFC Nashville main event was, in a word, brilliant.

One key factor in the fight, of course, was Pettis moving up in weight. ‘Showtime’ was a former lightweight champion in both WEC and the UFC. ‘Wonderboy’ had spent his UFC tenure at welterweight, and was a tough test for anyone debuting in the weight class. But Pettis turned out to be up to the challenge, after some early setbacks. He was bloodied in the first round. Some high kicks were sneaking through.

Yet Pettis also managed to chop away at the legs of ‘Wonderboy.’ And then, in an instant, he switched things up, fired off a superman punch, and dropped Thompson for the knockout win.

Wow! It was dangerously close to a ‘Showtime Punch’ though replays showed Pettis did not push off the cage. Still, a highlight reel finish that had everyone talking. See how the pros, including Cris Cyborg, Mark Hunt, Kelvin Gastelum, Ben Askren and others, reacted below.

Prefight Thoughts

Showtime Punch

Funky Caveman Matchmaking