Anthony Pettis made his welterweight debut in the UFC on Saturday, doing so in style against Stephen Thompson — who he put away in the second round with a stunning superman punch.
Closing out UFC Nashville, Stephen Thompson met Anthony Pettis in the main event on Saturday night. Two time 170lb title challenger Thompson entered the night coming off a decision loss to Darren Till back in May when the two met at UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Till. Pettis also found himself entering the night coming off of a loss by TKO (corner stoppage) when he faced Tony Feguson at UFC 229 last October.
Both flashy strikers, both looking to get back in the win column. In the end, it was Pettis returning to form. And living up to the Showtime name.
Thompson opened with a front kick, but Anthony Pettis kept moving forward. Thompson attacked with a straight left as he circled away from Pettis. Wonderboy Thompson continued to circle while he landed a left-right combination. Pettis fired back with a hard leg kick that landed. Thompson unleashed a body kick that was quickly answered with a leg kick from Pettis. Thomson landed another body kick. Pettis looked for the take down but Thompson slid away. Pettis came back with a cross that hit the mark and Thompson fired back with a punch of his own and followed it with a spin kick. Pettis landed another leg kick and Thompson circled away. A now-bloodied Pettis looked to land a spin kick of his own that Thompson slid out of range from.
Heading into the second, Thompson seemed to have the upper hand. Early in round two, that continued. Thompson opened with a right that Pettis answered with a body kick. Thompson continued to use his movement and Pettis did a good job of sticking with him. Thompson landed a side kick to the body and pushed Pettis back. Pettis responded with a body punch then followed it up with a leg kick. Pettis continued to batter the legs of Thompson with kicks but Thompson remained active and very mobile as he worked his jab. Pettis doubled up on the leg kick and Thompson answered with his jab. Pettis was very much in the fight, but it felt as if Wonderboy could wear him down across five rounds.
Then came the momentum shift. Thompson landed a side kick that pushed Pettis back. But Pettis reversed momentum into a crushing superman punch that crumpled Thompson. Pettis wasted no time and pounced on a downed Thompson, within seconds the ref jumped in to stop the fight. Wonderboy was out. Pettis had won, in stunning fashion. It wasn’t a cage punch or true ‘Showtime Punch’ but a stunning, high light reel punch nonetheless.
After the fight, Pettis told Daniel Cormier in the octagon that he was looking to get a rematch with Rafael dos Anjos at 170lbs. He also indicated he’s not done with lightweight just yet, calling out the winner of next week’s promising Justin Gaethje vs. Edson Barboza.
Anthony Pettis def. Stephen Thompson by knockout, Round 2, 4:55