UFC 164 is now in the books, and Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis has finally reached his seemingly never ending goal of becoming UFC Lightweight Champion.
After defeating Ben Henderson nearly three years ago in World Extreme Cagefighting, prior to being absorbed by the UFC, Anthony Pettis has had title shot after title shot de-railed, to the tune of about three times.
Patience and perseverance paid off for Pettis, as he submitted Henderson with an armbar in the first round, much to the shock of everyone, including the hometown crowd, all expecting a five round battle. Pettis was also able to utilize his impressive kicks, going to Henderson’s body three consecutive times, which Henderson couldn’t defend due to the threat of a head kick knockout.
Pettis called out UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo following the fight, who Pettis was slated to face earlier this summer, before an injury cost Jose Aldo yet another title shot. UFC President Dana White said that he felt as if Pettis posed the most interesting challenge to Aldo’s dominant reign.
For Ben Henderson, his impressive UFC title reign ends after three successful defenses, which ties him with the previous two champions Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn in that department. It will be difficult for Henderson to gain a re-match with Pettis, having now lost to the champion twice. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the 29-year old.
Other impressive victories at UFC 164 included Josh Barnett’s long awaited, and totally one-sided victory over former UFC Heavyweight Champ Frank Mir, as well as Ben Rothwell kicking his fight into fifth gear against Brandon Vera.
Barnett utilized elbows, knees, European uppercuts, and punches against the cage; all underutilized in MMA. The blueprint to defeat Frank Mir has been mapped out in the past, and Barnett exposed those flaws yet again.
As for Rothwell, he was in the middle of a back and forth battle with Brandon Vera, who recently returned to Heavyweight. During the bout Vera tried to use his speed to land quick combinations and circle away from Rothwell. By the third round, Rothwell gained a huge sense of confidence, and began shuffling his feet, almost dancing. This led to Rothwell unleashing nasty combos to Vera, and brutally finishing his opponent.
Elsewhere on the card, featherweights Chad Mendes knocked out Clay Guida, and Dustin Poirier defeated fellow 145-pound prospect Erik Koch, to fill up a superb UFC card.
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