Former UFC Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis rallied to a huge one punch knockout of ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in the dying embers of the second round last night in the main event of UFC Fight Night Nashville, to firmly shake up the Welterweight rankings on his divisional debut.
Finding it difficult to get inside Thompson’s guard and land significant shots, Pettis elected to target the lead leg of Thompson but was notably getting picked apart with a lightening jab, karate blitzes and front leg side kicks to the body. Bloodied from the beating for the majority of the first and second, Pettis sprung off the cage after Thompson landed a front leg side kick, landing a ‘superman punch’ which rendered the Simpsonville native unconscious with just five seconds to go before the buzzer. arguably the only significant strike ‘Showtime’ had landed upstairs all night against Thompson apart from a couple of jabs. Thompson’s distance control was impeccable last night up until the finish, circling away from the newly aggressive, pace pushing Pettis, as well as switching stances and creating angles to counter. It remains to be seen where the newly minted Welterweight Pettis lands on the rankings after stopping the #3 ranked ‘Wonderboy’, but there are no shortage of entertaining fights available to ‘Showtime’ up and down the division.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kevin Lee winner: A fight that Anthony Pettis called for straight after the win over Thompson was a rematch with the man who took his Lightweight title from him, Rafael dos Anjos. The pair met back in 2015 at UFC 185, where RDA picked up a unanimous decision and relieved ‘Showtime’ of his champion status with an incredibly smothering performance. dos Anjos is already scheduled to meet Kevin Lee in the main event of UFC Fight Night Rochester on May 18th. which puts the kibosh on an immediate rematch between the pair. Wisconsin native Pettis is eyeing a July return to the Octagon, on International Fight Week at UFC 239 in particular, and a contest with the winner of RDA vs. Lee seems to fit the bill for July 6th.