Opinion: Anthony Pettis Proves Doubters Wrong
By Michael Hatamoto
New UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis was able to steal the championship title from Benson Henderson, winning by a highly surprising verbal submission.
Heading into the fight, Bendo was the obvious favorite, due to his fight resume since losing that WEC fight to Pettis. However, Pettis always believed in his striking ability, but continued to work on his defensive wrestling and BJJ skills.
Following the way Clay Guida was able to smother Pettis, many doubted whether Pettis would be able to stop Henderson’s takedowns. Not surprisingly, Henderson tried to take the fight down to the ground, but was unable to pin Pettis against the cage and secure the takedown.
I always thought Pettis was being overlooked since that Guida fight, but had doubts if he would be able to beat Henderson. In fact, I thought it was the wrestling and submission advantage I expected Henderson to have against Pettis, especially if he had top position.
It sounds like Pettis injured his knee during the fight last night, so it’s unknown when the UFC will schedule him to fight.
However, expect to see a growing number of MMA fans call for a potential champion vs. champion fight, with Pettis fighting dominant UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Aldo vs. Pettis was expected in 2013, but an injury forced the UFC to scrap the fight – and Pettis stepped in to fight Henderson after an injury forced TJ Grant out of the title shot.
Since UFC President Dana White said Bendo won’t get a third fight with Pettis – and Pettis wants Aldo – it’s a very sensible matchup to make. There is a concern if that Aldo tops Pettis that it hurts his prestige and potential future pay-per-view main event fights.