Former Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis re-entered the 155-pound shark tank at UFC 213 tonight (Sat., July 8, 2017) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, after a failed Featherweight experiment, taking on grizzled grinder Jim Miller on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card. It was a super important fight for Pettis, who had dropped four of his last five bouts inside the eight-walled cage. And when the pressure was on, “Showtime” finally showed up, sweeping Miller on all three judges scorecards to earn a blood-soaked unanimous decision win.
Miller got the action started with several leg kicks, which momentarily knocked Pettis off balance. Miller went for another one shortly thereafter and Pettis was ready, clipping him with a quick right hand that he was easily able to shake off. Pettis attempted to gauge distance and range, but Miller kept disrupting his rhythym with more leg kicks. Pettis inched in again and was able to land a solid kick to Miller’s side. Miller backed up against the fence and Pettis began to unload with a barrage of shots. Millers was able to circle out of danger, but Pettis drilled him with a straight right hand that buckled his knees. Miller quickly recovered, but Pettis was able to nail him with a spinning backfist, which he followed up with a flying switch kick. Miller hung tough through it all, though, sticking to his gameplan of punishing Pettis’ lead leg and following up with a few potshots upstairs. Overall it was a solid round from Pettis, who was able to do significant damage once he was able to find a comfortable range.
Miller started the second round with a solid overhand left. He tried to bum rush his way in with some wild shots, but Pettis was wise and circled away. One minute into the round Miller was able to get Pettis to the ground by catching a head kick, but he paid the price in the form of a cut on his head. Pettis tried to throw up a triangle choke, but Miller was able to slip out thanks to all the blood that was seeping out of his face. Miller tried to work some ground-and-pound, but Pettis defended well. Miller was able to eventually work his way to Pettis’ back, but “Showtime” was able to escape and reverse position. With 90 seconds to go in the round. Pettis was able to get in side control and angled for submissions while dropping elbows onto Miller’s grill. Miller scrambled to his knees and then eventually his feet, only for Pettis to drag him back down to the canvas as the round came to a close.
Pettis came out to start the third and final round seemingly the fresher fighter. Miller, meanwhile, went back to his opening script and began to attack Pettis’ legs, keeping “Showtime” off balance and circling. Pettis connected with a clean front kick, but Miller kept charging forward. Midway through the round and it appeared that Pettis was just coasting. Miller attempted a takedown in the center of the cage, but Pettis defended perfectly. The pair got tied up along the cage standing, jockeying for position, with Miller landing a nice, hard short elbow in the clinch. And on the break Miller landed another, and then did an impromptu roll in the cage, as Pettis connected with a flying kick along the fence as the match came to a close.
As mentioned earlier, this was a super important fight for Pettis against one of the toughest and most experienced dudes in the division. Perhaps most important, Pettis showed flashes of his dynamic striking style that earned him the nickname “Showtime.” Is he back? Time will ultimately tell the tale, but tonight was finally a step in the right direction.
For complete UFC 213: “Romero vs. Whittaker” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.
Source:: mma mania