Anthony Pettis saved UFC Nashville. After a largely forgettable card that featured a couple of downright awful fights, Showtime brought it against Stephen Thompson and knocked out a top-level welterweight with a superman punch, after probably dropping the first two rounds.
Yeah, a superman punch. After bouncing off the cage wall.
Pettis was getting his face busted up, but he was quite effective with his low kicks. In his post-fight interview, he mentioned that his leg work set up the KO, and he’s probably right. But it came out of nowhere, and it was awesome.
Thank you for giving us SOMETHING memorable tonight, Mr. Pettis. I eagerly await your next fight, whether it’s at 155 or 170.
- Curtis Blaydes totally dominated Justin Willis, which wasn’t really difficult to predict in hindsight. Blaydes outwrestled him, threw him around the cage, and even got in trouble with his corner for talking trash. Afterward he was pretty heated, but that’s pretty understandable considering some of the stuff Willis said to him before the fight. I think Willis might think twice about talking so much next time.
- John Makdessi vs. Jesus Pinedo was an awful, awful fight that felt like it took three hours. The crowd booed the whole time, and I did too. Just terrible.
- Jussier Formiga deserves a title shot. He outclassed Deiveson Figueiredo, despite getting cut with an elbow in the second round. His third round wasn’t pretty, because he was on his bike, but a win’s a win. Henry Cejudo should be next for him.
- Violent Bob Ross, Luis Pena, looked decent in a decision win over Steven Peterson. But he still has a lot to work on. His striking is either slick or sloppy, and changes second to second. The best part of the fight was when he tried to say something else on the mic, but Daniel Cormier wouldn’t let him.
- Maycee Barber showed some of why people are very excited about her potential, but it didn’t come without some adversity. She got dropped early in her fight with JJ Aldrich, but shook it off and came back in round two to demolish Aldrich and get a TKO win. After the fight, her interview showed off a lot of maturity and charisma, especially since she’s only 20. She very well could be a future star.
- The featured prelim was probably the fight of the night in my eyes. Bryce Mitchell and Bobby Moffett went back and forth, engaged on the feet and on the ground, and were thoroughly entertaining. Mitchell took the decision, and then did a memorable post-fight promo where he made it abundantly clear that he’s from Arkansas.
- Marlon Vera picked up another nice win, cracking the durable Frankie Saenz’s chin and getting a finish in round one. Meanwhile, Mookie and I just made a lot of Seanz puns on Twitter and got booed more than Makdessi and Pinedo did.
- Jennifer Maia and Alexis Davis put on a decent fight. Davis landed a ton of leg kicks and was competitive on the feet, but Maia did enough to take the decision.
- Randa Markos took the striker out of her world, and it paid off quickly. Angela Hill valiantly tried to fight off an armbar, but it didn’t happen. Randa by armbar…that sounds familiar somehow…
- Chris Gutierrez largely dominated Ryan MacDonald in a somewhat forgettable fight. As mentioned, this was not the best card by any means.
- In the opener, Jordan Espinosa and Eric Shelton didn’t really put on a typical flyweight fight. It was low on excitement and entertainment, in other words. Espinosa won his UFC debut.