UFC President Dana White seems quite impressed by Anthony Pettis’ performance on Saturday. The former lightweight champion was moving up in weight to take on number three ranked welterweight, Stephen Thompson. Ultimately, Pettis shocked many and knocked ‘Wonderboy’ out cold with five seconds left in the second round.
It was a phenomenal performance for Pettis and White couldn’t be more pleased. As well, Pettis did something his training partner in Tyron Woodley couldn’t do in two fights.
“Pettis was a +385 underdog, huge underdog. I loved his gameplan from the beginning,” White said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I’m assuming — I don’t know this — (coach) Duke Roufus studied ‘Wonderboy’ and the way that he jumps with his karate movement, it’s hard to block leg kicks, so he started busting up the legs early, both legs, on the outside, on the inside, to try to slow him down so he could punch with him.
“Think about this,” White continued, “Anthony Pettis, who was 155 and moved up to 170, was able to do what (Tyron) Woodley couldn’t do twice. I mean, that’s pretty impressive. And I’m not ragging on Tyron, which is going to be the thing that comes out of this, but what Pettis did tonight is unbelievable against a bigger [opponent]. Look at the size difference with these two tonight.”
Now, the question remains of what is next for Pettis. He will no doubt be ranked quite high at welterweight, but could still fight at 155. According to White, he isn’t exactly sure what will be next. But make no mistake, Pettis now has multiple options after a very impressive performance.
“Listen, I like any matchup for him after what he did tonight,” White said. “Very impressive. A very impressive gameplan. He came in, he executed. ‘Wonderboy’ was busting him up in the first round, the second round. He kept his composure, stuck to [what] I’m assuming was the gameplan — I don’t know that — but he looked damn good tonight.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime