When former UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis knocked out two-time welterweight title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the main event of UFC Nashville on Saturday night, he sent a shockwave through the MMA world.
Thompson, after all, had never been knocked out before — not even in his two welterweight title fights with murderous puncher Tyron Woodley.
That fact in particular really impressed Dana White. The UFC President praised Anthony Pettis for doing what Woodley couldn’t — though he was careful to assure he wasn’t bad mouthing Woodley — on the UFC Nashville post-fight show.
“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.”
Dana White also discussed the next move for Anthony Pettis. Apparently, he’s open to anything.
“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.”
What do you think the future holds for Anthony Pettis after UFC Nashville?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/24/2019.