"This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence."
Anthony Pettis kicked off the Main Card of UFC 144 with a bang. The Duke Roufus wunderkind's 1st round head kick KO of Joe Lauzon netted him his second bonus during his Zuffa tenure so far.
The upkick that Benson Henderson landed (that likely stole him the 2nd Round) on then Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar has been dubbed as the turning point of the fight. After Henderson broke up the bridge of Edgar's nose he followed up with some stellar ground and pound for the remaining handful of seconds he had to work with. Was Edgar saved by the bell? Would this upkick of knocked out or made any other fighter not named Frank Edgar quit?
What this upkick did was change the judges, and the fans introspective about the fight going on in front of them. Henderson became the dominant fighter at this moment. The stats tell us that Edgar landed more strikes and hit more takedowns than Henderson. Our eyes told us that from the second this upkick landed until the end of the fight Henderson was seemingly the bigger threat of the two to end things at any given moment.
So what do we take from this? My take is that Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis are the most dangerous and gifted fighters in the 155 lb division. They bring a unique ever evolving arsenal of tools into the cage every time they are faced with a new challenger. What happened in the WEC cage on December 16th, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona was a magical fight for the hardcore MMA fans, the ones who would decide to tune into Versus on a Thursday night before the holidays. If you're the UFC you make Henderson vs. Pettis II now. Along with the Bantams and the Feathers this is the reason why you absolved the WEC into the UFC. The excitement that these WEC fighters brought smaller audiences needs to be witnessed on a larger scale. Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis are a big part of that and in their second year as UFC fighters they have just shown us a small sample of whats to come.