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UFC 144 video: Anthony Pettis breaks down Joe Lauzon headkick knockout, makes his case for title shot

After finishing Joe Lauzon at UFC 144 in Tokyo, Japan, with a beautiful head kick in the first round tonight (Feb. 25, 2012), Anthony Pettis feels he is ready for a title fight.

The former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) lightweight champion -- who missed out on a title shot when Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard fought to an unsatisfying draw early last year -- connected with a hellish head kick, which turned out Lauzon's lights almost immediately.

"Showtime" breaks it down:

"Right when I landed the kick I felt what part of this shin I hit him with, then I saw his eyes roll back, and I knew it was a done fight. To set it up, I came out in the southpaw stance and was just working the jab. I thought he was going to shoot sooner, so I kind of keep my range and stay far, but he was biting on the jab. I threw up the high kick and it was just his mistake."

Indeed.

Pettis goes on to explain that he has proven in his two last fights that he's worthy of being a contender. Prior to stopping Lauzon, Pettis battled Jeremy Stephens for three rounds to earn a split decision victory.

He hopes that his quick finish of "J-Lau" to kick-off the pay-per-view (PPV) card will push him over the edge.

"I felt this fight was somewhere close to a [number one title contender eliminator match]. He just beat Melvin Guillard, who was coming off a huge winning spree. And I finished him quickly -- I knew I had to finish this fight fast to get a title shot, so hopefully the UFC gives me my shot."

With top division contenders Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz squaring off at the upcoming UFC on Fox 3 show, Pettis might have a little competition when it comes to determining the next in line to challenge newly-minted champion Ben Henderson.

However, he has what both of them do not, which is a recent win over "Smooth," as well as a "Showtime Kick" kicker.

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