Three years ago, Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis tore the roof down on the Jobbing.com Arena in Scottsdale, Arizona at WEC 53. It was for Henderson's World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Lightweight belt and the card marked the final event for the promotion. It was a back and forth fight, until Pettis landed the 'Showtime kick' in the fifth round, securing the win.
The two young lightweights were given an opportunity to touch gloves before the first round. Instead, they stared each other down back to their respective corners.
Round one began with Henderson pushing forward immediately for a takedown. Pettis did well toe stay upright but Henderson was able to land several inside knees to the body.
That wouldn't be the last failed takedown attempt for Henderson in the round.
When he was finally given the space to work, Pettis began to open up with kicks to the body. His ability to throw from weird angles and without any windup kept Henderson on the defensive.
It was only when Pettis threw a cartwheel kick that Henderson was able to get the fight to the ground. Unfortunately, Pettis was able to lock in a tight armbar and force a verbal submission with less than 30 seconds left in the first round.
Anthony Pettis is your new UFC Lightweight champion.