Anthony Pettis defeated Ben Henderson (again) this past weekend (Aug. 31, 2013) at UFC 164 to become the new Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion of the world in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
And no, he didn't do it via knockout, "Showtime's" specialty.
Instead, the Roufusport-trained fighter managed to force "Smooth" -- a black belt in jiu-jitsu -- to surrender after Pettis latched onto an arm with under a minute remaining in round one (watch it again here).
The hometown crowd, as well as fans watching on TV, took a few seconds to realize the fight was over, seeing as how the official on duty, Herb Dean, never went in to break up the hold or call an end to the bout. Pettis, showing good sportsmanship, let go of "Bendo's" arm after he heard a pop, which prompted the former champ to verbally tap.
Shortly thereafter, the fans erupted in a delayed celebration.
Dean took the time to explain the sequence during an appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"I saw [Pettis] lock the armbar in and [Henderson] was trying to defend it. He was reaching across, and he went belly down. I was moving and trying to get into a better position and at that time, that's when the tap came. And [Pettis] got up and immediately started celebrating. I guess where people weren't knowing exactly what happened is usually they're used to see me grab the guy and then wave it off. But he got up so quick that I didn't get a chance to do that."
While Dean undoubtedly appreciates the fact that Pettis let go of Benson's arm to prevent further damage, he advises all fighters to wait for him to put an end to the action to avoid any controversy.
"I think people should always wait for me to touch them. Just to be on the safe side, I wouldn't advise that fighter not to get up unless the referee has touched them. It all worked out, but we have situations where guys stop fighting and the referee has not stopped the fight. Then, they have to start fighting again. We definitely don't want situations like that, especially in championship fights."
Nevertheless, Benson didn't protest the stoppage and admitted defeat, something Dean says was the best thing to do.
"The armbar was on tight, the arm was going. I knew the tap was coming, and the armbar was definitely done."
With the win, Pettis becomes the new 155-pound kingpin and Benson -- while he won't necessarily have to go all the way to the back of the line -- will likely need an impressive win or two to get another chance to reclaim his crown.