Believe it or not, a sensational, highlight-reel kick exists in the Zuffa video archives that was not inspired by Master Steven Seagal.
I'm referring, of course, to the "Showtime Kick," executed by Anthony Pettis in his winning performance against Ben Henderson at WEC 53 last December.
It set the mixed martial arts (MMA) forums on fire and left everyone talking about what a force Pettis can be as a UFC lightweight as the brands began to merge earlier this year.
Well, almost everyone.
UFC lightweight number one contender Gray Maynard isn't buying into the "Showtime" hype and tells Jon Luther at MMAFA.tv that he isn't impressed because Pettis steamrolled a bunch of "scrubs:"
"I mean, who has he fought? I’ve been in the trenches this whole time fighting the toughest guys. He throws one kick and then he’s the greatest in the world? Let’s look at who he’s fought. Ben Henderson is the best name. And I don’t mind fighting him; I don’t care if I win the belt and then I have to take him on. But for me, guys like Miller, Melendez and all of these guys who have been on the f***ing grind, fighting the best competition for the past few years… that’s what I look at. Who have you fought? I don’t care about how good you looked when you fought a scrub. That doesn’t matter. If a guy isn’t good then you’re not supposed to look good. And for me, [Pettis] has fought one good guy in Ben, and he isn’t proven yet. He’s tough as hell, but we’ll see."
Pettis can prove Maynard wrong with a big win over veteran lightweight Clay Guida when they hook 'em up at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 Finale on June 4 in Las Vegas.
And if Gray can "Bully" his way past Frankie Edgar in their UFC 130 title fight, Pettis will have the opportunity to make him eat his words as the Duke Roufus pupil earns first crack at the 155-pound belt with a win over "The Carpenter."
With Jim MIller and a slew of other lightweights "in the trenches," that's part of what has Maynard so hot under the collar.
As an MMA fan, can you find merit in his argument? Or is he just sour because Pettis has the spotlight for being flashy and entertaining, something Maynard's struggled with in his career?