Alternating wins and losses — and weight classes — in his last nine bouts dating back to 2016, former Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis attempted to return to solid footing tonight (Sat., Jan. 18, 2020) at UFC 246, opening the pay-per-view (PPV) main card opposite Diego Ferreira, winner of five straight inside the Octagon.
Unfortunately for “Showtime,” Ferreira used him as a stepping stone, battering him for 1.5 rounds en route to an impressive rear-naked choke victory.
Ferreira came out of his corner looking to put pressure on Pettis, hopping in with one knee until he was able to get him pressed up against fence. Pettis turned him away quickly and the two began to exchange, with the former champ scoring with a solid combination upstairs. Ferreira continued to hop in to close the distance, but Pettis was able to counter with hard shots as a circled away. Ferreira was able to sneak behind Pettis, hop on his back along the cage and rolled him to the canvas. With Ferreira on his back, Pettis rolled until he was able to break free and return to his feet. The pair traded shots briefly once more, before Ferreira once again had him pressed up against the fence, angling for a takedown that didn’t materialize. Pettis landed a straight punch on the break, with Ferreira returning fire with a crisp combination, which he chained into another takedown. Pettis almost connected with a dynamic upkick off his back as the opening round came to a close.
Pettis tried to open the second stanza with a kick, but it backfired — Ferreira caught it and dragged him back down to the mat. Less than 30 seconds in and Ferreira was draped all over his back. Pettis escaped momentarily, but Ferreira was quickly backpacking him once again, softening up with hard shots to the head from behind. Pettis tried to stand up, but Ferreira twisted his body the opposite direction, cranking his neck while locking in a body triangle. Pettis was in trouble, and seconds later, he was tapping to a tight rear-naked choke.
That’s now six straight wins inside the Octagon and his first over a former ranked UFC champion. Welcome to the Lightweight Top 10, Diego.
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