A fight between Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis would certainly have high expectation when it come to entertainment value. On paper the UFC 164 main event should have been a candidate for fight of the year. That is why it was a little disappointing when Pettis secured an armbar in the first round to defeat Henderson by submission to become the new UFC lightweight champion.
The UFC 164 meeting between now former champion Ben Henderson and new champion Anthony Pettis was a rematch of a fight dating back to the last days of the WEC. Based on the first meeting between Pettis and Henderson it was easy to see why this fight had so much potential.
Pettis, who won their first bout in 2009 at WEC 53 to become the final WEC lightweight champion.
Henderson came out looking to cut off the cage. He shot in on Pettis but was unsuccessful in scoring the early takedown. Henderson was eventually able to get the fight to the ground following an attempted cartwheel kick by Pettis. Once the fight was on the ground and Henderson was in the guard of Pettis, the fight did not last long.
Then, in a flash, Pettis secured the right arm of Henderson and was working for an armbar. Henderson attempted to stack Pettis but Pettis moved to his stomach and Henderson was forced to verbally submit. The fight was stopped officially at the 4:31 mark of the first round. The crowd seemed to be stunned that the fight ended so quickly.
Following the fight, Pettis had UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo on his mind. "I'm here to prove I'm the best in the world," Pettis said of Aldo who he pulled out of a fight with earlier this year. "Anybody around my weight class that's contemplating coming to 155 or even at 145 – his coach said I faked an injury. I would never fake an injury. I'm not afraid to fight anybody, and that's what that was all about. If he (Jose Aldo) wants to fight me, let's make it happen. I'm ready."
Henderson successfully defended the UFC lightweight title on three occasions before losing it to Pettis. With this loss coming in such a decisive way, it appears that Henderson's path to another title shot could be a long one. During the post-event press conference, UFC president Dana White was asked if Henderson's road back would be a long one.
"That's definitely the case," White told mmajunkie.com.
"We had the fight with Ben and Frankie where some people thought he won," White said. "There's no denying who won this fight, and it was a first-round annihilation, kind of like the Vitor-Anderson thing, you know what I mean?"
Pettis will likely face either T.J. Grant or Jose Aldo in his next fight.
UFC 164 was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Bradley Center and aired live on pay per view.