Anthony “Showtime” Pettis is a heck of a fighter, to say the least and a little over two-and-a-half years ago he gave the UFC’s current 155 pound champion, Ben Henderson, a fight to remember and in doing so, stole the (then) WEC champion's lightweight belt.
In the 31 months that passed both signed with the UFC, with Henderson becoming lightweight champion and Pettis being relegated by way of loss and injury, to watching what he believes to be a lesser fighter, wearing a belt that should rightfully belong to him.
Come the end-of-the month, Showtime will get the opportunity that he’s been waiting for since the night Henderson rested the belt from Frankie Edgar (February 26, 2012: UFC144); the opportunity to prove to all that he was then and still is now, the best 155 pound fighter in the world.
In his pre-fight interview he makes mention of his formidable stand-up, yet nothing of his ground-game or take-down defense. Nested within that, is the inference that Showtime can stay on his feet against the equally formidable wrestling and ground ‘n pound skills of Ben Henderson.
If he can, then the “X” factor in the fight could well turn out to be Henderson’s stand-up skills and how much they (either) have or have not improved, since the pair’s last meeting.
Beyond that, there is one other intangible which could be considered and that is the matter of their good fortune or “luck”.
Since joining the UFC Ben Henderson has been blessed with the winning decision in every close fight that he’s been in and he’s remained injury free.
On the other hand, Pettis has had a hint of a dark cloud following around since entering the promotion. Whether or not it was an unexpected loss to Clay Guida or the injuries which have slowed his ascent through the lightweight ranks, Pettis has had touble keeping getting to the title-match that everyone though he would gotten to, before now.
This August 31rst in Milwaukee, if the fight is close it may well boil down to which fighter’s good fortune is greater. When last they met it was Pettis that “Lady Luck” smiled upon, however, these days she’s been favoring Benson over Anthony and Showtime enters the ring and the fight, fresh off of knee issues and rehab.
Showtime has stated that the knee is fine or at least was well enough to take the fight, but nonetheless, might it end up being factor in the bout and might it end up being a contributing reason, small or large, to good fortune once again falling upon Ben Henderson?
However and regarless of the particulars, the bout is sure to be a fan pleasing event.