Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis is one of the most anticipated championship matches in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) history. It features one of the greatest lightweight champions of all time in Henderson against his most competitive challenger to date and the last man to ever beat him in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, Pettis.
The match is a rematch for their last matchup, wherein Pettis managed to defeat Henderson to win the WEC lightweight championship. It is very popular for Pettis' Showtime kick, which he landed minutes before the end of the fight. Pettis is well-known for his highlight-reel kicks which he occasionally throws in every fight. But the one he landed against Henderson stands out above the rest.
The Showtime kick is done by running straight to an opponent then using the lead leg to step on the cage and jump. While on the air, the fighter tries to land the same lead leg to his opponent's chin. The forward momentum and the horizontal lift make the technique works effectively.
The kick is considered by many as one of the deciding factors in the previous fight of Henderson and Pettis, which is very much competitive and tough to call. But both fighters have improved drastically since then and it is pretty much exciting to think what will happen when the two of them meet again.
Henderson, the current UFC lightweight champion, has been undefeated in the UFC so far, with seven wins and three successful title defenses. Pettis is also on a roll with three straight wins, two of them coming via KO or TKO.
It is interesting to think whether the challenger can counter the strengths that the champ is exhibiting so far in the UFC. The current title holder possesses great cardio and a grueling style that combines wrestling and striking. Pettis' strategy should include maximizing his creativity in striking and trying to surprise the champ with unexpected strikes similar to the Showtime kick every end of each round. Powerful finishes look good in judges' score cards. But Pettis must wait until the final minutes of a round so he can avoid being taken down and controlled for three minutes in a round.
Here is a video of the Pettis' Showtime kick. Can he land it once again against Henderson? We'll see.
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