UFC 164: Anthony Pettis Defeats Benson Henderson For Lightweight Title

An armbar submission at UFC 164 allowed Anthony Pettis to claim the lightweight title from Benson Henderson.

Pettis (17-2) caught Henderson (18-3) in an armbar while on his back, effectively ending Henderson’s 18-month championship reign.

After the Bradley Center match, Pettis told reporters:

“It feels amazing to be here. I grew up coming to this arena and sitting in those nosebleeds. Milwaukee made Anthony Pettis. You really can’t write a better story than what happened right here tonight.”

Pettis then looked back on his win:

“The armbar was there. I grabbed it and I heard him yell, `Tap, tap, tap,’ and that was it.”

It was Henderson’s second loss in 19 matches and his second loss to Pettis. The two men first met in 2010 when they competed in the last bout of the now-defunct WEC promotion. Pettis won the WEC title with a unanimous decision after he launched himself from the side of the cage and landed a kick that sent Henderson flying to the mat. The kick was eventually deemed the “Showtime Kick” and is still regarded as one of the greatest moments in the sport.

Despite his win, Pettis watched as his fallen opponents career took a better trajectory towards the title. Last year Henderson claimed the lightweight title from Frankie Edgar. Henderson defended the title three times leading up to Saturday nights loss to Pettis.

Henderson, a fighter who is inclined to go after points instead of knockouts seemed frustrated as he rushed Pettis onto the cage and attempted several failed takedowns before his opponent abruptly ended the match.

Calling Pettis the “stain on my soul” Henderson also added: “Anthony is tough, and tonight he proved himself to be a champion. But I’ll be back.”

Are you surprised by Anthony Pettis’ victory over Benson Henderson or was this rematch win 10 years in the making?