Moving Up the Ranks: Anthony Pettis

In 2010, Anthony Pettis landed the infamous “Showtime” kick on his way to capturing the WEC lightweight championship. Fast forward 3 years and Pettis challenges Benson Henderson for another title.

On Saturday the UFC returns to Milwaukee for UFC 164, an intriguing 12-bout event that airs on pay-per-view (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) following prelims on Fox Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET) and Facebook (6:30 p.m. ET).

The last time the UFC touched down at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center, welterweight favorite Chris Lytle was swinging for the fences in his retirement bout, Versus was still a TV channel, and Benson Henderson was on the road to redemption after losing his WEC title to upstart Anthony Pettis, a kickboxer and MMA fighter three years his junior.

That was August 2011, six months before Henderson traveled to Japan and came back with the UFC lightweight title, and three months after Pettis let his title momentum ride and lost in the octagon against Clay Guida.

In two years, Henderson has established himself as a dominant force in the lightweight division, and he has aspirations to beat former middleweight champ Anderson Silva’s record of 10 title defenses.

Pettis, who hasn’t lost since his gamble against Guida, looks to prove his decision win over Henderson in the WEC’s final event in 2010 was no fluke.

With the crossover of several WEC fighters to the UFC, the latter’s lightweight division looks very different than it did back then.